Spain’s Josep Garcia has extended his lead at round two of the World Enduro Super Series with victory on day two of the Trèfle Lozérien AMV, in France. Setting a blisteringly fast pace in the fifth and final test of the day, the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider leap-frogged his way from third to first in dramatic fashion.
The second day of racing at France’s most-prestigious Classic Enduro saw the 600-plus competitors greeted with continued wet and challenging conditions. Adding to the difficulty, fog blanketed the opening two special tests. The weather improved around midday, but rain in the afternoon, for the last and closing test, kept everyone guessing as to what was around the next corner.
Early Morning Pace Setters
Garcia continued to set the pace by topping the opening special test. However, with the top four riders separated by less than one second, the competition was fierce.
Julien Gauthier (Yamaha – FRA) edged out Garcia by one tenth of a second to claim the fastest time in the second test, while Nathan Watson (KTM – GB) – seventh on the opener – began to work his way up the leader board by stopping the clocks as third quickest.
McCanney Tops Special Test Three, Garcia Falters
Keeping the racing unpredictable, Yamaha’s Jamie McCanney (GB) became the third different winner in as many tests, putting his name at the top of the time sheets for special test three finishing ahead of Gauthier, Jeremy Tarroux (Sherco – GB) and Joseph Wootton (Husqvarna – GB).
Nearly five seconds behind McCanney, Garcia saw his early morning work undone and slipped to fourth overall. Sixth fastest, South Africa’s Travis Teasdale (KTM) impressively got amongst some of the established Classic Enduro stars.
On the penultimate test, Garcia had regained his composure to top the time sheets for the second time. However, now over three seconds behind Gauthier and Tarroux entering the fifth and final test, he had some work to do.
Garcia Goes On The Attack
With numerous riders watching how the rain was affecting conditions, Garcia threw caution to the wind and went on the attack. Delivering arguably one of the day’s finest performances, the Spaniard blasted his way around the muddy sub-three-minute test in style to win the day.
With no answer for the KTM rider, Gauthier had to be content with second – finishing almost three seconds back. A further three seconds behind, Tarroux ended his day third overall, while McCanney and Watson completed the top five.
The Trèfle Lozérien AMV concludes tomorrow, Sunday, where Garcia aims to become the first non-French winner in the 33-year history of the event.
Josep Garcia (KTM – ESP): “The French riders were really fast today in the rain and I had to push hard to keep with them. In the final test a lot of guys held back due to the rain, so I gambled and went in almost first and just gave it everything I had. I was pushing the limits everywhere, so much that I actually crashed – but luckily it was after the finish line. In the end I managed to win that test by nearly six seconds and jump from third to first, so I’m happy with that. It’s another big day tomorrow – today showed anything can happen so I’ll just keep pushing test-by-test.”
Jeremy Tarroux: (Sherco – FRA): “I feel like it was a good day – always in the battle at the front. I started strong in the morning and was nearly always top three in the tests. I lost out a little in the final test today. It was muddy and slippery from yesterday and when we arrived it was also raining. Overall, my speed is good but Josep is really fast so I will fight for a podium result.”
Giacomo Redondi (Husqvarna – ITA): “I’m really enjoying myself out there – even in the mud! My starting number is not so good – about 40 riders have already done the test before me, so it’s tough to be competitive but I’m not stressing about it. It’s my first time here, so the goal is top 10. The atmosphere is great though – so many riders and lots of people. It’s nice, relaxed and a lot of fun.”
Results: WESS Round 2 – Trèfle Lozérien AMV, Day 2
1. Josep Garcia (KTM – ESP) 20:01.240
2. Julien Gauthier (Yamaha – FRA) 20:04.174 +2.934
3. Jeremy Tarroux (Sherco – FRA) 20:07.434 +6.194
4. Jamie McCanney (Yamaha – GB) 20:08.194 +6.954
5. Nathan Watson (KTM – GB) 20:13.049 +11.809
6. Emmanuel Albepart (Yamaha – FRA) 20:27.766 +26.526
7. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas – FRA) 20:30.336 +29.096
8. Theo Espinasse (Sherco – FRA) 20:32.402 +31.162
9. Joe Wootton (Husqvarna – GB) 20:38.005 +36.765
10. Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 20:49.243 +48.003
Standings: WESS Round 2 – Trèfle Lozérien AMV (after day 2)
1. Josep Garcia (KTM – ESP) 41:46.387
2. Jamie McCanney (Yamaha – GB) 42:16.509 +30.122
3. Jeremy Tarroux (Sherco – FRA) 42:18.362 +31.975
4. Julien Gauthier (Yamaha – FRA) 42:18.392 +32.005
5. Nathan Watson (KTM – GB) 42:18.760 +32.373
6. Emmanuel Albepart (Yamaha – FRA) 43:02.050 +1:15.663
7. Theo Espinasse (Sherco – FRA) 43:05.948 +1:19.561
8. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas – FRA) 43:07.415 +1:21.028
9. Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 43:29.825 +1:43.438
10. Joe Wootton (Husqvarna – GB) 43:31.580 +1:45.193