CAN WALKER OR YOUNG KICK OFF 2015 WITH A WIN?
It’s time to head back outdoors. Extreme enduro sees it’s first major event of the season take place with the Alès Trêm in France. The perfect shakedown to next month’s Hell’s Gate, it’s stacked with talent as Graham Jarvis, Jonny Walker, Andreas Lettenbichler, Wade Young and Blake Gutzeit take to the stage. Plus with a total of 400 riders taking to the start line, the inaugural running of France’s newest extreme is set to become a memorable one.
For extreme enduro fans it’s been a long winter of waiting since the best of the best went head to head. Last time out at the 2014 season ending Roof of Africa it was Wade Young who topped the headlines by beating Jarvis across the finish line to win. That victory capped off what had been a very impressive year for the 18-year-old. After bursting onto the scene at the tail end of 2012 with his first Roof of Africa win, Young endured a testing 2013. It was a year where more went wrong than right. Throwing in the towel would have been an easy thing to do.
But by continuing to graft his way forward, Young turned his fortunes around for 2014. His Romaniacs podium result was probably his most standout performance of the year. It was the end result of a lot of hard work by the South African. And then by backing it up with an “almost podium result” at the Sea to Sky – he held third to within sight of the finish line – proved he’s got his sights set on moving closer and closer to Jarvis versus Walker battles up front.
© Lynn / Enduro21.com
Like Young, Walker similarly found his feet in 2014. Firmly putting his disappointment of 2013 behind him, his wins at Erzberg and Romaniacs saw him get his swagger back. It reaffirmed his belief that he is capable of playing with Jarvis and that consistently fighting for the top step of the podium is well within his ability. There’s no doubt that in 2015, Walker will be looking to add a lot more to his win list.
And Alès Trêm could be the perfect place to start. A venue that’s new to all, no one really knows what to expect – it’s going to be quite the leveller. Nobody’s really got a head start at this one. That’s why it’s got a lot riding on it. A win here will potentially set the basis for a strong year ahead.
In a sport like extreme enduro gaining a mental edge over your closest competitors can make the difference between winning and losing. If the young guns can pull off a win in France, it’s going to make them harder to stop in the coming months. That’s something Jarvis knows all to well and a major reason why he won’t want to let it happen. He’s not prepared to be pushed aside any time soon.
So with the first bragging rights of 2015 up for grabs, who’s going to come out on top?