Graham Jarvis has put the agony of Sunday's disqualification at the Red Bull Hare Scramble behind him and has arrived in Sibiu, Romania, looking for a win. Christian Panny caught up with him.
What’s your goal for this year's Red Bull Romaniacs?
I want my third victory. I won’t be happy with anything less. Red Bull Romaniacs is one of the toughest off-road events in the world. It’s very difficult to be consistently good over the whole four days. You can collapse at any time, there can be problems with the bike, or you can do something stupid, like get lost or miss a checkpoint [Graham laughs at this point]. I’m going to do absolutely everything I can to get my third win here.
You’ve taken part in hard enduro races all over the world, but why do you think Red Bull Romaniacs is the toughest of them all?
Red Bull Romaniacs lasts for four days, and they’re four very long days. It is really difficult to ride here, to keep riding at the best possible level for hours at a time, keeping your concentration and, as far as possible, not making any mistakes.
You had a great duel with Chris Birch last year. How do you plan to beat him this time?
Chris and I are about even in the fast stages here. But Chris is good at navigating under pressure – and that’s where he can take time off me. But I think I have the edge in the extreme sections. I’ve gained a lot of time there in previous years, so I reckon that’s where I’ll strike.
There are lots of camera crews covering Red Bull Romaniacs, but they can only cover a fraction of the course. Most of the time you're on your own and unobserved. Let us into a secret: how often do you fall off?
[Graham laughs again] I have maybe five big crashes throughout the week. For various reasons.
Who are your big rivals here?
Chris Birch and Andreas Lettenbichler, certainly. Both of them have a lot of experience. And we'll see how to beat Jonny Walker. He’s very young and is getting better all the time. But Jonny is the great unknown around here because it’s his first visit to the Romaniacs. But I still expect him to be very strong.