Cold and wet conditions greeted competitors on the final day of the 2013 Roof of Africa. With more than 10 riders failing to make it to the finish on Friday and spending the night in the Mountains, it was going to prove to be another extremely challenging day for all the riders.
Chris Birch, Graham Jarvis, Blake Gudzeit and Altus De Wet were all penalized 3 minutes overnight for failing to report to DSP 2 on Friday, but Birch and Jarvis still held an substantial lead over the rest of the field and lead out this morning’s start just seconds apart.
It was evident right from the beginning that Jarvis was on a mission as he began to reel in Birch coming down Bushman’s Pass. Conditions were so bad that the Clerk of the Course decided to remove the first major pass of the day. But next up was Mokopu Pass, in the race for the first time, and Birch and Jarvis arrived together. Reports filtered back to race headquarters that by the summit of Mokopu, Graham Jarvis had put 25 minutes into Birch.
Ben Hemingway was feeling the strains of Friday’s efforts and was passed by Scott Bouverie and Blake Gudzeit – who were locked in a battle to be the first South African across the line.
Graham Jarvis is a master of wet and slippery conditions and this became more and more evident through the morning. Approaching the final ascent of Bushman’s Pass, Jarvis was over 50 min ahead of Birch and romped home to an emphatic win on his Husqvarna.
With Birch securing the runner-up result, Gudzeit and Bouverie were at it, wheel to wheel, the whole day and provided a dramatic finish in front of the enthusiastic crowd, scattered across the pass. In the end Bouverie did enough to take third.
Only 24 riders were able to finish the Gold class today and it looks like, once again, there will be riders stuck in the dark and forced to spend the night in the Mountains this evening.
For everyone, the 2013 Roof of Africa had lived up to it’s reputation of being the Mother of all Hard Enduros…
2013 Roof of Africa Overall Results:
1. Graham Jarvis
2. Chris Birch
3. Scott Bouverie