Enduro

Jonny Walker Ends Graham Jarvis Romaniacs Reign

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Red Bull KTM's Jonny Walker signalled a change at the top of the leader board in the rarified air of Hard Enduro on Saturday.

He took victory in the eleventh edition of the Red Bull Romaniacs after four days of intense riding in the Carpathian Mountains to write himself into the record books of this very tough event.

The 23-year-old British rider, also winner of the 2014 Red Bull Hare Scramble at Austria‰Ûªs Erzbergrodeo, managed to defeat the hard-as-nails Husqvarna factory rider Graham Jarvis, who has been both his nemesis and his idol. Walker is a Red Bull sponsored athlete and an official KTM factory rider.

In what was a near perfect day for KTM, 18-year-old South African Wade Young took the podium third to underline the arrival of the new generation of Hard Endurists while two Romaniac veterans, Paul Bolton (KTM UK) and KTM factory rider Andreas Lettenbichler rounded off the top five.

What Walker and Jarvis had to say at the beginning and the middle of the race, tells most of the story. After Day 1 of the offroad competition Walker, winner on the day said.

‰ÛÏGraham is my idol. His experience is second to none.‰Û
Jonny Walker started the final day five minutes on Jarvis - Credit: Future7Media
Walker started with around five minutes on Jarvis on Day Two in the Carpathians but lost the advantage after he took an early swim with his KTM 300 EXC in a river crossing. It was clear that Jarvis was still determined to have his say in the outcome of this popular event.

The outcome was too close to call at the start of Friday‰Ûªs Day Three. Walker went out with determination and had Jarvis in his sights right from the start.

By the half way mark he had neutralized Jarvis‰Ûªs five-minute lead in the morning but after organizers packed them off into new territory in the afternoon, including finishing their ride on the roof of a disused coal mine. Jarvis was first to finish but Walker won the day on adjusted times, leaving the rivals at level pegging and setting up the all-or-nothing final day dash.

At the finish on Day Three Walker remarked that Jarvis had taken the Hard Enduro sport to a whole new level with his amazing skill. At the same time, Walker was not in awe of his rival.

‰ÛÏI‰Ûªm not giving up this one without a fight. No way! It wasn‰Ûªt my best day‰Ûªs riding in the world but I rode my heart out to win Day 3. One day left and it all hangs on this. Let‰Ûªs go!‰Û
Graham Jarvis has vowed to return in 2015 to re-claim the title he held for five years straight - Credit: Future7Media
They also had to face the infamous and near vertical Gusterita hill climb at the end of the day, then sit it out to have GPS times verified before Walker took his well-earned place on the top of the podium.

‰ÛÏUnfortunately, it‰Ûªs my first Red Bull Romaniacs defeat in four years but overall I‰Ûªve got to be happy with the runner-up result." runner up Jarvis said at race end. "Jonny rode a great race and hardly put a foot wrong all week.

"I was hoping to try and gain some time back on him on Day Four but it wasn‰Ûªt possible. The early part of the day was quite fast and he managed to pull a gap on me. In the end I was just happy to ride home for second.

"It‰Ûªs been a different race this year ‰ÛÒ not as hard as it‰Ûªs been in the past. It‰Ûªs been good though. I‰Ûªve really enjoyed it, but I just didn‰Ûªt have the pace of Jonny in all the fast stuff.

"Of course I wanted to win but I‰Ûªll come back stronger next year and try to win it back.‰Û
18 year old Wade Young rounded out the podium - Credit: Future7Media
But while Walker and Jarvis slogged it out at the front, the 18-year-old South African KTM rider Wade Young was also creating his own sensation. Third place on all of the last three days gave this young pretender the podium third and put him squarely in the limelight.

He was first on the start line for Day Three and finishing behind Walker and Jarvis on the last two days left nobody in doubt about his bright future.

‰ÛÏComing here I was just happy to place inside the top 10 ‰ÛÒ I wasn‰Ûªt expecting anymore." Young admitted. "But something just clicked today and it all came together.‰Û
2014 Podium - Credit: Future7Media
Overall Results: Red Bull Romaniacs 11th Edition
1, Jonny Walker, GBR, KTM
2, Graham Jarvis, GBR, Husqvarna
3, Wade Young, RSA, KTM
4, Paul Bolton, GBR, KTM
5, Andreas Lettenbichler GER, KTM

Top Image: Jonny Walker wins the 11th edition of the Red Bull Romaniacs

Credit: Future7Media

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