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Despite a ‘near miss’ on day two when Alfredo Gomez had too close an encounter with a narrow mountain ledge that almost put him out of the competition, the Spanish rider wrapped up a hard but successful week.
Speaking after day two, Gomez paid tribute to the KTM teammates who helped rescue his bike after the incident on the ledge: “I made one major mistake about 30 minutes before the service point. My bike slid of a narrow ledge. I tried to pull it out by myself but it wasn’t possible. When Lars Enoeckl and Philipp Scholz arrived next we managed to get it out. A big thank you to them otherwise my race might have been over.”
The competition, which is modeled on the popular Red Bull Romaniacs, started with a 60km long time trial loop followed by a 15min plus one lap prologue. Gomez won the right to start the second day first but Graham Jarvis gave a hard chase and KTM riders Paul Bolton, Lars Enoeckl and Philipp Scholz rounded off the top five.
Riders tackled around 160km of rough and very challenging terrain on the second day of competition, which took them across country from Belo Horzionte to Ouro Preto, during which Jarvis trimmed Gomez’s overall lead by two minutes. And while Jarvis won the day, he also had his share of problems and finished only one minute ahead of Scholz. Meanwhile Gomez went on the attack to make up time after his crash to be only two minutes away from Jarvis to maintain his overall lead by three minutes.
Day three took riders around 17km back to Belo Horizonte, and once again Jarvis was Gomez’s main challenger, forcing the pace so much that Gomez has almost run out of tire rubber when they had to tackle the final hill climb. He lost valuable time but still salvaged the overall lead going into the final day.
The final day was a loop of 160km and Gomez once again rose to the challenge on his KTM 300 EXC. The Spanish rider was understandably delighted with his overall victory: “It’s an incredible feeling to have won the Red Bull Minas Riders. It’s the first Red Bull Hard #enduro of the year so to come here and win like this is fantastic. I was a little nervous today despite holding a good lead in the race. But I soon settled into things and began top enjoy the ride a lot more. I was so happy riding into the finish line. It’s been a tough week of #racing, really hard so to win is just amazing.”
Bolton was also pleased to be on the podium: “To end the first Red Bull Hard #enduro of 2016 on the podium is a brilliant result. The battle for third was tight between Philipp Scholz and myself entering today – it was only about a one-minute gap. We were both pushing but I managed to stay in front of him and get third.”
Next Race: May 26-29, 2016 – Erzbergrodeo (AUT)
Final Results Red Bull Minas Riders Hard #enduro Rally 2016
1. #alfredogomez (ESP), KTM, 21:50:24 h
2. Graham Jarvis (GBR), Husqvarna, +23:38 min
3. Paul Bolton (GBR), KTM, +39:38
4. Philipp Scholz (GER), KTM, +40:20
5. Lars Enoeckl (AUT), KTM, +1:22:41 h
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