The main event of this year’s Red Bull Sea to Sky in the southern Turkish seaside town of Kemer was dominated by British riders as Graham Jarvis, Jonny Walker and Chris Bolton powered their way from the waters of the Mediterranean to over 2300m above sea level to secure a clean sweep of the podium places. Germany’s Andreas Lettenbichler and Spain’s Xavi Galindo finished fourth and fifth respectively in one of the toughest enduro races on the planet.
KEMER (Turkey) – Graham Jarvis and Jonny Walker started day two of Red Bull Sea to Sky 2012 exactly where they left off at the end of day one – leading the pack. After dominating the first day of racing by winning the Beach Race (Walker) and Forest Race (Jarvis), the British duo lined up on the front row for the main Olympos Mountain Race alongside many of their closest rivals, including international stars such as Andreas Lettenbichler, Xavi Galindo and Lars Enöckl.
Having sped away from the line and established a slim lead at the end of the flat riverbed section, Jarvis was slowly hauled in by fellow Brit Walker as the terrain became more technical. Germany’s Andreas Lettenbichler was hot on the 21-year-old’s heels in third place for most of the race, before suffering the misfortune of a broken chain just one kilometre from the finish and being overtaken by a third British rider, Chris Bolton.
“The track was a bit longer than last year. Everything was ridable but Jonny was putting me under a lot of pressure and pushed me to my very limits. Some parts of the track I really enjoyed, especially the ones where it was really flowing through the trees. They got the track just about right, brilliant job by the track designers,” said Chris Birch after crossing the line first in a time of 2 hours and 16 minutes, five minutes ahead of Walker.
This year saw a record-breaking 130 athletes from 20 countries compete in what many in the scene consider to be the most beautiful enduro race of its kind in the world. Forty riders claimed a bronze medal by making it to the end of the riverbed section, with 26 securing silver by passing the tree line at 1600m altitude and an incredible 25 riders taking home gold by crossing the finish line at the top of Olympos Mountain at 2365 metres above sea level.
Results Olympos Mountain Race:
1. Graham Jarvis (GBR) 2:16:19,
2. Jonny Walker (GBR) 2:21:36,
3. Paul Bolton (GBR) 2:30:08,
4. Andreas Lettenbichler (GER) 2:33:13,
5. Xavier Galindo (ESP) 2:34:58,
6. Philipp Scholz (GER) 2:51:15,
7. Lars Enöckl (AUT) 2:59:48,
8. Neumayr Harry (AUT) 3:00:19,
9. Forster Gerhard (GER) 3:01:21,
10. Rene Dietrich (GER) 3:09:36