Red Bull Romaniacs 2018

Wade Young wins over Manuel Lettenbichler

Johnny Walker 3rd to retain WESS lead

Tim Coleman top Aussie – 28th overall

Wade Young the youngest ever winner of Red Bull Romaniacs

South African hard enduro specialist Wade Young added another record to his CV overnight with victory at the 2018 edition of Red Bull Romaniacs.

Red Bull Romaniacs Winner Young
Wade Young

At the tender age of 16 Wade Young took victory in the Roof of Africa event, beating the likes of Graham Jarvis and Chris Birch in an event where more than half of the Pro class failed to finish the event.

Red Bull Romaniacs Winner Young
Wade Young

Now six years later, at 22 years of age, he has now become the youngest ever Romaniacs winner after taking victory by two-minutes over Manuel Lettenbichler.

Red Bull Romaniacs Winner Young
Wade Young

Wade Young

“I just can’t believe it, I’m so happy. I’m speechless, it’s just so good. I didn’t give up once all day. I knew I had to give it my everything and I was going to go until I was sick, I was breaking boundaries all day. Mani got 3 gaps on me during the race and I closed them down everytime, everytime he got ahead I would “motocross” my way back up to him. This means so much to me, I’m happy!”

Red Bull Romaniacs Winner Young
Wade Young makes his way to the finish line
Provisional Final Overall Classification Gold Class
  1. Wade Young (Sherco – RSA) 26:03:15
  2. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) 26:05:30
  3. Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 26:39:22
  4. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB) 28:27:36
  5. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna – ESP) 28:55:17
  6. Paul Bolton (KTM – GB) 29:43:36
  7. David Cyprian (KTM – CZE) 31:12:43
  8. Blake Gutzeit (Yamaha – RSA) 31:44:26
  9. Marion Roman (Sherco – ESP) 32:07:30
  10. Philipp Scholz (KTM – DEU) 33:53:15…

Day Four Report

Tensions were high as the riders lined up in the grassy meadows at the foot of the hills just outside Sibiu. Skies were favourable. As an act of generosity Martin Freinademetz had granted an extra half an hour of sleep to the riders, a sign of recognition of the unbelievable strain the riders had been under during the last four days.

After a night of heavy contemplation Wade Young, Manuel Lettenbichler and Jonny Walker knew what they had to do to conquer this day and be the overall champion. Jonny had fire in his veins and charged full throttle out the start – knowing that it was 30 mins in the overall ranking that separated him from the title this year. Even though Walker rode an unbelievable race on Offroad Day 4 and made up some time, he was not able to beat the “young guns” but still secured himself third for the event to retain his lead in the World Enduro Super Series Standings.

On this final race day of the 2018 Red Bull Romaniacs – Manuel Lettenbichler rode the race of his life – blowing everything out of the water. It was similar to last years Offroad Day 4, which had earned him a fourth place in 2017. Today he had started the day with a 4-mins disadvantage behind Wade Young in the overall race progress – with the ultimate win in his sights.

Red Bull Romaniacs Finish Manuel Lettenbichler
Manuel Lettenbichler

And Manuel Lettenbichler delivered again, as he did throughout this entire race: He won the day and only missed the title by a mere two minutes, ending up with a second place on the podium! His absolutely best result so far.

Wade Young seemed to be holding back a little during the morning while Letti was charging out of the gates on fire. After the second to last checkpoint Young let it rip and charged forward, regaining time he had lost to Lettenbichler during the morning. His strategy appears to have been to conserve energy in the morning and then go for a final spurt, which granted him the title: the winner of the 2018 Red Bull Romaniacs – Epic Edition 15.

Red Bull Romaniacs Winner Young
Wade Young

The competitors determination and skill was demonstrated throughout the day, for example Wade and Manuel rode between 2 checkpoints in exactly the same time to the second.

Today Josep Garcia (# 20) had lost his front brake. After having managed to negotiate the section “Ziggy Zaggy”, he was in search for a KTM bike from the spectators, it was a German spectator who donated his front brake to the Gold class rider so he could continue on his way.

Red Bull Romaniacs Josep Garcia
Josep Garcia

Also, Mario Roman and Billy Bolt: Roman, showing no mercy to his injury, was riding the exact same time to the minute as Billy Bolt from the start up until checkpoint 8. This level of competition to the second and to the minute has never been seen before.

Despite the craziness of the race and the unbelievable level of strain riders and bikes have to go through, it again shows, how much the performance level in this sport has grown.

Red Bull Romaniacs Finish
Red Bull Romaniacs

Red Bull Romaniacs Martin Freinademetz

“We had a great “Enduro Fest”. I am deeply impressed by how ALL competitors fought it out – and the stamina, that brought everyone through the last days. I am also extremely proud of my team that made this event happen – with a full year of preparations and hardly any sleep during the last week. I think it was worth it – “thank you” everyone!! We had planned for Offroad Day 1 to be a bit of tough one, to bring everyone into the “red zone”. After that we had kept them racing at that level, which was far outside of their comfort zone. Each day we carefully modulated the track, depending on weather conditions and exhaustion levels of the competitors. As with any race organisation, each year there is room for improvement and lessons are learnt. We will continue to develop excellent race concepts, timekeeping, rules/regulations and the world’s best Enduro tracks for each class.”

Red Bull Romaniacs Winner Young
Wade Young

Manuel Lettenbichler – P2

“It was for sure one of the hardest races I have ever ridden so I am super pumped to get 2nd. Wade was really on it so, so good for him. My bike setting was good and I felt very comfortable during the race with my body and was trying to ride as smooth as I can. It’s nice that the 4 days are over and now it’s time for a beer!”

Red Bull Romaniacs Day Manuel Lettenbichler
Manuel Lettenbichler

Jonny Walker – P3

“Today was good. I pushed hard this morning when it was fast. Wade and Mani are really awesome so fair play to them. Mani was straight lining everything where I was zig zagging, big congratulations to them both. This morning was fast and the afternoon had these never ending hills, I kept thinking I was at the top but it would keep going up. Crazy end at Gusterita with all the new steps. Red Bull Romaniacs is the hardest rally in the WESS series with the four really long days so I’m happy to have got through it.”

Red Bull Romaniacs Jonathan Walker
Jonathan Walker

Behind the top three, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt finished fifth on the final day of racing to end his Red Bull Romaniacs in fourth overall. Building pace throughout the week, Spain’s Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) took fourth on Off Road Day 4 to complete the top five in the overall classification.

Just missing out on an overall top five position, Paul Bolton (KTM – GB) was sixth, while David Cyprian (KTM – CZE) was seventh. South Africa’s Blake Gutzeit (Yamaha) was eighth, Mario Roman (Sherco – ESP) ninth and Philipp Scholz (KTM – GER) rounded out the top 10.

Red Bull Romaniacs, Off Road Day 4 Gold Class

  1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) 4:58:48
  2. Wade Young (Sherco – RSA) 5:00:37
  3. Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 5:06:17
  4. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna – ESP) 5:19:23
  5. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB) 5:24:48
  6. David Cyprian (KTM – CZE) 5:56:18
  7. Paul Bolton (KTM – GB) 5:56:31
  8. Blake Gutzeit (Yamaha – RSA) 5:56:45
  9. Mario Roman (Sherco – ESP) 6:01:09
  10. Philipp Scholz (KTM – DEU) 6:17:53…

Provisional Final Overall Classification – Gold Class

  1. Wade Young (Sherco – RSA) 26:03:15
  2. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) 26:05:30
  3. Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 26:39:22
  4. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB) 28:27:36
  5. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna – ESP) 28:55:17
  6. Paul Bolton (KTM – GB) 29:43:36
  7. David Cyprian (KTM – CZE) 31:12:43
  8. Blake Gutzeit (Yamaha – RSA) 31:44:26
  9. Marion Roman (Sherco – ESP) 32:07:30
  10. Philipp Scholz (KTM – DEU) 33:53:15…

Provisional World Enduro Super Series Standings (after 4 of 8 rounds)

  1. Jonny Walker (GBR) 2900 points
  2. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER) 2715 pts
  3. Billy Bolt (GBR) 2520 pts
  4. Wade Young (RSA) 2220 pts
  5. Paul Bolton (GBR) 1832 pts
  6. Graham Jarvis (GBR) 1818 pts
  7. Josep Garcia (ESP) 1750 pts
  8. Taddy Blazusiak (POL) 1445 pts
  9. Travis Teasdale (RSA) 1410 pts
  10. Lars Enockl (AUT) 1351 pts

What about Graham Jarvis?

2017 winner of Romaniacs, Graham Jarvis began the 15th edition of the race aiming to claim his seventh victory. Finishing fourth on the opening day in the mountains, but 17 minutes behind the leaders, the Husqvarna rider was not happy with his riding. However, despite citing a lack of energy, he battled through Off Road Day 2 to maintain fourth. Starting the penultimate day feeling low on energy and fatigued, he was forced to withdraw from the race before the midday service point.

Graham Jarvis

“Deciding to stop on Off Road Day 3 was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do but it was the most sensible option to take. I simply had no more energy to continue and knew the safest thing to do was retire from the race. The race this year was tough, one of the toughest for a very long time and right from the off I just wasn’t feeling right. I didn’t get into that groove like I normally do and was struggling in places where I knew I shouldn’t have been. I really wanted to challenge for a seventh Romaniacs win this year but it wasn’t to be. My focus now is to rest and recuperate and get back to full fitness and energy for the rest of the WESS championship.”

Red Bull Romaniacs Day Graham Jarvis
Graham Jarvis

Other Classes

There were further celebrations with Austria’s Dieter Rudolf winning the Silver category, Brazil’s Gianino Coscarelli claiming victory in the Bronze category and Lithuania’s Mindaugas Simkevicius topping the Iron class.

Dieter Rudolf (AUT) – Silver Class Winner

“It’s been such a good week for me, I am so pleased with the result. I didn’t expect to win the prologue, my aim there was to just get through it safely. I chose to set off third on the first off road day and despite it being so tough I managed to make a lot of time on the other guys. Day two went ok and then I won again on day three. I had a good result at this year’s Erzbergrodeo, so that gave me some confidence, but the two events are so different – Erzbergrodeo is just four hours and Red Bull Romaniacs goes on for days. It feels great to take the win and makes all the hard work seem worth it.”

Red Bull Romaniacs Finish Brent Brady Bronze th
Aussie Brent Brady was 36th in the Bronze category

Provisional Final Overall Classification Silver Class

  1. Dieter Rudolf (AUT) 24:11:06
  2. Michael Walkner (AUT) 25:57:30
  3. Josu Artola (ESP) 26:09:14
  4. Emanuel Gyenes (ROU) 26:50:07
  5. Stefan Simpson (GBR) 27:17:11…
    7. Adam Giles (AUS)
    10. Robert Nowak (AUS)
    11. Jason Dwyer (AUS)
    21. Tom Howe (AUS)
    36. Craig Stevenson (AUS)
    38. Dudley Duffey (AUS)
    51. Phil Hurley (AUS)
    53. Tim Gibson (AUS)
    54. Ryan Peterson (AUS)

Gianino Coscarelli (BRA) – Bronze Class Winner

“It feels like a dream to have won my class at Red Bull Romaniacs. It’s one of the most famous races in the world because it is so difficult. So, to win it is incredible. It’s been a hard week but I kept fighting on throughout and now I’m here in the finishing arena as a Romaniacs winner. This is one of the best days of my Enduro life.”

Provisional Final Overall Classification Bronze Class

  1. Gianino Coscarelli (BRA) 22:44:27
  2. Milos Novakovic (SVN) 23:00:30
  3. Fausto Mota (PRT) 23:55:49
  4. Andreas Maier (AUT) 24:00:46
  5. Aivars Kukojs (LVA) 24:11:06…
    28. Glenn Edwards (AUS)
    36. Brent Brady (AUS)
    42. Gavin Lind (AUS)
    50. Ben Watkins (AUS)
    63. Jason Beaton (AUS)
    81. Raymond Borg (AUS)
    85. William Richards (AUS)
    93. Mark Smith (AUS)
    94. Nathan White (AUS)
    96. Mev Omercevic (AUS)
    103. Matt Hannaford (AUS)
    127. Lachlan Wishart (AUS)

Provisional Final Overall Classification Iron Class

  1. Mindaugas Simkevicius (LTU) 22:45:24
  2. Antanas Lucinskas (LTU) 24:43:03
  3. Markus Oberndorfer (AUT) 24:46:52
  4. Markus Beeler (CHE) 226:30:27
  5. Maksim Gusevskii (RUS) 27:16:52
  6. Robert Kingston (AUS)
    14. Cheyenne Jones (AUS)
    17. Timothy Lightfoot (AUS)

The next event on the 2018 WESS calendar is Red Bull 111 Megawatt on 8-9 September.

ENDURO

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