Sibiu, Romania, July 13th, 2016 – As expected, Offroad Day 1 was a boot-camp for most of the participants – a sharp reminder that it is Red Bull Romaniacs time again – and NOT a “Kindergeburtstag” as Martin Freinademetz frequently remarks. When the first riders of the Bronze and Gold class hit the track at 6.45 in the morning, they knew that they were in for some trouble. And it was even worse than expected. In fact, for the Gold class it was extremely tough going until checkpoint 1. The track left most of the usual top-riders puzzled and eating dust from the new faces at the top. Wade Young (ZAF), Travis Teasdale (ZAF) and Mini Letti (GER) arrived at the Service Point first, reporting some tough challenges and fast riding in dusty conditions. Alfredo Gomez (ESP) and Graham Jarvis (GBR) arrived several minutes later, and at that time, there was still no sign of Jonny Walker (GBR).
Photo: Wade Young / Photo Credit: Olivia Till
One of the riders who were quick to recognize the absence of the top-dogs as an opportunity, and turn it to his advantage, was Wade Young. When things got really nasty in the morning, he rose to the occasion – especially in the “Appetizer” which had cost him the podium in 2015. Later, after the service point, Young continued to push, showing some strategy skills, that distinguish Red Bull Romaniacs veterans. He found himself some riding buddies to cross the unwelcoming Romanian wilderness together with and teamed up with Graham Jarvis (GBR) and Alfredo Gomez (ESP). This earned him the victory for the day, with a better time than Gomez, who was the first to arrive at the finish. Gomez ended up 2nd and Jarvis only finished 4th in today’s ranking. The third place went to Travis Teasdale, leaving the Offroad Day 1 podium dominated by 2 South Africans
Wade Young: “I started as 8th this morning – so quite far back. I tried to push hard at the beginning before everyone started to spread out. Pretty much rode in a group with Graham in the morning and Gomez and Mani after the SP. Half way through Gomez pulled away and I stayed with Jarvis. I didn’t try to push too hard, just kept it together, it’s going to be a long race. It was 8 hours in the saddle today – and a hard 8 hours. Today was meant to be one of the easier days…!”
Gomez: “This morning, before the SP I tried to push as much as possible but I did not manage to find my flow. Then, after the SP I decided to take more risks. I was riding in groups with Graham and Wade until 1 hour before the finish. After passing them on a downhill, I just went for it and rode by myself until the finish.”
Photo: Afredo Gomez / Photo Credit: Yana Stancheva
Jarvis: “Lots of long grass for me today, being the first out on the trails. The “Appetizer” was probably the hardest section. After the SP the riding was slow and went on forever with loose rocks and scattered trees you just had to keep picking your line. I really regret that Walker and Bolton are out: It is always sad because whoever wins, wants to say they beat everyone – and not because of DNF. I’m glad to just still be in the race and hope to just keep going.”
Photo: Graham Jarvis / Photo Credit: Olivia Till
When Walker finally arrived, having ridden the last 20 minutes on one leg, he came bearing bad news. His previous injury from earlier this year had taken a massive hit and potentially re-fractured. It ended the race for him. Walker: “I was riding through long grass in 3rd or 4th gear, so quite fast and I clipped my toe on a hidden tree stump which pulled my leg off the bike. It was about 20 minutes from the SP, there were a few of us riding together. When my leg ripped off the bike I fell forward and landed on my “crown jewels” which winded me, I whiskey throttled and the bike shot off. It was like a comedy of someone who has never ridden a bike before, I “Ronny Mac’ed” it ! When I got up, my leg was killing so I rode all the way on my left leg, which is also in pain now.” We hope you are going to be all right Jonny, and feel better soon!
Photo: Jonny Walker/ Photo Credit: Yana Stancheva
Shortly after, more bad news arrived, this time from Paul Bolton. With blurry vision and severe neck pain, Bolton also opted out between checkpoint 3 and the Service Point. Bolton: “I’ve trained super hard this year for the Red Bull Romaniacs. I’m so disappointed to be pulling out of the competition after just a few hours on the bike. You need to be 100% to fully focus on the tough terrain here, so it makes no sense for me to continue in great pain and risk a bigger injury. I’ve come here for a really good result and unfortunately it’s not to be this year! Good luck to all the rest of the competitors. I will hopefully be out on the tracks cheering you along.”
Photo: Paul Bolton/ Photo Credit: Yana Stancheva
Andy Noakley (GBR), who scored a podium (3rd) in yesterday`s prologue, celebrates his birthday with a victory for the day in the Silver class, with just a 2 minute lead over 2nd, Angus Macdonald (NZL). Emanuel Gyenes (ROU), finished 3rd, almost 20 minutes later.
Photo: Andy Noakley Photo Credit: Olivia Till
In Bronze Class Miroslav Culka from CZE with a time of 04:18:32 2 Tõnu Kallast RABACONDA EST came in Second with a time of 04:19:37 and Josef Westgarth GBR came in 3rd at 04:26:28 just over 8min behind leader some long and tricky single trails through the forest for the first hour was tough going but after that some panorama trails then attacking some great single trails.
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Full Results and Live Feed at http://www.redbullromaniacs.com/ro/results/results-2016/day1/