4th Red Bull Romaniacs 2007 - Day 2 - Dirt Rider Magazine

FRENCH DOMINATE FIRST STAGEDay 2: 4th Red Bull Romaniacs Hard Enduro Rally, 17 - 21 June 2007Three classes, three routes and 135 riders - what did they all have in common? Before the start at seven o'clock on Monday morning, none of them knew exactly what to expect from the first off road day. But it would not take them too long to learn that Romanian soil is as hard and unfriendly as everywhere else on this planet. The first three to cross the finish line in Sibiu were: Michel Gau (FRA), Alex Antor (AND) and Cyril Despres (FRA) ex aequo.What all riders experienced after the start in Sibiu's city center was a mixture of 190 km (on the pro track, 160 km for experts, 140 km for hobby riders) of slippery ground, roots, river crossings and tree trunks. Bikes got stuck, riders got hot and bothered, hands helped at the spectators' points and mud was everywhere - a scenario that will be repeated endlessly over the next three days. Where the professionals might have passed without any problems, the following team riders encountered the day's first difficulties: brakes not working properly, overheating engines and aching muscles.ProfessionalsThe first man away early this morning was Cyril Despres. The Frenchman took advantage of his starting position and passed the first assistance point in the lead. Right behind him, the second placed man from the prologue, Paul Bolton (GBR). During the day he teamed up with the German Gerhard Forster and was going well until he crashed heavily and had to pause before continuing the race. It is not yet known if a broken rib will keep him from racing tomorrow. Close on the leaders' heels were Michel Gau and Alex Antor. With every rider having some difficulties during the day, the lead changed numerous times in the course of the race but it was finally last year's winner Michel Gau who crossed the finish line first, with Alex Antor and Cyril Despres joint second.The first of more than 150 kilos of KTM track tape have been successfully negotiated by the riders on the first off road stage. Tomorrow's leg will be a little shorter but for sure not easier.Results Day 2, 18 June 2007Professionals
1. Michel Gau FRA 05.35h
2. Alex Antor AND 05.40h
2. Cyril Despres FRA 05.40h
4. Gerhard Forster GER 05.43h
5. Kyle Redmond USA 05.58hFor the complete results and pictures see www.redbullromaniacs.comStatements of Day 2
4th Red Bull Romaniacs Hard Enduro Rally, 17 - 21 June 2007Michel Gau, FRA, 1st place
"One hill climb before the first Checkpoint was really hard and I couldn't go up even half the way. Today was no time to relax, you always had to pay attention to not get lost!"Cyril Despres, FRA, 2nd place (ex aequo)
"I started well and got quite fast to the first assistance point. I am happy that the weather was good because the view today was spectacular. Around km 100 I followed the track marks and made a circle back to the checkpoint and lost about ten minutes. This is, however, an easy mistake to make in a race like this."Kyle Redmond, USA
"It was quite hard today and I got lost at least five times. As long as everybody gets lost it's okay. And so far I didn't find anybody who did not go the wrong way!"Frans Verhoeven, NED
You get lost, find your way again and get lost again - it's like a vicious circle. I made a few mistakes today but I am fine and enjoyed the day. I am already curious about tomorrow."Gerhard Forster, GER
"For quite some time I paired up with Paul Bolton but he crashed hard and I stayed with him some minutes until some of his colleagues came and I was sure that he was okay. I am fine and I liked the track more than the prologue yesterday."Paul Bolton, GBR,
"After the crash my collar bone and my ribs hurt. I think I really crashed badly. The guy on the Beta helped me and as soon as I was able to talk again I said: `thank you Jesus' to him. I am glad it's only a broken rib, but I've not yet decided upon continuing the race tomorrow."Dieter Happ, AUT
"It was hard today. I think it rained last night and thus the ground is quite loose. However, it's cool!"Harald Vollmer, GER, Hobby Class
"My brakes were not working properly, we had to stop and repair them. Now everything is okay again and we even made up time to the team in front of us. A good day for me!"For details and pictures see www.redbullromaniacs.com