World’s toughest motorcycle enduro race, the Red Bull roManiacs started on Sunday. This desperate and suicidal race, involving jumps over broken bridges, transversing ravines on ropes, and running your motorcycle out of 2 story buildings, opened its 3rd year race on the 13thof August.
The rally started this year from the beautiful and picturesque Romanian capital city Bucharest. The 85 participants had to battle it out in temperatures of 35° C (95°F) on 10 hectares (24 acres) of ground.
Not many contestants used the chicken line (the easy course, but you get penalized), so most earned themselves the roManiacs label!
A twelve kilometres ride along farm tracks opened the off-road part, followed by a rapid ride through desiccated riverbeds towards the foothills of the mountains of the Prahova valley. From there, the course lead through forests and dirt sections until it reached the first stop, Sinaia. Not all of the participants had an easy day like today’s winner on the pro track. Not just one motorbike was found ownerless on the track; some riders’ fuel gauge was dangerously blinking. For some of the riders the race day ended not before midnight.
Cyril Despres - (c)Herwig Peuker
In the Pro Class, 2 time winner, Frenchman Cyril Despres won the prologue, followed by the Italian, Giovanni Sala. Third was South African Riian van Niekerk. Frenchman Michel Gou demonstrated an immense riding talent, and should be noticed for future races. It’s probably no surprise that all riders are on KTM motorcycles.
Cyril Despres said “Just as expected the track is demanding, but the landscape is really great. As I have known the organizer Martin Freinademetz for quite a while now I know that the race is going to be hard. If I think about my hands, which hurt after only three hours of riding, my prophecy is going to prove right! Additionally I have had some problems with my GPS, however, I found the way in time”
Standings after Day 1
1. Cyril Despres (FRA)
2. Giovanni Sala (ITA)
3. Riian van Niekerk (RSA)
1. Moto Verde I – Romeo Dunca/Francois Vouillet (ROM/FRA)
2. Motothek KTM – Lisi Mucha/Thomas Fälbl (AUT)
3. Team Gotech – Patrick Boissy/Aron Gorog (ROM)
1. Enduromania – Ulrich Denzer/Michael Holtz (GER)
2. Enduromania Schweiz – Roger Walker/Beat Haldimann (SUI)
3. Condor Team – Misu Ioanitescu/Nedecu Laurentiu/Sorin Cristea (ROM)
2006-08-14 - 14.08.2006: Sinaia – Sibiu
On Monday, the start is about 1km away from the hotel. The course climbs over single trails to hill ridges and runs towards Bran to Dracula’s castle. It runs therefore, at first, over a hilly section and climbs then to the Fagaras Mountains. Following the descent from the mountains, the course runs along the foothills and over the hills around Sibiu. Generally, this is not a very difficult day, with many brisk sections. In spite of that this day will be energy-sapping, especially for experts, because they have to drive many kilometers.
For more information on the race, click here.