Urban Enduro in New Zealand
Urban enduro draws huge crowd in New Zealand.
The idyllic seaside setting of Westhaven was transformed into an enduro-cross track of epic proportions on Sunday as 80 riders fought it out in front of 10,000 fans for the title of Red Bull City Scramble champion.
After a tough duel in the final against compatriot Paul Bolton, it was British rider Graham Jarvis who reigned supreme on the hundreds on tonnes of rocks, dirt, logs, concrete and tyres to ride away with the win and $5,000 first prize.
WESTHAVEN (New Zealand) – Enduro riders are normally used to heading for the hills, forests and mountains to find the obstacles their sport demands – roots, tree stumps, rocks, rivers, dirt tracks, etc. However, this weekend saw some of the world’s best gather in the somewhat more urban location of Westhaven to take on an inner-city course built directly on the water’s edge in Waitamata Harbour.
Over 10,000 spectators were on hand to witness what turned into a two-way battle for victory in the final between British riders Graham Jarvis and Paul Bolton. Despite Bolton coming agonizingly close during the latter stages of the race, Husaberg rider Jarvis managed to dig deep and hang on for the win.
“At the end I was really holding on for that chequered flag,” admitted a relieved Jarvis in the finishing area. “It was a tough race and hard not to make mistakes, but the course is great. You really have to give everything as soon as you get out of that gate.”
Bolton, who had consistently placed in the top three in each of his heats and his semi-final, was pleased with second place. “I’m really happy with the result. It was a worthwhile trip down here and a fantastic event.” Course designer and New Zealand enduro champion, Chris Birch, fought back from a poor start to take the final spot on the podium.
Featuring for the first time ever at Red Bull City Scramble was a water feature where riders had to traverse a 10m ladder bridge partially submerged in Waitamata Harbour. This section of the course quickly became a crowd favourite, with two riders overcooking it on the corner coming into the bridge and seeing their bikes fly off into the sea.
While these mishaps put paid to their chances of victory once and for all, they endeared the riders to the huge crowd and earned Quade Young the Red Bull City Scramble ‘Bugger’ award on a day of good vibes and incredible bike skills.
All images copyright Red Bull/ Miles Holden