Red Bull Romanics 2008: Off The Road And Up The Hills
Author: Katrin Strobl
Location: Sibiu, Romania
Day 1 - 5th Red Bull Romaniacs hard enduro rally
Placed right in close proximity to Sibiu, the menu for Sunday presented itself as partly indigestive and just to be enjoyed to the full by only the best riders. The first off-road day of the 5th Red Bull Romaniacs opened with 180 kilometers and more than 8.500m altitude difference stuffed with challenging and technical sections. UK rider Graham Jarvis got along best with the set track and took the overall lead ahead of German BMW factory rider Gerhard Forster. Chris Birch from New Zealand holds third position.
Graham Jarvis started two minutes later than his competitor Gerhard Forster (GER) and two minutes ahead of Chris Birch (NZL) into today’s race. Those three riders were not only to arrive together at the service point but decided to keep up the threesome as this would help them all as far as navigation was concerned. The Brit and the German rode at the same pace most of the time and did not face too many difficulties; although none of them would dare to speak of an easy ride. However, they were able to reach the finish line together after almost seven hours of hard core riding through the Romanian wilderness. Paul Bolton, the winner of the prologue, finished third but missed at least one check point and a refueling point and is to be penalized. Thus, KTM factory rider Chris Birch takes third position overall after finishing the stage 15 minutes behind Jarvis and Forster.
When the first rider – to be yesterday’s winner of the prologue Paul Bolton (UK) – started the race today at 07.30 in the morning, everybody expected the first third of the track to be quite challenging. At the service point after almost five hours of riding the first to arrive were already more than one hour later than expected. On top of this, navigation seemed to have been the deciding criteria until then and not just one or two participants had got lost and had been forced to change directions, but almost all of them. However, who might have prayed for relief for the last two thirds, was proven wrong right after the 20 minutes “lunch brake” around Curmatura: steep and narrow up and down hills, christened “Stonehenge”, guaranteed boiling motors, perspiring and hard breathing contestants. All riders – professionals as well as expert and hobby riders – embraced the help of cheering crowd.
As the pro class riders faced some severe problems today, some participants of the experts and hobby classes will for sure claim more than the proposed time bar. Romaniacs 2008 - Day 1 (1 miniute 45 seconds)
Results Day 1 Pro Class 1. Graham Jarvis UK Sherco 2. Gerhard Forster GER BMW 3. Chris Birch NZL KTM
In case the weather forecast for Monday turns out to be right – heavy rain and wind and only seven to eight degrees Celsius – the second off-road day passing by points called Cambodia, El Capitan and Hippo Heaven will cut a swath through the result list. Click here to access the Red Bull Romaniacs site for more info