Graham Jarvis’ victory at the 2012 Red Bull Romaniacs has put the British biker in the history books. Graham is now a three-time winner of the arduous Enduro race, the same the number of Romaniacs titles as Dakar Rally legend Cyril Despres.
Completing the historic podium behind second place Andreas Lettenbichler was Jonny Walker. The rising star of Enduro becomes the youngest ever rider to secure a top three finish at Red Bull Romaniacs - and at his first attempt. Chris Birch, meanwhile, fought back from a tough day on the second day to finish fourth overall.
The fourth and final day of Romaniacs proved to be the toughest test of the entire race. With competitors already low on energy, one last great effort was required to get over the finish line.
Something that helped the bikers on previous days was the glorious sunshine in Romania and once again there was no rainfall to complicate the course on the final day. Race organizer Martin Freinademetz admits he can’t control the weather but there are plenty of other jobs that need doing to ensure a smooth event.
“We have learned our lesson over the last nine years and we’re trying to get better each year. Our main objective is to send the riders home satisfied with their own performance and satisfied how this performance gets recognized and awarded.”
Martin was surprised how many riders finished last year but this time he had some help making sure there were plenty of medals to go around.
“Last year we got caught cold with way more finishers than we expected because of the great conditions. This year the conditions are even better so we have about 80% finishers. Thanks to my wife Sigrid, we have enough finisher medals for everyone.”
'We're extremely happy that we had such a great racing event to celebrate the sport of Extreme Enduro!' – Martin Freinademetz
As Red Bull Romaniacs evolves Martin knows he has to pay special attention to getting the level of difficult just right to satisfy everybody from the Pro-class to the Hobby-class riders.
“We’re trying to offer a good mix to all Hard Enduro riders. We do not want to create a four-day trial event, we are a hard enduro rally that offers equal chances for fast and technical riders alike. Competitors with trials background already have a slight advantage, but we will not increase the emphasis on this. We are also content with the high number of finishers in these great conditions. The race will become an unforgettable memory for them! If the race would have taken place two weeks ago, it would have been a different story – with over 50% drop-outs for sure!”
With the podium places decided and the medals handed out, Martin reflected on the huge effort that happens off the course as well as on it during Red Bull Romaniacs.
“We have marked and prepared about 600km of tracks, employed 400 people, distributed 20.000 litres of fuel and 390 litres of two-stroke oil to the 16 tank-points, built four service points and established 40 checkpoints, provided food and accommodation for riders and team, arranged world-class rescue services and security.
"We are as tired and relieved as the riders and extremely happy that we had such a great racing event to celebrate the sport of Extreme Enduro! A big 'Thank you' to my team and the participants for making this happen! This is a perfect position to start preparations for the Red Bull Romaniacs 2013, which will be our 10th anniversary!”
1 Graham Jarvis, Britain, Husaberg
2 Andreas Lettenbichler, Germany, Husqvarna
3 Jonny Walker, Britain, KTM
4 Chris Birch, New Zealand, KTM
5 Xavier Galindo, Spain, Husberg
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