17th Red Bull Romaniacs
This year’s Red Bull Romaniacs was dominated by Husaberg’s Graham Jarvis. The English guy continued his incredible series in 2011 extreme enduro events. Only the "Kiwi" and last year winner Chris Birch and Husqvarna rider Andreas "Letti" Lettenbichler were able to put him under pressure.
During the tests and qualifying for the Prologue conditions were sunny and hot. Most of the riders thought that the heat will be the hardest factor to manage. But just before the start a thunderstorm changed the conditions completely.
The heavy rain soaked the track in and the riders were confronted with the slippery woods, rocks and ramps. Husqvarna Speedbrain rider Andreas Lettenbichler was a little bit unlucky and felt in the semi final so that he only was able to take part in the 2nd final round and finished 9th. He also was one of the small number of riders which were happy about the conditions.
Andreas Letti says: "The weather was perfect, I certainly prefer slippery and wet conditions and hope it will continue to rain a bit when the "real thing" starts."
Red Bull Romaniacs Day 1
On the first day of one of the world’s hardest enduro challenges the weather was perfect and also the organizers have decided to prepare the first day "easy" and gentle. However they have set up two major challenges on the 132km track.
"Homer’s downhill" a very steep downhill section on which Jarvis was the only one who was able to ride his bike down what he wouldn’t have done, had he known what is coming he admitted later. All other riders walked their bike down or had crashes at Homer’s like Birch and Letti which both hurt themselves in this section. The uphill sections with a lot of big rocks in it were Letti terrain and he was able to catch up to Jarvis.
The overall standings after the first day:
1. Jarvis 4:03:13
2. Lettenbichler 4:24:57
3. Galindo 4:27:19
Red Bull Romaniacs Day 2
The sun was back in Romania and was responsible for a nice summer day. During the day a lot of riders grouped because of navigation problems. Even Letti and Birch rode together not to get lost. Letti who had a torn tendon at his ankle from his crash on the first day was reminded to his handicap every time he had to put his foot down. The toughest challenge of the day was an uphill section through a muddy riverbed filled with logs. According to his navigation problems and two crashes Jarvis lost time and was overtaken by Chris Birch who Letti couldn’t follow because of suffering too much pain. At the end of the day Letti admit that this "…was a painful day, …, but I am still very excited to race here…"
The overall Standings after day 2:
1. Jarvis 10:14:59
2. Birch 10:42:55
3. Lettenbichler 10:58:30
Red Bull Romaniacs Day 3
Another sunny day welcomed the riders on day 3 but today it was hot so that the riders only got some refreshment in the shadow of the forest or by crossing a river. Birch was able to take the lead but after a big crash in which his bike was thrown onto a big tree he had to stop and to fix the bike. Letti still suffering from his injury could hardly follow the two leaders and also let the Spanish rider Galindo pass.
The overall Standings after day 3:
1. Jarvis 15:32:20
2. Birch 16:09:03
3. Lettenbichler 16:31:43
Red Bull Romaniacs Day 4
At last day of the Red Bull Romaniacs Letti wanted to show that everything can happen and that the race is only over after passing the final checked flag. So he started in the day racing like there was no tomorrow. He was challenging leader Jarvis at parts of the day and showed his world class riding skills when he passed obstacles with true "Letti-Magic"-style. Sadly he had two big crashes in which he lost time and destroyed his GPS. But that was no reason for Letti to give up he hooked up on a group of Hobby riders to navigate to the finish where he arrived just behind Jarvis and Birch. "I’m happy that it is over, it was a fun and tough race….I have a ton of great memories and an awesome place on the podium to be happy about!" Letti summarized the event.
Red Bull Romaniacs Final overall standings:
1. Jarvis 20:00:14
2. Birch 20:44:15
3. Lettenbichler 21:14:43