After a brutal day two that wiped out nearly 50 percent of the field, today’s penultimate run at the 2016 Red Bull Romaniacs was relatively mild, but the racing in Sibiu, Romania was still wild as overall leader Graham Jarvis came out on top of a thrilling battle with the man he deposed, Alfredo Gomez, to collect a second consecutive day win.
Jarvis opened up the day in the lead, but that forced him to cut the trail for his pursuers, and a couple of them, Spanish riders Mario Roman and Alfredo Gomez, caught the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider before the “10A” section on the course. Roman then took the physical lead over Jarvis before the trio hit the matrix that was “Black Slope”, “English Farmer” and the new “CDI.” Then Gomez found his rhythm and made his way past both Jarvis and Roman However, Jarvis once again showed just how good he really is by retaking the lead just before the service area. From there, Jarvis held the lead through the second half of the day by picking unorthodox lines and surviving the near-vertical downhills to take the day’s win by 13 minutes.
“It was another really long day,” Jarvis said. “I can’t afford to back off with these guys pushing so hard. The competition is at a really high level. Whatever lead I have, I just have to keep going and push hard. Right from the start, there were some really gnarly hill climbs. I was off my bike five or six times, pushing. It’s been tough. It was cold at the top–all kinds of weather rain and fog. I had wet gloves, making my hands cold, and it was hard to ride.”
Gomez finished second.
“I did my best all day,” Gomez said. “It was a good day for me. I did crash twice in the wet grass, going too fast. The problem is Graham [Jarvis] is flying, and he can go straight when other people can’t! I need to go home and practice!”
After a very consistent day, Roman finished third, 25 minutes behind Jarvis, and is now third overall.
“It was a tough day, 7.5 hours,” Roman said. “I expected it to be less, and the level today was pretty high. I rode well [but] made a few GPS errors. The trails were marked well, but it was quite foggy up there. I still managed to arrive third. Overall I am very happy, and we’ll see what happens on the final day”
South Africa’s Wade Young, who won the opening off-road day, stayed close to the front runners all day, finishing 30 minutes behind Jarvis to net fourth place and is still fourth overall. Great Britain’s Billy Boldt finished fifth after struggling in the “10A” section, where he lost over an hour.
Silver class leader Andy Noakley of Great Britain managed to pick up another class win despite suffering a potential disaster.
“I was slightly off track and hit a steel cable that secured some driftwood in the water,” Noakley said. “It chopped my front brake line, and I had to kamikaze down some hills to the service point!”
The Bronze class faced challenges as well after rain turned the grassy single tracks slippery and fog made visibility an issue Czech Republic’s Miroslav Culka took the win for the third consecutive day, leading Toomas Triisa of Estonia and Matthias Saric of Germany. Oscar Hernandez Panos of Spain and Marcel Vogel of Switzerland landed first and second respectively in the Iron class.