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Red Bull Romaniacs 2008: D-Day

17
September
2008
  Posted at 09:12:19 AM
  File under  Racing
  Author: Katrin Strobl
  Location: Sibiu, Romania

Day 3 - 5th Red Bull Romaniacs hard enduro motorcycle rally

Red Bull Romaniacs 2008 logo

On off-road day three strategy games were the main tactics for the leading riders. The core pawns in this game – Graham Jarvis, Gerhard Forster and Chris Birch – had to accept that luck and the right snatch are forces to be reckoned with. After three days and 500 kilometers of nasty up hills, slippery down hills, single trails and full throttle passages it is Great Britain’s Graham Jarvis to start as Tuesday’s stage winner and overall leader into tomorrow’s last stage; followed by Gerhard Forster and Chris Birch with only one day to go.

Red Bull Romaniacs 2008 Hard Motorcycle Enduro
Gerhard Forster

The predicted decision day lived up to its expectations: the top four riders of the day, Gerhard Forster (GER, BMW), Chris Birch (NZL, KTM), Graham Jarvis (UK, Sherco) and Frans Verhoeven (NED, KTM) were watching each other closely, but none launched an attack to get away from the others. After yesterday’s statements and results, Forster wanted to get rid of his shadows, Birch had to make up a 16 minutes time gap and Verhoeven had to make up for his broken fuel hose from day one. And even Jarvis would need to get at least 18 seconds past Forster until the finish, if he wanted to keep the overall lead.

Red Bull Romaniacs 2008 Hard Motorcycle Enduro
David Wood     © Herwig Peuker

The weather conditions on the track worsened the longer the day was underway. Poor visibility, cold temperatures and light rain should have allowed individual escapes by proper navigation, ten meters of a lead could have been enough to get away. However, due to the weather situation, visibility and thus satellite reception was very poor and all riders had to stay on their GPS tracks as close as possible and still had difficulties to not get lost at about 2.200m; on top of this it was freezing cold and the soil they were riding on was wet and slippery.

As if the conditions on the 140km long track would not have been hard enough, German Gerhard Forster arrived at the service point with a smashed gear box, only riding in 1st gear and already having lost a few minutes on Verhoeven, Birch and Jarvis. However, the BMW rider’s arriving as second at CP 4 was prove for still being in the game for victory.
Another unlucky fellow was KTM factory rider Frans Verhoeven, who was about to make up on his time loss from day 1; not long after leaving the service point in second position he was forced to take the concrete road back to Sibiu due to technical problems and will no longer be able to play an important role in the finale.

Red Bull Romaniacs 2008 Hard Motorcycle Enduro

Kiwi rider Chris Birch did not manage to benefit from Forster’s mishap and could not make up time for the overall standings; considering the German’s gear problems, he did not want to leave the “GPS machine” behind. As Jarvis was able to enlarge his lead through out the day to 09:32 and 23:02 minutes ahead of Forster and Birch respectively, the 27 year old New Zealander is likely to repeat last year’s third place overall.

Red Bull Romaniacs 2008 Hard Motorcycle Enduro

Tuesday was defined through landscape and navigation. Whoever had made it that far in the competition has a realistic chance of sticking it out to the end. Although extremely exhausting sections were quite rare for the participants in all classes, some passages – as the nasty up hills after lunch break for the professionals and some technical sections on the hobby riders’ track – were tougher and more time consuming than they would have been if the weather conditions were dry.

Red Bull Romaniacs 2008 Hard Motorcycle Enduro

Compared to the previous stages, day 4 will almost be a walk in the park. Thanks to the considerably shorter racetrack one will basically only have to get the bike and oneself to the finish line, although not to forget the hill climbs to “K2” and “Wild Bear Mountain” and another one, which could possibly louse the finish up for the contestants …

Results Day 3 Pro Class
1. Graham Jarvis                UK        06:05:30
2. Chris Birch                        NZL        06:11:44
3. Gerhard Forster                GER        06:14:20

Standings after Day 3 Pro Class
1. Graham Jarvis                UK        Sherco                19:27:19
2. Gerhard Forster                GER        BMW                19:36:51
3. Chris Birch                        NZL        KTM                19:50:21

Click here to access the Red Bull Romaniacs site for more photos and videos Open link in a new window





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