Walker Wins Red Bull Sea to Sky 2013
He came, he saw, he conquered. Jonny Walker has won the Red Bull Sea to Sky 2013.
With dominating performances in the Beach Race and Forest Race, Walker was in no mood to let a chance of winning the Red Bull Sea to Sky main event – the Mountain Race – slip from his grasp. Determined to dictate the pace of the race, Walker immediately stuck his KTM into the lead as the riders left the Kemer shoreline at 10.00hrs.
Not afraid to let it all hang out, the young Brit had opened up a one-minute lead when he emerged from the first river bed section.
By check point four he had upped his lead to almost three minutes but by then Graham Jarvis had found his way into second position. Fighting his way past Alfredo Gomez and Andreas Lettenbichler, he finally settled into the race and set his sights on catching Walker.
At the halfway point neither rider had gained an advantage but Jarvis knew the toughest section was yet to come. Dark Canyon awaited them, and like many, both riders knew this rocky climb up a gulley would determine the outcome of the race.
Walker was first to enter and as he scrambled his way to the top, Jarvis closed in. Finding a couple of better lines, he came within striking distance of his rival and momentarily found a way past.
But Walker didn’t back down and took control of the lead once more. With the mountain left to climb, the race was finally on – it would be a sprint to the finish. Throwing caution to the wind, Walker gave it everything he had and more – this time he wouldn’t be beat.
Edging away from Jarvis again, he crossed the summit of the Olympus Mountain as the 2013 Red Bull Sea to Sky champion. For Jarvis, second place was a result he would have to be content with. Both riders had put everything on the table and the cards had fallen Walker’s way. His hat trick of wins didn’t come.
Behind the battle for the win, it was Gomez who crossed the mountain top finish to claim third. His first attempt at the Red Bull Sea to Sky ended with a podium.
Despite looking set to challenge Gomez for third, Andreas Lettenbichler ran into difficulties for the second year in a row. In 2012, derailing his chain on a branch stopped him in his tracks. This year the branch struck again but this time it was his carburettor that caught the impact. He eventually finished fourth.
Cracking the top five for the first time in Hard Enduro, Phillip Scholz had every reason to be pleased with his efforts. Loving every inch of the course, the German rode an almost perfect race.
Snatching sixth position at the very end, Paul Bolton was disappointed not to repeat his podium result from 2012. Admitting to having bench-pressed his borrowed Husaberg one too often – Bolton traditionally borrows bikes for the Sea to Sky – he ran out of steam. With arms aching, he passed a dismayed Dougie Lampkin on the final climb to place sixth.
In the hunt for a top five result in his debut ride at the Red Bull Sea to Sky, Lampkin’s bike literally ran out of steam within sight of the finish line. A branch had ripped his coolant hose off – possibly the same one that hit Lettenbichler – and his Gas Gas finally ground to a halt. Luckily he was within pushing distance of finishing and with Walker even lending a hand he was credited with seventh.
Xavi Galindo crossed the line in eight while Rene Dietrich and Harry Neumayr completed the top ten.
Results – Red Bull Sea to Sky 2013, Mountain Race (prov)
1. Jonny Walker (UK, KTM); 2. Graham Jarvis (UK, Husaberg); 3. Alfredo Gomez (ESP, Husaberg); 4. Andreas Lettenbichler (GER, Husqvarna); 5. Philipp Scholz (GER, KTM); 6. Paul Bolton (UK, KTM); 7. Dougie Lampkin (UK, GASGAS); 8. Xavi Galindo (ESP, Husaberg); 9. Rene Dietrich (GER, KTM); 10. Harry Neumayr (AUT, KTM)