Red Bull Romaniacs officially kicked off last night with the city based prologue in Sibiu. Prologue manager, Andy Fazekas had used 120 tons of rocks, 120 tons of lumber and heavy machinery to form all the man-made obstacles, the longest being over 53 metres to represent the 53 nations competing.
While Billy Bolt dominated the top level competition a couple of Aussies were making their mark in the Silver and Bronze classes.
Robert Nowak finished second in the Silver class while Matthew Hannaford was third in the Bronze category. The top ranked Aussie in the premier Gold category is Tim Coleman in 20th outright.
Like in most of the 14 editions of this iconic event before, the prologue welcomed the Red Bull Romaniacs competitors by spreading shock and awe among all classes. The first walk-by`s left many riders with the assumption that they had given themselves up voluntarily into Enduro hell and there would be no chance, anyone could ride this prologue.
The first tests by Gold class riders seemed to confirm that impression: many were struggling not only to find a line, but to basically stay on the their bikes. The tests revealed that the “Epic 15” section was the one to be most feared and the Rompetrol section with the upright truck wheels actually proved to be the more difficult one.
In the end, even the Silver and Bronze classes were surprised that they somewhat managed to get through this 2018 prologue, while the Gold class competitors fought out fierce “high speed” battles.
Billy Bolt did not waste any time in establishing himself in the lead and had no intention of letting it go. He rolled over rocks and logs as if they didn’t exist. He got into his groove from the beginning and he maintained his rhythm. Billy had a flawless run today. By the 6th lap he had such a big advantag that he was about to lap Mario Roman.
Mini Letti was hot on Bolt’s tail followed by Pol Tarres, Wade Young, Taddy Blazusiak and Jonny Walker until about halfway through. Mid-race, Mini and Taddy were battling it out and seemed a perfect match on performance and technique until they both got stuck – allowing Wade Young to sail by and secure his best position ever in a Red Bull Romaniacs prologue, a 2nd place.
Mini and Taddy seemed to continue in a battle of their own, back and forthing, side by side to the finish line. At the end, Taddy managed to just inch far enough ahead to score the 3rd spot on the podium.
Meanwhile, defending champion and six-time Red Bull Romaniacs winner Graham Jarvis showed off with magnificent riding technique, but – as expected played it safe during the prologue. He seemed to be focused on finding clean lines, riding gracefully over everything and avoiding any other contact with fellow competitors. Jarvis finished 7th and smilingly stated after the prologue “It is going to be a long race”…
Billy Bolt – Prologue P1
“I am quite stoked. I managed to be 2nd last year and ended up first today after quite a clean race. I had a few “secret” lines that nobody else seemed to have spotted and when things got stuck in front of me, I just gave the guys some space! I will pick third starting place tomorrow. Awesome crowd here, you could barely hear the bike with the amount of cheering from the fans!”
“I still can’t believe it – my best result here was a 6th!! I wasn’t expecting it, my goal was third, so I am really happy! There is so much carnage out there, so you do not realize where you are actually at – but I was close to Manuel and Taddy for a long time – until I got a chance and took it!”
Red Bull Romaniacs 2018 Prologue Gold Class Results
Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB) 11 laps, 17:50.377
Wade Young (Sherco – RSA) 10 laps, 17:56.627
Taddy Blazusiak (KTM – POL) 17:58.377
Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) 17:59.877
Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 18:17.127
Pol Tarres (Husqvarna – ESP) 18:34.130
Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna – GB) 18:55.377
Paul Bolton (KTM – GB) 19:04.880
Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna – ESP) 19:39.130
Blake Gutzeit (Yamaha – RSA) 9 laps, 18:48.377…
Red Bull Romaniacs 2018 Prologue Silver Class Results
Dieter Rudolf (AUT) 6 laps, 13:31.943
Robert Nowak (AUS) 5 laps, 13:35.453
Matthew Green (RSA) 5 laps, 13:39.943
Emanuel Gyenes (ROU) 13:53.443
Robert Scharf (DEU) 14:01.697…
Red Bull Romaniacs 2018 Prologue Bronze Class Results
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