Sibiu, Romania, June 22nd, 2012 – The 2012 Red Bull Romaniacs are over and life in Enduro-heaven Sibiu returned back to it`s normal pace. The city`s main 4-lane boulevard is now open for traffic on four wheels again and decently dressed business people have replaced the heavy-duty offroad gear wearing crowd in last weeks` race headquarter – the Ramada hotel. The exhausted riders from 35 nations have left – but not without having another legendary Finish-party that rocked the city on Sunday night. The rallye itself ended without major injuries and due to the perfect weather conditions, with over 80% of finishers. But does the high number of finishers mean that the World`s toughest Hard Enduro Rallye has softened up? Weather is usually the deciding factor for the faith of any offroad event. Perfect summer weather, like the one during this years` Red Bull Romaniacs, undoubtedly moves the needle between Enduro-heaven and Enduro-hell for the participants. Would the very same tracks and sections have been ridden two weeks before, when one thunderstorm chased the next, the Red Bull Romaniacs would have been an Enduro-hell and a maximum of 50% would have finished. Martin “Freijn” Freinademetz confirmed, that the dry conditions played in favor for the riders and even allowed an undercutting of the minimum riding times.
This year the track covered a high percentage of trails, that had never been ridden before and they were spiced with new extreme sections. The demanding nature of the 4 offroad days increased each day: starting gentle with Offroad Day One and peaking in a tough Offroad Day Four; while Offroad Day Three was the most beautiful one with spectacular views, a good flow and the most extreme coverage of altitude meters. The 2012 overnight bivouac brought riders and staff to a completely new offroad region around Voineasa and the overall finish was celebrated at the Gusterita hill-climb, well known from the finish of Offroad Day One in 2011.
For two of the winning riders of the 2012 Red BullRomaniacs, Graham Jarvis and Andreas “Letti” Lettenbichler, the event was their moment of glory. After having been disqualified at the Erzberg Rodeo a few days before, both delivered a fascinating race and restored their place on top of the food chain of Hard Enduro. Jarvis once again rode like a surgeon cutting through bruised tissue, racing a lonely race in front of everyone else. He had started Offroad Day 4 with a 45 minutes lead on Letti and even 75 minutes on Walker and did not have to take any chances to become the undisputed “King of the Carpathians”. Jarvis is now a 3-times winner of the rallye, and only Cyril Despres has won the Red Bull Romaniacs that often. Jarvis already confirmed to be back next year to complete his mission to kick Cyril Despres off the throne for good. And about the 2012 Red Bull Romaniacs he states: “Freijn is a legend: year after year he puts new, fresh tracks in front of us; tracks that are nothing less than Enduro heaven. I wouldn`t mind them to be more technical, but Freijn manages a perfect balance between making us hate him and sending us home with broad smiles burned into our faces. For me, part of his magic is the perfectly marked 600-km track and the fair evaluation of the results!”
Andreas “Letti” Lettenbichler, who finished 3rd in 2011 because of several nasty crashes, was in his best shape ever and delivered a very balanced performance in 2012. His strategy to keep his head clear, focus on his flow and not the competition, not only secured him the overall 2nd place, but also loads of fun, riding some of the world`s finest Enduro tracks. “The Red Bull Romaniacs is the toughest and hardest rally in the world and my favorite race. It is so difficult because of the many different challenges:forest, mountain, rivers, open range, inner-city action… that’s fun fun fun! Next stop: the X Games in LA!”
The overall 3rd of the 2012 Red Bull Romaniacs, Jonny Walker, profited from his extremely steep learning curve. After nailing theprologue, the “young gun” had a tough awakening on the first day and he was seen struggling through the Romanian wilderness. On the forth day however, he came in first – as winner of the day. “I’m here for the experience this year and want to come back next year to kick some butt. I am stoked to have made it onto the podium of this unbelievable race!” Walker finished 3rd in the overall rating of the 2012 Red Bull Romaniacs as youngest PRO-rider ever on the podium.
One of the greatest recoveries at the Red Bull Romaniacs was shown by Kiwi Chris Birch: After going through a valley of pain with a foot injury and talking about giving up on Offroad Day 2, his fans went into shock. But an early morning dialogue between Chris Birch and Darryl Curtis illustrates their attitude: Curtis, coughing like a old man, that had been smoking forever: “I have bronchitis, I can’t really breathe!” Chris: “Get over it, it’s just a soar throat!” Curtis to Chris about his foot: “Get over it, it’s just a soar foot! Quitting is not a option…” Birch took that advice and delivered a brilliant race, starting from 7th position on Offroad Day 3 and finishing the rallye as an overall 4th. Chris Birch: “The hardest parts in the Red Bull Romaniacs are the climbs, they go on forever. On Offroad Day 3, Freijn presented us “Please no rain”, a hill-climb covering 1.000 meters of altitude. There was a total of 19.000 altitude meters that day! Martin is nuts: A few years back there was a gnarly uphill. So I asked Martin, how on earth did you get up? Martin answered: I had a big breakfast and it took me 3 hours to get up…!”
For the organizers, the 9th edition of the Red Bull Romaniacs was the smoothest and most successful event so far. The rallye finished without major accidents and without any objection to the race-results. Martin “Freijn” Freinademetz: “We are trying to offer a good mix to all Enduro riders, a hard-Enduro rally that offers equal chances for fast and technical riders alike. We are not a 4-days trial event and even though competitors with a trial background are already in slight advantage, we will not increase the weighting on this. And we are also content with the high number of finishers in these great conditions: the race will become an unforgettable memory for them.”
Martin “Frejn” Freinademetz: “We have marked and prepared ca. 600km of tracks, employed 400 people, distributed 20.000 liters of fuel and 390 liters of 2-stroke oil to the 16 tankpoints, build 4 service points and established 40 checkpoints, provided food and accommodation for riders and team, arranged rescue services and security – we are as tired and relieved as the riders and extremely happy that we had such a great racing event to celebrate the sport of Extreme-Enduro! A big ”Thank you” to my team and the participants for making this happen! This is a perfect position to start preparations for the Red Bull Romaniacs 2013, which will be our 10th anniversary!”
More extensive information is also available on: www.redbullromaniacs.com
Red Bull Romaniacs, the toughest Hard-Enduro rallye on earth!
4 days of competition along a difficult and enthralling course, which leads through the Southern Carpathian Mountains and redefines the meaning of “Extreme Enduro”. The Rally is tailored for ultimate offroad and Enduro fun – combined with challenges that bring the participants of each individual class (HobbySingle, Hobby Team, Expert Single, Expert Team, PRO) to their limits. Due to these challenges and the difficulty level, high abandon rates are common. Therefore: To FINISH is to be a WINNER. The track is unfolding along well-chosen mountain areas, rocky grounds, hills and valleys; tarmac is avoided as much as possible. Despite the tough challenges, all competitors agree that the Red Bull Romaniacs is one of the most beautiful Enduro races. The breathtaking countryside, the Romanian hospitality and the fact, that it is a race from riders for riders, make every event a long lasting memory for participants and fans alike. The daily distances covered range from 100km to 200km.