Jarvis Heads Strong Line Up At Enduro Ukupacha
Graham Jarvis to face tough defence of his Enduro Ukupacha title in Ecudaor.
Less than seven days after the gruelling Extreme XL Paredes in Portugal, Hard Enduro has headed over 5000 miles west to Quito in Ecuador for the Enduro Ukupacha. Now in it’s fifth year, the event has quickly become the premier race in South America and for 2013 it features it’s best line up of riders to date.
Taking to the start line this weekend, defending champion Jarvis is set to face a serious challenge from Chris Birch, Jonny Walker, Alfredo Gomez and newcomer to the sport Taylor Robert amongst others.
As the current winner of the event, Jarvis knows his way around this event. He won it in style last year and dominated the race. Of course he’ll be looking to do the same again this time around.
But Birch – a regular to Ecuador – is more than familiar with the terrain. Challenging Jarvis for the majority of the race in 2012, his luck ran out on a technical part of the trail. Losing his grip on a rock, the New Zealander’s KTM tumbled down a ravine – knocking him out of the race. Back for more in 2013, Birch is wise enough not to make that same mistake twice.
Behind them, Walker, Gomez and Robert are all fresh to the event. With victory in last month’s Red Bull Sea to Sky in Turkey, Walker proved that he’s now back on top form. He’s also the only rider this season to have beaten Jarvis. Can he make it two in a row in Ukupacha?
Never to be counted out, Gomez has hit the podium every time in the last three races and has never faltered outside the top five in 2013. With a track record like that it’s hard to remember this is still only his first full season of Hard Enduro. The high mountainous terrain – 4000m – will provide the technical going that the Spaniard loves.
Better known for his endurocross skills, Taylor Robert falls into the unknown category somewhat. Enduro Ukupacha will be his first time mixing it with the Hard Enduro regulars but the Kawasaki rider has the trials skills necessary for the rocky terrain and isn’t afraid of letting it all hang out when the trail opens up. But as the only leading four-stroke rider in the race will that extra weight become a factor for him?
The Prologue kicks things off on Saturday October 19 with a endurocross race in a bull fighting arena. Riders then get down to the real business of racing with a 100km loop bringing them high into the Ecuadorian mountains.