Sibiu, Romania, July 16th, 2016 – After torrents of rain yesterday and last night, the final day of theRed Bull Romaniacs greeted riders with blue skies in the morning. However, it was too late for the mild, sunny weather to dry out the mud-baths that had developed over night. The riders were in for a “health-spa” treatment with a mix of water, mud and sheep muck! Not exactly comfortable “resting areas” were waiting for them in the steep uphills.
The last hours of the 2016 Red Bull Romaniacs were all about pulling through and staying on the bike, despite worlds of pain, cramps and exhaustion. In the Gold class, 17 out of 51 riders made it to the start of the last day, at 06.30am in the morning, ready to find out who the world`s toughest Extreme Enduro riders are. With the “Brexit” earlier in the race, new nations were able to move up into the Top 10, led by South Africa. Jarvis was the only UK rider, followed by Gomez (2nd, ESP), Young (3rd, ZAF), Roman (4th, ESP), Bouverie (5th, ZAF), Cyprian (6th, CZE), Teasdale (7th, ZAF), Leon (8th, ESP), Curtis (9th, USA), Kovacs (10th, ROU).
The fastest rider to take off in the morning was a highly committed Wade Young, pulling the best riding times, closely followed by Alfredo Gomez. Graham Jarvis had started first, with an overall lead of ca. 30 minutes. Jarvis displayed a sovereign example of strategic riding, cruising at a pleasant pace after the start, letting Young and Gomez pass – to plow the trail ahead of him. In “Long Walk Junior”, a close to vertical uphill, he even stopped behind a struggling Wade Young, encouraging him to push harder and then continued seemingly effortless. At some point, in the gnarly sections before the Service Point, Jarvis got impatient and decided to move on, again rapidly gaining time on his runners-up. Wade Young passed him later, going on a high speed chase through the rest of the day. Riding by himself, Jarvis played it safe and rode towards his 5th Red Bull Romaniacs victory.
To most of the riders, Jarvis` technical skills, endurance and his speed are considered to be in a different league, somewhat superhuman: they believe “he can fly”. Jarvis: “It is incredible to get a 5th win. The last couple of years I’ve been a bit unlucky so I’m just happy to get another win, can’t believe I can still do it – even at 41! I struggled a bit with concentration being the last day and worrying about things going wrong but I tried to stay positive and focused on the track. Wade was flying, he caught me early and brought Gomez with him so we were riding together for a bit. I managed to get a bit of a gap again on the hard bits but then made mistakes after the service point and Wade got by me. It’s good to see the young riders coming up, they’re so fast, some of them, but at the Red Bull Romaniacs, experience counts. They will be more Jonny’s problem than mine!”
Gomez, who finished the day 3rd, placed 2nd overall. He had delivered a consistent top-performance over all five days, and fortified his place among the top-dogs of Extreme Enduro. Gomez: “The rain last night was impressive and we did not know what to expect from the track today. The first 30km were fast and fluent riding, but the Gold-loop before the service point was probably the hardest one of the race.” When Gomez met a Red Bull Romaniacs track manager at the Service Point, he was furious: “You can’t throw this kind of stuff at us on the fourth day…!” He also commented, that this was his toughest Red Bull Romaniacs so far.
Wade Young finished the day ahead of Gomez, with a convincing start to finish victory, snatching the overall 3rd place from Mario Roman. Young had been seen unleashing a frenzy of fast riding all day, ripping through the countryside in MotoCross style. He was only struggling in one of the carnage sections before the Service point. His good application of strategy and the constant push throughout the race secured Young the 3rd spot on the podium. Young: “I got off to a good start and just pushed hard through the day. I had a collapsed moose just before the end but I was happy with the day. It was a very tough race but I enjoyed it, it’s good to be at the finish line and I’m really happy with my finish today and hopefully will be 3rd overall”
Red Bull Romaniacs rookie Mario Roman delivered the most impressive newcomer performance. Until the last minute he looked like a safe bet for a place on the Gold class podium – but had to watch Young snatch it from him after a crash. Romano: “Today was not so good for me, I had a huge crash looking at my GPS and hitting a hole! I tried hard after that but it wasn’t possible to overtake Wade today. I’m happy with my first Red Bull Romaniacs but a little sad for today’s mistakes because I was riding good the other days”
An elated Kirsten Landman (ZAF) reached her ultimate goal today and became the first ever female rider to complete the Red Bull Romaniacs Silver Class. After not finishing in 2015, Landman was training all year for this. Despite surviving the toughest day of riding ever for her on Day 3, she showed consistent results throughout all four Offroad days and the prologue.
The 2016 Silver class showed up with 77 out of 97 riders at the starting gate of Offroad Day 4. The Silver class was dominated without exception throughout the race by Andy Noakley (GBR). Andy finished with the overall victory, ca. 40 minutes ahead of the runner-up Angus Macdonald (NZL). He is now most certainly ready for the Gold class again. Hamish Macdonald (NZL) finished third.
From the 221 competitors in Bronze Class,150 started today. They were on fire, ripping the trails fast and hard. The top guns raced like superstars, in the groove like Gold Class riders. Miroslav Culka (CZE), 2nd in the prologue and 1st on all four of the Offroad days, was awarded the top spot on the podium followed by Tönu Kallast (EST), taking the Silver and Toomas Triisa (EST) the Bronze.
On Offroad Day 4, 47 starters remained out of 105 registered Iron Class riders. They showed great spirits after having faced real Red Bull Romaniacs-like race conditions, tough weather and demanding terrain. For many it was their first time experiencing Extreme Enduro and the general feeling was that it lived up to it’s name. Many confirmed that this was no “walk in the park”, collapsing at the finish. It was a close race with Oscar Hernandez (ESP) taking the Gold, Marcel Vogel (CHE) taking the Silver and Fernando Hernandez the Bronze.
Martin Freinademetz: “Oooops, we did it again! There has been some comments that “This” was too hard. But the performance levels of Extreme Enduro are progressively rising – and we are trying to keep up with it. And at the end of the day, this is where the world’s best are battling it out. Luckily we had moderate weather: the little thunderstorm yesterday we dealt with by adjusting our flexible system of regulations and some tuning of the track today. I am stoked with the results and send a huge “Thank you” to my family and my awesome team for a great job done. For those who got injured, we hope for a quick recovery!”
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