Red Bull Romaniacs – the fourth round of the 2018 World Enduro Super Series – is home to incredible terrain and well known as an extreme challenge on the calendar, with the Carpathian Mountains featuring untouched tracks reserved only for the race. However, to reach paradise first competitors have to endure a little pain.
Tuesday’s city prologue is an integral part of the 15-year history of the race – a manmade Enduro obstacle course in downtown Sibiu. From see-saw sections to wooden helter-skelters and boulder gardens, it’s packed with 12 spectacular sections for competitors to overcome. Naturally, the Gold class riders make it look all too easy, but for everyone else it can be a daunting time.
Spearheading the Husqvarna Factory Racing team’s efforts in Romania will be hard enduro star Graham Jarvis. Holding an impressive record of six wins at the infamous week-long Hard Enduro Rallye, Jarvis is all set to battle for a seventh career victory, this time aboard the TE 300i fuel-injected 2-stroke machine.
Kicking off the WESS series with victory at the opening round in Portugal, Billy Bolt is another Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team member looking to continue his solid performances at this fourth round of the series. Currently sitting third in the WESS standings, the young Brit also has an eye on climbing even higher in the provisional WESS rankings.
Contesting the Iron Road Prologue at the Erzbergrodeo, Alfredo Gomez will make a full return to hard enduro competition at the 2018 Romaniacs. Back to competitive fitness following his knee injury before the start of the outdoors season, the Spaniard will make his WESS debut in Romania.
Another team ready to go is KTM Factory Racing riders Jonny Walker, Taddy Blazusiak, Josep Garcia and Nathan Watson. The quartet will face the prologue, before heading into the countryside for four days of challenging riding in an event that is commonly tagged as the world’s toughest hard enduro rallye.
Gold Class participants facing approximately 200km of some of the toughest tracks the Carpathian Mountains have to offer per day, to claim a finish is an achievement in itself. For 2018, the addition of two overnight bivouacs away from the city of Sibiu will offer new challenges, with competitors riding terrain designed to test even the most hardened Romaniacs veterans.
Two-time winner of the race Jonny Walker will be aiming for more than just a finish in 2018. Forced to retire from the previous year’s event due to sustaining an injury to his hand on day two, Walker will be looking to increase his points lead at the top of the World Enduro Super Series standings.
“I’ve really been looking forward to Romaniacs this year. I crashed last year on a really technical section and hurt my hand, I did manage to make the start on the following day but wasn’t able to carry on. Things are going well so far this year and to be leading the WESS feels great. If I can increase the gap at the top come the end of Romaniacs it would really set things up well for the second half of the season – to come away with a win would be something extra special. It’s a long event and one of the toughest on the WESS calendar, but I am fit, well prepared and will definitely be aiming for a top result.”
Currently sitting fifth in the WESS standings Taddy Blazusiak will also be looking to top the 2018 Red Bull Romaniacs podium. Keen to claim his first podium result of the championship, the multiple Endurocross champion is keen to show what he’s capable of in the Romanian mountains.
Josep Garcia will be competing in his first ever Red Bull Romaniacs on the other hand. Showing great pace in the first three rounds of the series, the 2017 Enduro 2 World Champion looks well prepared to take on the WESS championship’s longest event
Nathan Watson, like Garcia, joined the WESS after coming from the EnduroGP championship. Battling against the extreme enduro regulars, Watson’s speed and determination have awarded him some strong results in the three rounds so far and the Brit currently lies 10th in the 2018 standings. Aiming for a good finish, Nathan is keen to impress at his first ever Romaniacs.
FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Cody Webb will not be contesting round four in Romania due to an injury sustained on the Erzbergrodeo Prologue at round two of the series.
Round four of the World Enduro Super Series takes place at Red Bull Romaniacs in Sibiu, Romania on July 24-28.
Red Bull Romaniacs Fast Facts
189. Bronze class finishers for 2017
86. United Kingdom is the largest nation represented for 2018
32. Graham Jarvis’ 2017 winning time in hours
27. Gold class competitors entered for the 15th edition
20. Track managers preparing the four off road days
12. Wacky obstacles planned for city prologue in Sibiu
6. Wins held by Graham Jarvis, the event’s most successful rider
2. Overnight bivouacs for 2018
Red Bull Romaniacs Past Winners
2017: Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna)
2016: Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna)
2015: Jonny Walker (KTM)
2014: Jonny Walker (KTM)
2013: Graham Jarvis (Husaberg)
2012: Graham Jarvis (Husaberg)
2011: Graham Jarvis (Husaberg)
2010: Chris Birch (KTM)
2009: Andreas Lettenbichler (BMW)
2008: Graham Jarvis (Sherco)
2007: Cyril Despres (KTM)
2006: Michel Gau (KTM)
2005: Cyril Despres (KTM)
2004: Cyril Despres (KTM)
World Enduro Super Series 2018
Rnd 4. Red Bull Romaniacs (Romania) July 24-28
Rnd 5. Red Bull 111 Megawatt (Poland) September 8-9
Rnd 6. Hawkstone Park Cross-Country (England) September 22-23
Rnd 7. Gotland Grand National (Sweden) October 26-27
Rnd 8. Red Bull Knock Out (The Netherlands) November 101
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