Walker, Jarvis, Gomez take top three at Red Bull Romaniacs Hard Enduro.
Red Bull KTM’s Johnny Walker successfully defended his Red Bull Romaniacs crown at the brutally tough Hard Enduro in Sibiu, Romania, today.
Walker faced heavy pressure from four-time Red Bull Romaniacs winner Graham Jarvis throughout the four-day event, and Jarvis fought right to the end by stealing the Day 4 win from Walker just yards from the finish line, but Walker never buckled, and he was able to land his second consecutive Red Bull Romaniacs title with a four-day overall time of 23 hours, 49 minutes and 42 seconds. After all of the grueling stages were complete, Jarvis finished second, just 1 minute and 40 seconds off of Walker’s time.
“It feels awesome to win again,” Walker said. “It was a lot tougher than last year, and I am looking forward to going home!”
The final stage became particularly tense for Walker when he arrived at the infamous “Gusterita” uphill. The already challenging uphill was made even more difficult after prolog master Andy Fazekas added new sections just before the finish arch, wreaking havoc for the competitors who faced the final obstacle in front of a cheering crowd. The Bronze class riders, who had arrived earlier, made it even more difficult by carrying mud and water from the pond onto the structures. Walker was first Gold rider to arrive there, and he lost precious time in the mudhole. Jarvis was able to get through the section cleaner, and he stole the day’s win, but Walker was able to recover in enough time to keep Jarvis from landing a much-coveted fifth overall win.
“It’s been an unbelievable race–I think that’s the closest and most competitive one I’ve ever done,” Jarvis said afterward. “It literally went down to the final 50 meters for the win. Of course I’m disappointed that the victory didn’t fall my way, but I gave it everything I had. I rode a good week – only had a couple of mishaps – but overall it was a solid ride.”
Jarvis’ Bel-Ray Husqvarna teammate, Alfredo Gomez, finished third, making a fine comeback to the event after missing last year’s Red Bull Romaniacs due to an injury. Gomez initially struggled to find his rhythm during the first two day before putting forth his best performance on Day 3 when he finished. It put him back into contention for a podium finish, and Gomez rode well again on the final day to clinch third overall.
“Finishing on the podium in third is fantastic for me,” Gomez said. “Honestly, I didn’t know if it would be possible this year. Having missed last year’s race and with only one-year of experience here, I knew it would be a tough week. The first two days in the mountains were not the best I’ve ever ridden. I definitely made it hard on myself. But I turned things around with second place [on Day 3], and I sort of found my Romaniacs rhythm. Starting day four I knew third could be a possibility so I pushed hard and got it. I’m super happy with this result. Also congratulations to both Graham and Jonny – they rode incredibly this week.”
2015 Red Bull Romaniacs
Overall Results, July 14-18
1. Jonny Walker-KTM/23 hours, 49 minutes, 42 seconds
2. Graham Jarvis-Hus/23:51:22
3. Alfredo Gomez-Hus/24:48:03
4. Paul Bolton-KTM/25:00:10
5. Wade Young-KTM/25:10:39
6. Andreas Lettenbichler-KTM/25:44:50
7. Philipp Scholz-KTM/26:2:37
8. Blake Gutzeit-Hus/26:26:59
9. Lars Enockl-KTM/26:39:38
10. Brett Swanepoel-Yam/26:44:01