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Manuel Lettenbichler victory on the first offroad day at Red Bull Romaniacs.

Manuel Lettenbichler victory on the first offroad day at Red Bull Romaniacs.

Following on from Tuesday’s prologue, the fourth round of the World Enduro Super Series saw competitors get down to the serious business of racing, with Manuel Lettenbichler topping the opening day in the mountains over Wade Young and Jonny Walker.
For the first of four Enduro days, competitors from the 53 nations represented in this year’s race were thrown in the deep end as they faced a 10-hour day of racing to complete the 160-kilometre long course. Starting in Sibiu, the point-to-point route took them high into the Carpathian Mountains as they battled their way through rain, mud, slippery forestry tracks and mountain top peaks to reach the finish line at the Straja ski resort. Regarded by many as one of the most physically demanding days at Red Bull Romaniacs for some time, the 15th edition of this race is pulling no punches.

Wade Young of South Africa performs during the first race day of the Red Bull Romaniacs in Sibiu, Romania on July 25, 2018.
Excellent second place for Young

At the head of the Gold class, the battle for top honours was fierce between Lettenbichler and Young, with both riders hungry to establish themselves as the early race leader. Pushing hard from the off, Young quickly caught Taddy Blazusiak who started first on the road, as Lettenbichler worked his way past Walker, Billy Bolt and then Blazusiak to catch up to Young.
For the majority of the day, the duo remained in close company with Young holding the upper hand on the high-speed sections and Lettenbichler reigning him back in on the technical climbs. Nearing the end, Young broke away to cross the finish line first but it wasn’t enough as on corrected time, Lettenbichler stole his thunder taking top honours.

Jonny Walker, I think I caught up to Wade (Young) at about checkpoint eight and we were tight for most of the day. The conditions were so wet and muddy, finding traction on the climbs was nearly impossible.

Manuel Lettenbichler “Towards the end, Wade pulled away but on corrected time I knew I had enough to take the win. It’s awesome to take my second ever stage win at Romaniacs and in such difficult conditions is amazing.”
The return of Gómez is being very positive

Pleased with his effort for the day, Young established himself into a strong position for the week ahead…
“When Mani (Lettenbichler) caught up to me we sort of rode together but I managed to keep a wheel in front all of the time. Any time I made a mistake I could hear him close behind and that kept me pushing all day.
“Towards the end I had a little extra in reserve and broke away but not enough to take the win. Overall I’m happy though, I’m riding well in these conditions and feel like I’ve more to give.”

The 15th edition of Red Bull Romaniacs is go, with Britain’s Billy Bolt storming ahead for the prologue win. Here’s how it all went down.
Frustrated by a mistake riddled day, Walker was disappointed not to have joined the leading duo in the fight for victory. But despite his errors, third overall came as a surprise to the two-time Red Bull Romaniacs winner and WESS points leader.
I’m actually surprised to be third because I made a bunch of mistakes.
Jonny Walker
“I missed a fuel stop and had to beg some hobby guys for fuel to keep me going”, admitted Walker. “Hopefully that’s all those rookie errors shaken off and I can weigh into the mix a bit more tomorrow.”

Also not playing his best hand in the mud, Graham Jarvis admitted to running out of energy in the slippery conditions. He ended his day in an uncharacteristic fourth, ahead of team-mate Billy Bolt in fifth.
I basically ran out of energy so I am just happy to get it to the end.
Graham Jarvis
“The rain made all the hills really difficult – there were no easy ones out there so that’s what has sapped all my energy and it’s been a really long day”, explained Jarvis. “This afternoon I started to get tired and lost time on the guys in front. All I can do is come back tomorrow and keep pushing – keep battling away and see where we end up.”

For the second offroad day, riders face another 160-kilometre loop that starts and finishes in the Straja ski resort.
Round four of the World Enduro Super Series takes place at Red Bull Romaniacs in Sibiu, Romania from July 24-28. Watch it all live on Red Bull TV.

Provisional Results – Red Bull Romaniacs, Off Road Day 1

Gold Class
Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM)
Wade Young (Sherco)
Jonny Walker (KTM)
Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna)
Billy Bolt (Husqvarna)
Paul Bolton (KTM)
Taddy Blazusiak (KTM)
Alfredo Gómez (Husqvarna)
Travis Teasdale (Beta)
Mario Roman (Sherco)

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