14. February 2011
This season Graham Jarvis has joined the Husaberg team, and for this race he rode a two-stroke Husaberg TE 300 outfitted with an Akrapovič muffler. This former time trial competitor, who has stood out in recent extreme enduro events, and placed second here last year, managed to be the first to conquer the steep Hell’s Peak in Tuscany this year. He has competed at Hell’s Gate, one of the most difficult enduro races in the world, eight consecutive years.
“Qualifying went pretty good really,” said Jarvis, understated but very pleased with his results. “I was trying to save energy for the afternoon because I knew from previous years how hard it is here. I qualified first and was really happy with that. At the start of the main race I completely fluffed it and ended up fifth to the first corner. It gave me a bit of fight though and I had to work hard to get in front on the first lap, which used a fair bit of energy. I tried hard to settle into a rhythm then and ride my own race. On the third lap they told me they were going to cut it short by a lap, so I went flat out. I felt good at that point, I had some energy still and I really wanted to make sure of the winning result after last year. I was really nervous at that point so I went for it and it worked for me. It feels great to win after the disappointment of last year.”
Jarvis was the fastest even during the qualifying rounds, finishing ahead of Dougie Lampkin riding a Gas Gas bike and teammate Xavier Galindo, who rode the same Husaberg model as the winner. The final event had to be cut from six laps to five, because otherwise finishing on time may not have been possible.
Enthusiastic fans watched as only two of the fifty-three qualifying racers actually crossed the finish. This certainly shows just how infernal Hell’s Gate is.