Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Graham Jarvis had just the kind of week at the 2016 Red Bull Romaniacs in Sibiu, Romania, that he had been hoping for in 2015 as the 41-year-old British rider walked away with a record-breaking fifth win in the brutally tough extreme endure event today.
“It is incredible to get a fifth win,” Jarvis said. “The last couple of years I’ve been a bit unlucky so I’m just happy to get another win, can’t believe I can still do it—even at 41! I struggled a bit with concentration being the last day and worrying about things going wrong but I tried to stay positive and focused on the track.”
Heavy rain on Friday had turned Saturday’s “Grand Finale” into a quagmire for the 17 remaining Gold class riders who left the starting line. The only British rider left in the Top 10, Jarvis started the day with a comfortable 30-minute lead, and he was content to let his closest competitors in the overall standing, Spain’s Alfredo Gomez and South Africa’s Wade Young, run ahead of him on the trail. Young was the fastest of the three in the early going followed by Gomez. Young would win the day while Jarvis played it safe and rode to his fifth Red Bull Romaniacs victory.
“Wade [Young] was flying,” Jarvis said. “He caught me early and brought Gomez with him, so we were riding together for a bit. I managed to get a bit of a gap again on the hard bits but then made mistakes after the service point, and Wade got by me. It’s good to see the young riders coming up, they’re so fast, some of them, but at the Red Bull Romaniacs, experience counts. They will be more Jonny’s problem than mine!”
Gomez, who finished the day third, held on to finish second overall after five consistent days. When Gomez met a Red Bull Romaniacs track manager at the service point, he was reportedly furious. “You can’t throw this kind of stuff at us on the fourth day!” he yelled.
“The rain last night was impressive, and we did not know what to expect from the track today,” Gomez said. “The first 30 kilometers were fast and fluent riding, but the Gold loop before the service point was probably the hardest one of the race.”
Young finished the day ahead of Gomez, and that was good enough to nail down third overall ahead of Mario Roman of Spain.
“I got off to a good start and just pushed hard through the day,” Young said. “I had a collapsed mousse [tube] just before the end, but I was happy with the day. It was a very tough race, but I enjoyed it. It’s good to be at the finish line, and I’m really happy with my finish today.”
Red Bull Romaniacs rookie Roman was impressive in the event even though a crash in the “Grand Finale” ended his podium hopes.
“Today was not so good for me,” Roman said. “I had a huge crash [while] looking at my GPS and hitting a hole. I tried hard after that, but it wasn’t possible to overtake Wade [Young] today. I’m happy with my first Red Bull Romaniacs, but a little sad for today’s mistakes because I was riding well the other days.”
KTM rider Keith Curtis put up a solid result for American off-road fans. The former AMA Endurocross Amateur Champion and ISDE competitor finished seventh overall, finishing 5 hours, 42 minutes and 15 seconds off the lead.
2016 Red Bull Romaniacs
Overall Results: July 16, 2016
1. Graham Jarvis (GBR)-Hus
2. Alfredo Gomez (ESP)-KTM/+00:35:28
3. Wade Young (ZAF)-She/+00:40:34
4. Mario Roman (ESP)-Hus/+01:02:53
5. Scott Bouverie (ZAF)-KTM/+03:37:50
6. David Cyprián (CZE)-KTM/+04:32:33
7. Travis Teasdale (ZAF)-KTM/+05:42:15
8. Keith Curtis (USA)-KTM/+06:44:09
9. Xavi Leon Sole (ESP)-Hus/+07:42:28
10. Ervin Kovacs (ROU)-KTM/+20:54:16