How parcel twine, duck tape and quick thinking won Graham Jarvis the Red Bull Sea to Sky with a broken clutch.
Graham Jarvis regarded Saturday’s Red Bull Sea to Sky win as one of his greatest ever victories in hard enduro, partly because he won it in the final kilometre of the race, but also because he did it with hardly any clutch.
If you switched off the race’s live timing at Checkpoint 11, then you were in for a shock to see Jarvis once again stood triumphantly on top of the podium.
At that point, it looked like a certain Sherco win with Wade Young and Mario Roman 1-2. Jarvis was third but over two minutes behind.
A bad start saw him begin a race of catch up, and then, just when things were coming good, a small but potentially costly crash at about Checkpoint 6 of 12 almost cut his race short.
Picking his bike up revealed a broken clutch perch — the King almost looked beat.
For many that should have been game over. No working clutch in hard enduro is a no-go.
Limping on to the next checkpoint, his boy scout skills went into overdrive as he bodged together a somewhat useable clutch with duck tape and parcel twine and a couple of cable ties.
“When I picked my bike up I couldn’t believe it,” told Jarvis. “I managed to get to the next checkpoint and scramble together a basic fix.
“It wasn’t great, but it worked, although I had to use my fingers in a manner to both operate the clutch and also stop it swinging around the handlebars.”
From then on, Jarvis put in a ride that will surely be talked about for a long time to come.
Picking off rider and after rider, he was then suddenly in contention for victory when it matter most.
And just like that he rode past Young and Roman to scale the mountain first and smash the record books yet again.
It was an immense effort.
One defined by a saturated in sweat left hand handlebar grip and glove that showed the effort and exertion the 42-year-old put into that victorious moment.
So, if we take anything away from this win it’s this — just when you think you're down and out in hard enduro, think again, there’s always a way.
Robert LynnEditor Enduro21robert@future7media.com