The obstacles already sound tough enough, with names such as “The Impossible”, “The Appetiser”, “The Sherwood Forest” and “125 Killer.” And one thing is certain, at the Red Bull Romaniacs, the obstacles are always tougher than they sound.
But South African Wade Young was up to the task during the brutally tough extreme enduro held in the mountains of Romania, Wednesday, to win the first of four mountain stages today, a day in which KTM’s Alfredo Gomez retain the overall event lead while two-time and defending Red Bull Romaniacs Champion Jonny Walker saw his hopes for a third consecutive title come to an end.
“I was riding through long grass in third or fourth gear, so quite fast, and I clipped my toe on a hidden tree stump which pulled my leg off the bike,” Walker said. “When I got up, my leg was killing so I rode all the way on my left leg, which is also in pain now.”
Young posted the best Gold class time while Walker aggravated a precious fibula injury and had to pull out of the event. After finishing fifth in yesterday’s prologue, Paul Bolton also had to end his rung due to a strained neck.
Young mastered “The Appetiser” section of the course to Young mastered ‘The Appetiser’ section of the course to take the day’s win and vault from eighth to second overall behind today’s runner-up, Gomez. Walker now sits 4 minutes and 35 seconds behind Gomez.
“I tried to push hard at the beginning before everyone started to spread out,” Walker said. “It’s going to be a long race. Today was meant to be one of the easier days!”
Gomez said that he tried to push hard but could not find his rhythm, and it forced him to take more risks.
“I was riding in groups with Graham [Jarvis] and Wade [Young] until one hour before the finish. After passing them on a downhill, I just went for it and rode by myself until the finish.”
Jarvis negotiated the tricky and perilous course to finish third overall with South Africa’s Travis Teasdale fourth.
“Lots of long grass for me today, being the first out on the trails,” Jarvis said. “‘The Appetiser’ was probably the hardest section. After the SP the riding was slow and went on forever, with loose rocks and scattered trees, where you just had to keep picking your line. I really regret that [Jonny] Walker and [Paul] Bolton are out. It is always sad because whoever wins, wants to say they beat everyone—and not because of DNF. I’m glad to just still be in the race.”
Andrew Noakley still leads the Silver class by 18 seconds over New Zealand’s Angus Macdonald with Miroslav Culka topping the Bronze standings and Oscar Hernandez Panos leading the Iron class.