In 33 editions, never a foreign rider had managed to get his name in the winners of the event. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider, 3rd in 2018, dominated the 3-day race. Two British, Jamie Mc Canney and Nathan Watson reach the podium.
As usual every last day of the event, the starting order was reversed and the “big” numbers started at 7:30 am on the 185 km Gévaudan Aubrac circuit, under a new sky loaded with water, and cold as bonus. At the start of this last day of racing, the final victory seems promised to Josep Garcia (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), holding a lead of more than 30 seconds. Unless incident, at the “regular”, the highest step is for him. However, nothing is decided yet between four riders (McCanney, Tarroux, Gauthier, Watson), with only two seconds difference after two days of racing. In the first special, Jamie Mc Canney (Yamaha Outsiders Racing) wins with less than a second on Josep Garcia, while Julien Gauthier (Yamaha Bonneton 2 roues), 3rd, seems determined not to let go. Nathan Watson (Red Bull Factory Racing KTM), is 4th, while Jérémy Tarroux (Sherco Racing Factory), 12th, lost big on this first time.
An international dimension
In the SP2, the first day’s trio is again in the lead: Josep Garcia, Jamie Mc Canney, Nathan Watson overpower the first 3 places, ahead of Christophe Nambotin and Julien Gauthier, who still touches the final podium. Josep Garcia does not seem ready to “manage” his lead and wait quietly the end of the day: he is again in the SP3, followed by Théo Espinasse and Nathan Watson, not to mention Julien Gauthier in the same second as Watson. In the penultimate special, Jérémy Tarroux steals a victory to the Spaniard. Then it’s Jamie Mc Canney who scratches the SP5. If the French drivers, experienced on this race, reacted well on Saturday, and Sunday, it was not enough to contain the trio who won the first day: Josep Garcia, for his 2nd participation, won hands down this 33rd edition, 42 seconds ahead of Jamie Mc Canney. Nathan Watson reaches the third step of the podium. Beyond the historic victory of a foreign rider, it is a very high level 100% international podium. At the age of 22, Josep Garcia already has an eloquent track record: 3rd Trèfle Lozérien 2018, 4th WESS 2018, World Enduro Champion E2 2017, Vice World Champion Enduro Youth Cup 2015. Ditto for Jamie McCanney 2nd Trèfle Lozérien AMV 2017, Youth Cup World Champion in 2013 and twice Vice World Champion. As for Nathan Watson, he won the Le Touquet 2019 Enduropal, among others … Julien Gauthier has resisted well but he must be satisfied with 4th place (1.5 sec from the podium!) In front of Jérémy Tarroux, 5th. Théo Espinasse had a great end of the race and finished 6th and 1st Junior. Christophe Nambotin (GasGas) stayed in 7th place. Emmanuel Albepart (Yamaha Bonneton 2 roues) is in 8th position, ahead of extreme racing specialist Jonny Walker (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing). It is still a British, Joseph Wootton (Husqvarna) who closes the Top 10.
Antoine Méo, who started with number 200, finishes 19th. On the Lozerian side: Luc Maliges is first national in 21st place scratch, Laurent Charbonnel wins as Veteran in 48th place (such a Lozerian number!). And Samantha Tichet wins the female category (101e).
Eventually, the traditional Thierry Castan Trophy was canceled due to weather conditions.
Josep Garcia: “Getting my first win on the WESS in 2019 and writing a little bit of history by becoming the first non-French winner here at the Trèfle Lozérien is incredible. The conditions really didn’t suit me – I’m not really a big fan of muddy, slippery ground. But I did everything in each special and it all went perfectly. Coming directly from the Extreme Lagares was not easy, but I knew this race was going to be important for my WESS championship. “
Jamie McCanney: “From the beginning of the special races, I knew that Josep Garcia would be the pilot to watch. When conditions were not too wet, or when they were better at the 450, I managed to win specials. And that makes me really happy. But Garcia was very strong throughout the race. I have been away from enduro for some time. First because of a shoulder injury and surgery, then focusing on the championship. Coming here and getting this result is really great. Despite the weather, it was a great challenge. “
Nathan Watson: “I’m really happy with my third overall place. I had not participated in other enduro of this type since the Trèfle 2018, so I did not know what to expect, but I was sure it would suit me. I held good for 3 days, being regular on the 15 specials, which was really important. I really liked riding the 450. Being able to ride smoothly in these conditions helped me a lot. It was really tight until the end and finishing 3rd is a perfect conclusion. “
Sunday 19 May top ten score:
1 GARCIA Josep 00:21:21.170
2 MCCANNEY Jamie 00:21:33.077 (+11,907)
3 WATSON Nathan 00:21:36.852 (+15,682)
4 GAUTHIER Julien 00:21:38.621 (+17,451)
5 TARROUX Jérémy 00:21:51.774 (+30,604)
6 ESPINASSE Théo 00:21:58.363 (+37,193)
7 WALKER Jonny 00:22:02.063 (+40,893)
8 NAMBOTIN Christophe 00:22:03.402 (+42,232)
9 REDONDI Giacomo 00:22:13.514 (+52,344)
10 MIROIR Jérémy 00:22:17.255 (+56,085)
Trèfle Lozérien AMV 2019 top 10 final score
1 GARCIA Josep 01:03:07.557
2 MCCANNEY Jamie 01:03:49.586 (+42,029)
3 WATSON Nathan 01:03:55.612 (+48,055)
4 GAUTHIER Julien 01:03:57.013 (+49,456)
5 TARROUX Jeremy 01:04:10.136 (+1:02.579)
6 ESPINASSE Theo 01:05:04.311 (+1:56.754)
7 NAMBOTIN Christophe 01:05:10.817 (+2:03.260)
8 ALBEPART Emmanuel 01:05:21.908 (+2:14.351)
9 WALKER Jonny 01:05:31.888 (+2:24.331)
10 WOOTTON Joseph Vernon 01:05:52.828 (+2:45.271)