New Zealand‘s Chris Birch has finished runner-up in the 2009 Red Bull Romaniacs Rallye in Romania.
German BMW rider Andreas Lettenbichler won the famous extreme enduro, ahead of Auckland’s Birch and fellow KTM rider Cyril Despres, from Andorra.
What a showdown in Sibiu, central Romania: The last of four off-road stages once again demands a 110% from everybody in the remaining field, with the strongest end at Andreas Lettenbichler.
In second place came a still very satisfied Birch (KTM), ahead of three-time Red Bull Romaniacs winner Despres. This last stage caused a true eruption within the pro-field.
Another dry, hot summer-day in the Carpathian Mountains on Wednesday, August 19, was providing the stage of the final showdown of what’s considered as the World’s toughest Hard Enduro Rallye. And it literally brought an earthquake to the final standings.
On second position, a true Romaniacs-veteran crossed the finish line: Birch, two times third on the podium already, stepped it up and became second this year.
Still, he was more than satisfied with his performance.
“I’m just very happy with this result, considering what I’ve had to go through over the last five days”, Birch said. “There are a million options out there to either wreck your bike or yourself, and it really takes all you have to not do so. This is the most valuable result I’ve ever achieved in my career!”
1 LETTENBICHLER Andreas DEU BMW – 20:29:11
2 BIRCH Chris NZ KTM 300 – 21:10:01
3 DESPRES Cyril FRA KTM 300 – 22:11:25
4 SEYDOUX Lionel SWZ KTM 250 – 22:55:18
5 BOLTON Paul GBR KTM 250 – 23:38:05
6 CURTIS Darryl RSA KTM 300 – 23:41:36
Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com