Alfredo Gomez of Spain got his quest for his first Red Bull Romaniacs Extreme Enduro crown off to a good start by winning the prologue on the technical course set in the city of Sibiu, Romania, today.
Gomez, 27, posted an impressive time of 17 minutes and 53 seconds to outrun rivals and Romaniacs favorites such as Jonny Walker and Graham Jarvis on a course that race organizers admitted was not as technical as in years past. Walker put himself in decent shape to seek a third consecutive Red Bull Romaniacs title by finishing ahead of four-time winner Jarvis. Fellow Brits Billy Bolt fourth and Paul Bolton finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Gomez’s prologue gives him first pick of starting positions as the event heads into four days of bone-jarring extreme technical terrain in the mountains around Sibiu.
“I wasn’t really fighting or competing against anyone, I was just riding,” he said of his winning ride. “It’s the prologue. I just concentrate on not falling!”
Congested rider traffic on the course left Walker thinking that he had actually won the prologue.
“It was a fumble, a mess of riders and I didn’t see what was going on with who,” Walker said. “I didn’t see Gomez pass me.”
Jarvis, meanwhile played the prologue like the verteran he was, passing Bolt and Bolton to snag third place at the finish, more than dispelling any notions about his capabilities at 41 years of age.
“I plan to just keep going until I drop, and if I didn’t think I had a chance at winning I wouldn’t be here,” Jarvis said. “They added the water this year, which made it slippery, and there was some queueing at the difficult stuff. Otherwise it was smooth.”
Australia’s Chris Perry finished first in the Silver class with Kiwi Angus MacDonald second and Briton Andrew Noakley third, while Estonian Toomas Triisa topped the Bronze class over Czech rider Miroslav Culka. Estonia’s Tonu Kallast was third. Great Britain’s Richard Main led the Iron class standings with Dutchman Marco Smits and German Phil Gilges second and third respectively.