Jonny Walker saw his hopes of a third consecutive win at the Ales Trem Extreme Enduro ended when a wrong turn ruled him out of contention of a possible victory. Part of a two-rider break-away together with Graham Jarvis, with darkness falling Walker mistakenly picked up lap two track markers, instead of lap three markers, to eventually place fourth as the final rider to reach the finish. Topping the French event in both 2015 and 2016, Walker made a strong start to the 2017 edition of the race by placing as a close runner-up in both the first day’s special test runs as well as the Endurocross-style prologue.
Well positioned during the opening lap of the main race he stayed at the head of the field during the second and penultimate lap. With organiser increasing the difficulty of the third and final lap, darkness started to fall as those still left in the race got closer to the finish. Frustratingly for walker, while battling with eventual race winner Jarvis he made a small mistake and rode down a part of the track already used on lap two.
Initially told he was out of the race event organisers allowed Jonny to retrace his steps, eventually finishing the gruelling event as the fourth and final competitor. Jonny Walker: “I guess this year’s Ales Trem was a bit of a wild one. The first lap was pretty straightforward – there was a bunch of us all riding together and things weren’t too difficult at all. The second lap was similar. On the third lap it really started to get interesting. I started to push a little harder and Graham and myself opened up a little gap out front. I felt good but as I passed through a check point I made a very small mistake losing no more than 10 or 15 seconds. As I was pushing to catch back up to Graham I missed a track marker. I accidentally followed the track used during the second lap. At the next check point I was told I was out, so I sat there for a while. Eventually I followed the trail back to where I missed the arrows and got back on the right trail. I was a long way behind the other riders but at least I managed to finish. It’s great to be back competing in an Extreme Enduro but a little frustrating that I wasn’t able to challenge for the win.”
Results – Ales Trem 2017 1. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 2. Mario Roman (Sherco) 3. Wade Young (Sherco) 4. Jonny Walker (KTM)
Photo credit: Future7Media