Graham Jarvis has cemented his place in the Hell’s Gate record books by claiming a fifth event win. Earning a hard-fought victory at the 2017 edition of the one-day Tuscan race, the recent Ales Trem winner finished more than four minutes ahead of his closest challenger at the end of the three-hour main race. Graham’s Husqvarna team-mate Billy Bolt ran as high as fifth in the main event, finishing the race despite an issue with his rear brake.
Putting his name at the top of the results at the end of the morning’s qualifying race Jarvis showed that he meant business in Italy. Quick off the start in the main event Graham’s time out front was short lived as Wade Young set the early pace. Never far from his South African rival, when Wade suffered a small technical issue Graham hit the front and never looked back.
Leading at the two-hour mark from Travis Teasdale, Graham steadily extended his lead as darkness fell. Maintaining his impressive pace during the final hour of the race Jarvis earned a well-deserved fifth Hell’s Gate victory, topping the podium ahead of Teasdale and Young.
Billy Bolt’s first ever Hell’s Gate outing was a largely positive one. Fifth in the morning’s qualifying race he found himself stuck behind a number of riders on the opening climb in the main race, just meters from the start. Battling his way to fifth at the end of the first hour of racing, soon after his refuelling stop he damaged his rear brake. Hampering his progress during the second half of the race Billy nevertheless reached the finish.
Graham Jarvis: “It’s been a great event for me. Winning the morning qualifying race was a bit of a surprise. I just made sure I didn’t make any mistakes and that was good enough to get the win. In the main race I got a good start but dropped behind Wade Young, who was running a really strong pace. He had some kind of a problem then, which allowed me to get ahead. I just kept a steady pace going then and things worked out great. There was a lot more man-made sections this year, which isn’t really my things. But to get a fifth Hell’s Gate win is great.”
Billy Bolt: “Generally, I’m pleased with the way things went for me. I didn’t get a great start in the main race and lost some time stuck behind riders in one of the early rocky climbs. I settled into quite a good rhythm then and was really enjoying things. About half way through the race I had an issue with my rear brake, so I rode the second half of the race only using my front brake. I think I clipped a rock. That was pretty hard on some of the down hills. I couldn’t push like I wanted then and just made sure I got to the finish. I learned a lot and enjoyed my first time at Hell’s Gate.”
Results – Hell’s Gate 2017
1. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 3:08:23 (14 laps)
2. Travis Teasdale (KTM) 3:12:34 (14 laps)
3. Wade Young (Sherco) 3:13:42; (14 laps)
4. Mario Roman (Sherco) 3:17:01 (14 laps)
5. Philipp Bertl (Beta) (13 laps)