BLOG – WALKER’S GOING FOR THE SEA TO SKY WIN
As defending champion of the Red Bull Sea to Sky, Jonny Walker heads to Turkey with only winning on his mind. Enjoying a whirlwind summer of success, can he add this race to Erzberg and Romaniacs victories? Jonny certainly thinks so…
“I’m proper excited for the Red Bull Sea to Sky. Itching to get going. It kind of feels like an eternity since I last raced but it’s actually only been a couple of weeks since the Red Bull 111 Megawatt and then about a month before that the Red Bull Romaniacs. To be honest I think this summer has been even better than I hoped for and that’s a lot of the reason why I want to keep racing, racing, racing.
“Getting the job done at Erzberg and Romaniacs has given me a massive boost of motivation to keep my winning streak alive at the Red Bull Sea to Sky. I always look forward to racing in Turkey. And because it’s sort of the last big Hard Enduro of the year I want to end 2014 on a high.
“It’s one of my highlights of the year and in 2013 winning the event was huge for me. It put to rest a couple of difficult months and gave me a belief that I was more than capable of winning races.
“This weekend I want to stay on top of the pile. I want to win. It’s going to be a hard battle – there’s a lot of guys that are hungry to win too – so I need to try and keep one step ahead. Having a three-part event is a unique format for the race and I feel it suits me. The Beach Race and Forest Race give you a chance to settle into things and get in tune with the bike and terrain. Come Sunday’s main event you’re loosened up and ready to go.
“In a race like the Sea to Sky tactics can come into play. The first half of the race is fast and flowing and then the higher up the mountain you climb things slow down. The trail narrows and it gets pretty tough. But towards the end it sort of opens up again, the pace quickens and it’s a fast run into the finish.
“Last year I thought a lot about tactics and where my strengths lay. I busted out of the start as hard as I could and nailed all the early sections. I was right on the edge and didn’t hold anything back. It was a tactic nobody had ever really used before in Hard Enduro. It sort of caught everyone off guard and definitely helped me to win.
“But the trouble with having done that is everyone now will be expecting a repeat for 2014 so I’m going to have to try and come up with something different. I have a few ideas up my sleeve depending on how things develop early on. One thing for sure is that a good start will be crucial so I’ll be battling for a good position early on. Then as long as can I stay out of trouble I’ll be able to give it everything I’ve got to fight for the win.”