Nagyszeben/Sibiu became the capital of the world’s toughest hard enduro Rallye as it hosted Red Bull Romaniacs for the sixteenth time. The race is spread over five days with pure hard enduro racing action, kicking off with the Prolog, a time trial in downtown Nagyszeben/Sibiu, followed by four off-road days during which the competitors race against the clock and take the challenge of the world’s most beautiful hard enduro tracks in the region around Sibiu in the Southern Carpathian Mountains of Romania.
Competitors have to master the art of navigating on visually marked tracks using GPS devices. The amazing wilderness, and incredible uphill and downhill sections in a stunning landscape, combined with professional organization, result in the toughest and at the same time most memorable experience for all participants.
The unique experience and the challenges attract the biggest names of hard enduro such as Graham Jarvis, Jonny Walker, Wade Young, Alfredo Gomez, and Billy Bolt. Although the 44-year-old Graham Jarvis (UK, Husqvarna) – also known as the Carpathian King – had topped the leaderboard for the past six years (hence the nickname), he couldn’t secure his seventh win this year but ranked third after four days of heavy battle against rain, terrain, and competitors.
After 571 km spread out over four off-road days and a total riding time of 20 hours 39 minutes and 20 seconds, the 21-year-old Manuel Lettenbichler (Flatsching Fast Factory Team), from Germany, achieved his first top position on the podium, just ten years after his father secured a Red Bull Romaniacs win. The fourth off-road day kicked off with Manuel Lettenbichler starting at 07:00 a.m. when it was already raining. The competitors had to climb a good 10,000 meters throughout the entire day, which had a total riding distance of 124 km around Sibiu. They faced the following signature sections: Ass Slide, Snooze, Momentum, Too Many Zicky Zacky, Extreme Miorita, Flying Ford, Hug the Tree, and The Rock. It was a classic Romaniacs mix of forest and alpine riding in the deep valleys around Sibiu and Paltinis. The competition was very tough between Alfredo Gomez (ESP, Husqvarna) and Lettenbichler, but the German rider secured his win by mastering the difficult uphills, including the notorious hill climb at the finish in Gusterita without any major mistakes.
Top 3 Results – Silver Class
Top 3 Results – Bronze Class
Top 3 Results – Iron Class
And one more thing: Anna Schmölzl from Germany won the Iron Class of Red Bull Romaniacs. This is the first time ever that a woman has won a Red Bull Romaniacs class. The complete list is available on the official Red Bull Romaniacs website.