While everyone was thinking about how to get warm and find their flow as quickly as possible, head-track manager Klaus Sorensen and Red Bull Romaniacs mastermind Martin “Freijn” Freinademetz rolled out their vicious plan to show the world’s elite of hard enduro riders their limits.
On day three they threw a total of 19.000 altitude meters at them, of which 1000m were already covered in a single, never ending hill-climb: “Please no rain”.
The beautiful Romanian countryside, the perfect weather fun sections like the full-throttle “A8” made up for the pain and helped the riders to partially recover.
Except for one, the plan to bring everyone to their limits had worked out and most riders returned quite destroyed back at the paddock. Not so Graham Jarvis (pictured above). He rode a lonely race – defending his undisputed claim to be the king of the Carpathians for the third day. Andreas “Letti” Lettenbichler kept chasing after him in the morning but after getting clutch problems and losing precious 20 minutes in “Please no rain”, he had to let Jarvis go.
Jarvis arrived at the finish 15 minutes before the minimum estimated riding time and surprised all Red Bull Romaniacs staff at the checkpoints, service points and finish with his unexpected early arriving – interrupting their well earned breaks. Klaus Sorensen: “Jarvis is a rider from a different planet. Everyone else arrived as planned, about 15 minutes after the minimum estimated riding time, Jarvis 15 minutes before …!”
Graham Jarvis: “It was pretty lonely for me out there today, the only two riders I saw, were two guys from the Hobby class. But it was a fun ride, even in the “Please no rain” section. The “A8” was a blast!” Martin “Freijn” Freinademetz confirmed again that the perfect conditions play in favour of undercutting the minimum riding times, but that the track had to be designed with the option of rain in mind. In this case, 50% of the field would have dropped out by now.
Another surprise yesterday was the stunning come-back of 2010 Red Bull Romaniacs – winner Birch, of New Zealand.
After going through a valley of pain all day during Off-road Day Two, his fans were wondering how long he would be able to keep going. An early morning dialogue between Chris Birch and Darryl Curtis illustrates their attitude: Curtis, coughing like an old man that has been smoking forever: “I have bronchitis, I can’t really breathe!” Chris: “Get over it, it’s just a sore throat!” Curtis to Chris, whose foot is likely to be broken: “Get over it, it’s just a sore foot! Quitting is not an option …”
Birch took that advice and delivered a brilliant race, starting from 7th position and finishing as 2nd of the day. Chris Birch: “I had a beautiful day today and really got to enjoy myself again on the bike; best part was the “A8” on top of the mountain!”
An attitude, that might be up for Jonny Walker to adopt: The “Wunderkind”, who got up bright and early today after almost missing the start yesterday, had to struggle through a crash, in which he hurt his shoulder.
Despite that he kept enjoying the race and performed like a Red Bull Romaniacs veteran, finishing 6th. It might have helped that he had joined a strategic alliance with Melcior Faja (4th) and Xavi Galindo (5th), in which they took turns navigating all day.
Unofficial Results Day Three
1, Graham Jarvis, Britain, Husaberg, 5 hours 02.11
2, Chris Birch, New Zealand, KTM 5:19.26
3, Andreas Lettenbichler, Germany, Husqvarna, 5:27.05
4, Melcior Faja, Spain, KTM, 5:27.10
5, Xavier Galindo, Spain, Husberg, 5:28.05
6, Jonny Walker, Britain, KTM, 5:28.45
7, Ervin Kovacs, Romania, KTM, 5:46.29
8, Altus de Wet, South Africa, KTM 6.03.59
9, Darryl Curtis, South Africa, KTM 6:06.27
10, Harry Neumayer, Austria, KTM 6:14.27
Unofficial Overall Standings after Day Three
1, Graham Jarvis, Britain, Husaberg, 13:43.14
2, Andreas Lettenbichler, Germany, Husqvarna, 14:28.33
3, Jonny Walker, Britain, KTM, 14:58.56
4, Chris Birch, New Zealand, KTM 15:05.52
5, Xavier Galindo, Spain, Husberg, 15:14.38
6, Melcior Faja, Spain, KTM, 15:47.05
7, Erwin Kovacs, Romania, KTM, 16:16.15
8, Darryl Curtis, South Africa, KTM 17:09.47
9, Altus de Wet, South Africa, KTM 17:20.33
10, Rienk Tuinstra, Netherlands, 17:30.34
11, Harry Neumayer, Austria, KTM 17:34.19
© Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com