Red Bull KTM’s Jonny Walker backs up his Red Bull Hare Scramble win with another win at the Red Bull Romaniacs.
Red Bull KTM’s Jonny Walker stopped Graham Jarvis’ quest for a record-setting fifth victory by winning the 11th running of the Red Bull Romaniacs, Saturday, after five days of intense riding in the Carpathian Mountains near Sibiu, Romania.
The 23-year-old British Red Bull-sponsored KTM factory rider backed up his win at the 2014 Red Bull Hare Scramble at Austria’s Erzbergrodeo by defeating the always-strong Jarvis, who has been Walker’s idol as well as his rival. KTM also enjoyed a second spot on the podium, thanks to the inspiring performance of 18-year-old South African Wade Young. Romaniac veterans, Paul Bolton (KTM UK) and KTM factory rider Andreas Lettenbichler completed the top five.
Walker set the pace by winning Day One of the brutal Hard Enduro competition. Walker’s margin of victory gave him a Day Two starting advantage of around five minutes, but he would lose that advantage after crashing his KTM 300 EXC in a river crossing. Jarvis won the day.
That left the outcome very much in doubt at the start of Day Three. Walker kept the pressure on Jarvis, and by the halfway mark he had neutralized Jarvis’ five-minute lead in the morning. The afternoon portion of the event would feature a new section, as riders competed on the roof of an abandoned coal mine. Jarvis crossed the finish line first, but Walker won the day on adjusted time, setting up an all-or-nothing battle for the overall win on Day Four.
Walker and Jarvis battled hammer and tongs for almost the entire 180 kilometers on Day Four, with both men handling the infamous and near vertical Gusterita Hillclimb at the end of the day, only to have to wait to have their GPS times verified before it was learned that Walker was still 5 minutes ahead of Jarvis, heading into Day Five.
Jarvis left first on the final day, but Walker would overtake him and pull away, building his lead. Things almost went awry for Walker on the rain-slickened final hill, but with a little help from spectators–well within Hard Enduro rules–Walker crested the summit and went on to cross the finish line, securing the Red Bull Romaniacs win by 13 minutes and 26 seconds. While Walker and Jarvis battled for the overall win, Young ran third over the last three days to earn a surprise podium finish that thrust him into the limelight.
KTM UK’s Paul Bolton finished fourth overall, making a great recovery over the final two days after a hard crash on Day Two. Bolton might have been out of the running altogether if not for KTM’s Lars Enoeckl of Austria, who generously loaned Bolton some GPS equipment to finish the race. Romaniacs veteran and KTM factory rider Andreas Lettenbichler of Germany finished fifth despite being plagued by a recent neck injury.
2014 Red Bull Romaniacs
Final Results: July 19, 2014
1. Jonny Walker (GBR)-KTM/20 hours, 53minutes, 23 seconds
2. Graham Jarvis (GBR)-Hus/21:06:49
3. Wade Young (RSA)-KTM/21:47:31
4. Paul Bolton (GBR)-KTM/22:01:33
5. Andreas Lettenbichler (GER)-KTM/22:47:00