Tag Archives: Romaniacs

Manuel Lettenbichler the victor | 2019 Red Bull Romaniacs


Securing the win on the final day of racing in Romania, Manuel Lettenbichler claimed his debut victory in WESS. He was joined on the podium by Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Alfredo Gomez (ESP) and Graham Jarvis (GB).

Red Bull Romaniacs Final Manuel Lettenbichler
Manuel Lettenbichler

Holding the provisional lead at the end of the penultimate day, Lettenbichler was determined to claim the top step of the podium on the final day of racing. With a slender one-minute and seven-second lead over Gomez, the German pushed hard from the off and following the early climbs maintained his position at the front.

Red Bull Romaniacs Final Overview
Red Bull Romaniacs

Gomez appeared to struggle to find his rhythm early on, dropping back behind a charging Jonny Walker (GB). The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider was on top form and provisionally led on corrected time entering the service point.

But with heavy rain greeting riders, the already challenging trails proved slippery and unpredictable. Gomez found his rhythm in the rain and brought the fight back to Lettenbichler. The duo swapped and changed position with each passing section.

Red Bull Romaniacs Final Manuel Lettenbichler
Manuel Lettenbichler

Lettenbichler entered the Gusterita finishing arena first and worked hard to complete the remaining climbs as quickly as possible. Anxiously waiting for Gomez to arrive, the KTM rider kept one eye on the clock and one on his rival as the seconds ticked by.

Red Bull Romaniacs Final Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

The nerves soon turned to joy and with Lettenbichler declared the winner, the celebrations could begin. For Gomez it was a case of close, but not close enough. Despite giving his best effort on arguably the toughest day of this year’s race it was not to be and he had to settle for the runner-up result. Putting hopes of another victory in this year’s championship on hold, Jarvis ended his week on the third step of the podium.

Red Bull Romaniacs Final Alfredo Gomez
Alfredo Gomez

Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER)

“I’m over the moon right now, I really can’t believe it. This race is really something special and to win here feels amazing. The event is so long and so hard and anything can happen, so I’m so pumped to take the win. It’s been an incredible five days and so gnarly, especially with all the rain we’ve had. Some of the uphills that would have been tricky anyway have become near impossible today. It’s 10 years since my dad won Red Bull Romaniacs so it’s great to be able to match his achievement – the Lettenbichlers are definitely going to celebrate tonight!”

Red Bull Romaniacs Final Manuel Lettenbichler Andreas
Ten years after his father Andreas took victory at Romaniacs, Manuel Lettenbichler won the 2019 edition of the famous event

Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna – ESP)

“It’s been an amazing race, I’m so happy to get on the podium. The first day didn’t go so well for me but then on the second day I had a better feeling on the bike and was able to take the win. The last two days also went well and it was great to have such a close fight with Mani and Graham. Obviously I’m disappointed not to have taken the win but it still feels great to come second after such a long and demanding race. Thank you to everyone who helped me over the event – my team and all the fans – I’ll come back even stronger next year.”

Red Bull Romaniacs Final Alfredo Gomez
Alfredo Gomez

Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna – GB)

“It was definitely the hardest day today – it was so slippery on the hills after the rain and there was a lot of pushing. I’m happy just to get to the finish today – I was going well up to the service point then I had a crash and lost my GPS. After that I just tried to tag onto the other riders so I knew where to go. I did get lost a couple of times, so I’m really happy to get third. Overall the event has gone well, it’s been one of the closest and I’m happy that I was still in contention right up to the end.”

Red Bull Romaniacs Final Graham Jarvis
Graham Jarvis

With the top three proving themselves the main contenders, Blazusiak was a definite improver as the week wore on. Hampered by his technical issue on day one, a strong ride on the final two days brought him back up the leaderboard for fourth. A really strong ride from Walker for third on Off Road Day Four, saw him complete the top five in the final classification.

Red Bull Romaniacs Final Taddy Blazusiak
Taddy Blazusiak

Taddy Blazusiak

“Considering what happened on day one, I’m happy with how things went. On the second day, I knew I had lost a lot of time so just kept to a solid pace to avoid making any mistakes. After that things went well and I was able to push. I was hoping for a podium, but unfortunately, I simply lost too much time early on. Still, to place fourth in what is my first ever finish at Romaniacs is not bad at all. This race is tough and especially like today when it’s raining it really pushes you to the limit. Experience and set up is also really important so I’ll take what I’ve learned and come back stronger next year.”

Red Bull Romaniacs Final Taddy Blazusiak
Taddy Blazusiak

Jonny Walker

“Obviously it’s not been the best Romaniacs for me, it would have been nice to get on top of the podium again, but I have to take some positives from the race. I started off strong but was struggling on a lot of the hills and that was tiring me out too much, especially as my wrist is still a concern. I kept going though and then for the last day we made some big changes to the bike and suspension and it seemed to work really well – I led the final day for a good while. I’m pleased with how things ended up and feel I’ve finally turned things around now for the WESS championship. Really looking forward to my home race at Hawkstone Park now.”

Red Bull Romaniacs Final Jonny Walker
Jonny Walker

Behind the top five, drama struck Sherco Factory Racing’s Mario Roman. Holding fourth overall, the Spaniard had a bad day at the office in seventh. Despite a strong three days previous, he slipped to seventh overall. His loss was Billy Bolt’s gain, with the British rider moving up to sixth overall.

Red Bull Romaniacs Final Mario Roman
Mario Roman

Signing off on an impressive week, JD Gunnex KTM Racing privateer David Cyprian (CZ) placed ninth in the rain to end round five eighth overall. TTR Officine Rigamonti’s Pol Tarres (ESP) and Josep Garcia (KTM-ESP) completed the top 10 in ninth and tenth respectively.

Red Bull Romaniacs Final Josep Garcia Montana
Josep Garcia

Anthony Solar was the first Australian home in the Gold Class at Red Bull Romaniacs. With a Silver top 10 finish on his first trip in 2017, he returned to the event this year to go for Gold against the best Extreme riders in the World. He completed the event in 23rd outright. 

Red Bull Romaniacs Final Graham Jarvis
These three Aussies ran the same course as hard enduro legends like Grahama Jarvis (pictured).

Countrymen Chris Perry and Adam Giles also took on the Gold Class challenge and while Perry made it to the last day he had to join Giles in the list of non-finishers. Still, massive respect to these guys for taking on Romaniacs in the premier category.  Chris Perry spoke to Wildwood promoter Steven Braszell after the event. 

Chris Perry

“Couldn’t make it through the race track today, I was just too worn out and then with all the rain the track was just impossible. I’m totally fucked now but I’m definitely training and coming back next year! Some of these gold sections we done are just so far ridiculous I can’t explain it!”


Silver

In the Silver class a final day win for Britain’s Sam Winterburn couldn’t deny Spain’s Josu Artola the top step of the podium. Opting to play safe and settle for second was enough to see the Spaniard win the Silver category outright. Spain’s Alberto Aramburu placed third overall in Silver.

Red Bull Romaniacs Final Final Climb
The final climb at Red Bull Romaniacs

Josu Artola (Husqvarna – ESP) – Silver Class Winner

“I’m so pleased to win the Silver Class. I won the first three days and it would have been great to have posted the fastest time today, but I decided it would be better to take it steady to make sure I got the victory. The hills were so slippery and at Red Bull Romaniacs anything can happen, so I just followed today’s winner to the finish. It feels great to win here at one of the toughest races – I’m so happy.”

Shane Moss was the first Aussie home in the Silver category, finishing 18th while Adam Poole was 24th and Tim Gibson 39th. 


Bronze

Romania’s Radu Sardarescu grabbed the final day’s win, but shadowing him home for second saw Poland’s Marcin Welglarz claim the overall Bronze class victory. In the final classification he was joined on the podium by Eric Slominski (USA) and Jean Michel Vigand (FRA).

Red Bull Romaniacs Final Bronze Winner Marcin Weglarz
Poland’s Marcin Welglarz claimed victory in the Bronze category

Brent Brady was the first Australian home in Bronze with a highly creditable sixth place. Countrymen Cameron Brice scored 22nd, Christian Barrett 33rd, Jason Beaton 49th, Raymond Borg 51st, Robert Kingston 73rd and Nicholas Kirk 74th. 


Iron

History was made in the Iron class with Anna Schmolzl becoming the first woman to ever win a category in Red Bull Romaniacs. The German was a model of consistency this week never faltering outside the top three, earning her a commanding 20-minute margin of victory over Danny Melvin (USA) and Mexico’s Eduardo Martinez.

Red Bull Romaniacs WESS Day Anna Schmolzl
Anna Schmolzl became the first woman to ever win a category in Red Bull Romaniacs when she took out the Iron Class

First Aussie home in Iron was Aaron Mcfadzen in 35th.  Dominic Dercole was 48th, Brenden Murphy 63rd and Joshua Devine 64th.

Congratulations and respect to all the Australian riders that had a go, finishing or not. 

Red Bull Romaniacs Final Trying
So near but yet so far for some…

The World Enduro Super Series continues with round six at Hawkstone Park Cross-Country, UK on September 21-22.

Red Bull Romaniacs Final Manuel Lettenbichler
Manuel Lettenbichler now leads Gomez and Jarvis in WESS Championship points standings

2019 Red Bull Romaniacs
Day Four Results

Gold Class

  1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) 5:37:59
  2. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna – ESP) 5:39:16
  3. Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 5:43:27
  4. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna – GB) 5:46:11
  5. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM – POL) 5:53:39
  6. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB) 6:54:00
  7. Nathan Watson (KTM – GB) 6:55:41
  8. Josep Garcia (KTM – ESP) 7:05:03
  9. David Cyprian (KTM – CZ) 7:17:24
  10. Pol Tarres (Husqvarna – ESP) 7:24:43…

Silver Class

  1. Sam Winterburn (GB) 4:57:55
  2. Josu Artola (ESP) 5:02:00
  3. Alberto Aramburu (ESP) 5:06:13
  4. Emanuel Gyenes (ROU) 5:14:09…

Bronze Class

  1. Radu Sardarescu (ROU) 4:33:18
  2. Marcin Welglarz (POL) 4:35:26
  3. Eric Slominski (USA) 4:35:43
  4. Marius Muntean (ROU) 4:37:38
  5. Mark Galbraith (NZL) 4:49:25…

Iron Class

  1. Tom Simpson (GB) 4:11:57
  2. Danny Melvin (USA) 4:17:54
  3. Anna Schmolzl (GER) 4:26:32
  4. Eduardo Martinez (MEX) 4:25:01…

2019 Red Bull Romaniacs
Final Overall Classificiation

Gold Class

  1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) 20:39:51
  2. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna – ESP) 20:42:15
  3. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna – GB) 20:52:12
  4. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM – POL) 21:25:36
  5. Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 21:30:40
  6. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB) 23:16:34
  7. Mario Roman (Sherco – ESP) 23:36:25
  8. David Cyprian (KTM – CZ) 23:48:33
  9. Pol Tarres (Husqvarna – ESP) 24:42:30
  10. Josep Garcia (KTM – ESP) 25:08:26…

Silver Class

  1. Josu Artola (ESP) 18:57:20
  2. Sam Winterburn (GB) 19:39:55
  3. Alberto Aramburu (ESP) 20:18:14
  4. Emanuel Gyenes (ROU) 20:31:54
  5. Dustin McCarthy (USA) 20:35:35…

Bronze Class

  1. Marcin Weglarz (POL) 17:43:32
  2. Eric Slominski (USA) 17:53:43
  3. Jean Michel Vigand (FRA) 18:03:04
  4. Radu Sardarescu (ROU) 18:17:13
  5. Brent Brady (AUS) 18:45:04…

Iron Class

  1. Anna Schmolzl (GER) 16:09:43
  2. Danny Melvin (USA) 16:31:13
  3. Eduardo Martinez (MEX) 16:35:17
  4. Tom Simpson (GB) 16:48:18
  5. Agostino Crema (ITA) 17:11:07…

WESS Championship Standings (After round 5)

  1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) 3570 pts
  2. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna – GB) 3460 pts
  3. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna – ESP) 3164
  4. Mario Roman (Sherco – ESP) 2940 pts
  5. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB) 2725 pts
  6. Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 2700 pts
  7. Josep Garcia (KTM – ESP) 2615 pts
  8. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM – POL) 2590 pts
  9. Nathan Watson (KTM – GB) 2091 pts
  10. Pol Tarres (Husqvarna – ESP) 1965 pts…

WORLD ENDURO SUPER SERIES
2019 SCHEDULE

Round 1: Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares (Portugal) May 10-12
Round 2: Trèfle Lozérien AMV (France) May 17-19
Round 3: Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble (Austria) May 30-June 2
Round 4: Hixpania Hard Enduro (Spain) June 21-23
Round 5: Red Bull Romaniacs (Romania) July 30-August 3
Round 6: Hawkstone Park Cross Country (United Kingdom) September 21-22
Round 7: BR2 Enduro Solsona (Spain) October 5-6
Round 8: GetzenRodeo (Germany) November 2

Source: MCNews.com.au

31 Aussies taking on Red Bull Romaniacs

Jarvis heads bumper 2019 Red Bull Romaniacs entry

The World Enduro Super Series enters the second half of the 2019 season with Britain’s Graham Jarvis leading the title chase on to round five at Red Bull Romaniacs. In the battle to become this year’s Ultimate Enduro Champion the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider tops the standings from Germany’s Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM), with Sherco Factory Racing’s Mario Roman (ESP) close behind in third.

WESS Hixpania Hard Enduro Graham Jarvis
Graham Jarvis – Hixpania Hard Enduro 2019

One of Enduro’s most-popular events, the 16th edition of Red Bull Romaniacs will see competitors travel to Sibiu from far and wide. The United Kingdom has the largest number of competitors at 79, followed by Germany with 60 and Australia with 31. A truly international event, riders from Hong Kong, American Samoa and Indonesia will also take to the start.

Red Bull Romaniacs Day Aussies
Red Bull Romaniacs 2018

Always a challenge, Red Bull Romaniacs has long been regarded as the world’s toughest Hard Enduro Rallye, and for good reason. Gearing up for its 16th edition, to affectionally be known as ‘Sweet 16’, the vast and expansive wilderness of the Carpathian Mountains are sure to serve up plenty of bite to go with the event’s formidable bark.

Red Bull Romaniacs Day Adam Giles
Adam Giles – Red Bull Romaniacs 2018

As per tradition, host city Sibiu will kick things off on Tuesday July 30 with the infamous Urban Prologue, before the bumper entry of competitors from over 50 nations embark on four ultra-demanding and testing off-road days in the surrounding mountains.

Red Bull Romaniacs Day Graham Jarvis
Graham Jarvis – Red Bull Romaniacs 2018

As the fourth championship leader in as many races, Graham Jarvis will arrive in Romania in peak form and off the back of winning rides at rounds three and four. With a record-breaking six Red Bull Romaniacs wins already to his credit, the Husqvarna rider is determined to top the podium once again and with it increase his lead at the top of the WESS standings.

WESS Hixpania Hard Enduro Graham Jarvis
Graham Jarvis claimed the Hixpania Hard Enduro win in 2019

However, a long list of the world’s best Enduro riders will be focused on denying 44-year-old Jarvis his 2019 WESS hat-trick. Sitting just 120 points behind him in second position is Manuel Lettenbichler. The privateer has been on top form throughout the series, edging ever closer to that breakthrough win. In 2018 he was one of the event’s main contenders and will be expecting to fight for victory once more.

WESS Rnd Extreme XL Lagares Sun Manuel Lettenbichler FM
Extreme XL Lagares – Manuel Lettenbichler

Thirty points behind Lettenbichler, Mario Roman in third is another rider delivering the goods in 2019. Already a podium finisher in all Hard Enduro races he has contested, the Sherco rider is eager to add another victory to his WESS tally. A rider who prefers the long days that Red Bull Romaniacs offers, Roman will arrive to Sibiu ready to impress.

WESS Rnd Extreme XL Lagares SunMario Roman FM
Mario Roman claimed the WESS 2019 Round 1 win at the Extreme XL Lagares

As the 2018 winner of Red Bull Romaniacs, Sherco Factory Racing’s Wade Young is a rider who can’t be overlooked. Excited to start the 16th edition of the world’s toughest Hard Enduro Rallye with #1 on his bike, he will be a formidable force in the Carpathian Mountains. The South African is a powerful talent when it comes to mastering the long, energy-sapping off-road days and will be one of the main favourites for glory this time around.

Red Bull Romaniacs Winner Young
Wade Young makes his way to the finish line and victory at Romaniacs 2018

Delivering some career best performances in 2019, Spain’s Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) came agonisingly close to winning round four, just losing out on a tie-breaker to teammate Jarvis. A multi-time podium finisher at Red Bull Romaniacs, the Spaniard has what it takes to reach the top.

WESS Hixpania Hard Enduro Alfredo Gomez FM
Alfredo Gomez – Hixpania Hard Enduro 2019

Regaining confidence with a strong fifth overall at round four, defending WESS champion Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB) is beginning to put his pre-season injuries behind him. Hoping to continue that pace in Romania, Bolt will unquestionably be a rider to keep an eye on.

WESS Hixpania Hard Enduro Billy Bolt Fri FM
Billy Bolt – Hixpania Hard Enduro 2019

For Red Bull KTM Factory Racing the focus in Romania will be on returning to the podium having missed out since round two in France where Josep Garcia (ESP) topped Trefle Lozerien AMV. As the team’s only race winner in 2019 Garcia lies sixth overall ahead of teammate Jonny Walker (GB), Taddy Blazusiak (POL) and Nathan Watson (GB). While Classic Enduro specialists Garcia and Watson shouldn’t trouble the top five, both Walker and Blazusiak know they need podium results to return to the title fight.

Red Bull Romaniacs Podium Young Lettenbichler Walker
Red Bull Romaniacs Podium 2018 – Wade Young, Manuel Lettenbichler, Jonny Walker

A two-time winner of Red Bull Romaniacs, and third overall in 2018, Walker will aim to put his experience to good use for the weeklong event. Blazusiak put in a strong showing during the opening days last year only to have his race cut short due to food poisoning. He will hope for better luck this time around.

WESS Hixpania Hard Enduro Taddy Blazusiak
Taddy Blazusiak – Hixpania Hard Enduro 2019

Seventh in 2018, Czech rider David Cyprian’s strengths lie in long distance races like Red Bull Romaniacs. A rider who lets his riding do the talking, JD Gunnex KTM mounted Cyprian tends to chip away at the results each day, getting faster as the week goes on. South Africa’s Travis Teasdale is another rider to watch out for on his Eurotek KTM. Lying 10th in the standings, Teasdale will be citing Red Bull Romaniacs as his breakthrough ride of the season. TTR Officine Rigamonti’s Pol Tarres (ESP) impressed with eighth at Hixpania Hard Enduro and targets another top-10 result at round five.

Red Bull Romaniacs Day Travis Teasdale
Travis Teasdale – Romaniacs 2018

With up to 34 competitors entered in the Gold class, additional riders to watch out for include USA’s Keith Curtis (KTM), South Africa’s Matthew Green (Husqvarna) and Brett Swanepoel (Husqvarna), Austria’s Michael Walkner (KTM), Australia’s Chris Perry, Italian’s Michele Bosi (Husqvarna) and Sonny Goggia (Husqvarna) plus Israel’s Suff Sella. Placing 34th at round four, Sandra Gomez (Husqvarna) will contest the Gold class for the first time at Red Bull Romaniacs.

Red Bull Romaniacs Winner Young
Wade Young wins 2018 Red Bull Romaniacs

Regarded as the world’s toughest Hard Enduro Rallye, Red Bull Romaniacs begins on Tuesday July 30 with the city prologue in Sibiu before leading riders out into the wilderness of the surrounding Carpathian Mountains for four days of unforgettable Enduro riding. Filled with 12 artificial Enduro obstacles, Tuesday’s prologue will ensure a spectacular start to the 16th edition of the race as competitors go head-to-head in a series of qualifier races that determine the starting order for the opening day of racing.

Red Bull Romaniacs Day David Cyprian
David Cyprian – Red Bull Romaniacs 2018

Getting down to the business end of things, the four off-road days are a true test of stamina, skill, endurance and very often, determination. Starting at dawn, each day takes competitors deep into mountainous terrain as they scale isolated mountain peaks and navigate vast expanses of single-track forestry. Managing both machine and body, often riding alone and up to eight hours each day, is key to success in Romania.

Red Bull Romaniacs Day Billy Bolt
Billy Bolt – Red Bull Romaniacs 2018

WESS Championship Standings (After Round 4 of 8)

  1. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna – GB) 2690pts
  2. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) 2570pts
  3. Mario Roman (Sherco – ESP) 2540
  4. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna – ESP) 2314
  5. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB) 2155
  6. Josep Garcia (KTM – ESP) 2125pts
  7. Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 2090pts
  8. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM – POL) 1900pts
  9. Nathan Watson (KTM – GB) 1631pts
  10. Travis Teasdale (KTM – RSA) 1610pts…

Red Bull Romaniacs Past Winners

  • 2018: Wade Young (Sherco)
  • 2017: Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna)
  • 2016: Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna)
  • 2015: Jonny Walker (KTM)
  • 2014: Jonny Walker (KTM)
  • 2013: Graham Jarvis (Husaberg)
  • 2012: Graham Jarvis (Husaberg)
  • 2011: Graham Jarvis (Husaberg)
  • 2010: Chris Birch (KTM)
  • 2009: Andreas Lettenbichler (BMW)
  • 2008: Graham Jarvis (Sherco)
  • 2007: Cyril Despres (KTM)
  • 2006: Michel Gau (KTM)
  • 2005: Cyril Despres (KTM)
  • 2004: Cyril Despres (KTM)
Red Bull Romaniacs Prologue
Red Bull Romaniacs 2018 Prologue

Source: MCNews.com.au