The 21-year-old Manuel Lettenbichler (Flatschingfast Factory Team) from Germany did a phenomenal job in the Carpathian Mountains yesterday by winning day three of the Off-road Days at Red Bull Romaniacs “Sweet 16” Edition.
Red Bull KTM’s Taddy Blazusiak came in second just over a minute behind Manuel and Graham Jarvis (UK, Husqvarna) third losing six minutes and three seconds on day’s winner.
Based on the results of Off-road Day 2 Manuel started six minutes after Alfredo Gomez (ESP, Husqvarna) in the morning. It took him about 30 minutes to catch Alfredo and the two spent most of the day riding together. Again it was a good mix of faster sections and rather long and technical uphills and downhills. There was a longer liaison between Checkpoint six and seven. When Alfredo and Manuel finished the liaison Alfredo set a very fast pace and Manuel was not able to keep up. Manuel had already abandoned the hope of catching the Spaniard but Alfredo didn’t make the last uphill before the finish on his first attempt which gave Manuel the opportunity to pass him. Andreas Lettenbichler’s son finished first and looking at the total riding time he was seven minutes and seven seconds faster than Gomez.
Blazusiak had a good day, finally having figured out the right setup for his bike, the Polish superstar lost a minute on Manuel. Jarvis might have been preserving some energy for the final Off-road Day 4 where the track is supposed to be the toughest and wet conditions are expected.
We have remarkable news from the Iron Class for you: Anna Schmöltzl from Germany is the first woman ever to lead a Romaniacs Class overall. After Off-road Day 3 she managed to pull a gap of 16 minutes and 38 seconds on the second in Iron, Eduardo Martinez Lopez (MEX), demonstrating steady and very impressive riding.
Manuel Lettenbichler: “I made it to the finish line first today and rode most of the day with Alfredo – he was riding so good again today and at the end I wasn’t sure if I could keep up with his pace. But in the last uphill I was able to pass him quite nicely and was able to make up some time. It was a long and tough day again. I hope that the final day tomorrow will not be as tough as the other days but I’ll give it all and hopefully it works out in the end.”
Alfredo Gomez: “I started first this morning and on the track I was leading for about 95% of the day. I had a few crashes before the service point and was trying to ride new lines on some uphills because it was very muddy and wet out there in some areas. After the Service Point it was better, however Mani caught me, I lost a bit of time but was able to pass him again. In the last uphill he passed me again – it was a good battle today.”
Graham Jarvis: “I was tired early on and struggled. However, I recovered and was quite happy to pull some time back later in the day. It was a tough day today and I’m pleased to still have a chance of winning the event with a good performance tomorrow”.
Taddy Blazusiak: “I’m happy with this day, my riding and the bike’s setup which is really important here at Romaniacs. We’ve finally got the setup where it should be and it shows. The time we’ve lost in the first day caused by a technical issues set us back overall.”
Billy Bolt: “I’m a lot happier today to be honest. I’m still struggling a little bit with the intensity on the difficult hills when pushing the bike. But overall I’m a lot happier with my riding today compared with the other days. This was the first day really that I’m up amongst the top times of the day which is a step in the right direction. Hopefully I’ll have another good day tomorrow and the struggling with my body has an end in sight.”
Jonny Walker: “It was not the best day today, I didn’t really feel comfortable all day, tried to push but couldn’t. I also had a couple of bigger crashes. I struggled a little with my wrist today but apart from that I didn’t have any other problems really and I’m looking forward to tomorrow”.
Anna Schmolzl (GER) currently ranking FIRST overall in the Iron Class): “It was a very good week for me so far and it was a great day for me today. Even though I didn’t win a single day I’m leading the Iron Class after three Off-Road Days. I do hope I can take this to the finish tomorrow. Today was the hardest day in the Iron Class so far, it was quite slippery but the other days were really good, perfectly prepared and designed. Winning the Iron Class would mean so much to me because originally I was not meant to get here at all due to a knee surgery I’ll have in three weeks from now. This surgery will take me out for about half a year. Red Bull Romaniacs is the last race before the surgery and I’m so happy, it was beyond my imagination that this would happen here at Red Bull Romaniacs.”
Off-road Day 4 – Sibiu
After 124km on the Gold Class track the Offroad Day 4 will end – yes, you’re right – at the infamous hill climb in Gusterita however, the track right before the finish line will be different and have some added spice compared to the 2018 Epic Edition.
The riders will have to climb a good 10,000 metres (!) throughout the entire day within the vicinity of Sibiu. They will face the following signature sections: Ass Slide, Snooze, Momentum, Too Many Zicky Zacky, Extreme Miorita, Flying Ford, Hug the Tree, White Enduro, The Rock. All in all it will be a classic mix of forest and alpine riding in the deep valleys around Sibiu and Paltinis.
Top 10 Results – Gold Class
- Manuel Lettenbichler (DEU, Flatschingfast Factory Team): 4 hours 40 minutes 10 seconds
- Taddy Blazusiak (POL, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing): 4h 41m 17s (+1m 7s)
- Graham Jarvis (GBR Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing): 4h 46m 16s (+6m 6s)
- Alfredo Gomez Cantero (ESP, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing): 4 hours 47 minutes 59 seconds (+7m 7s)
- Billy Bolt (UK, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing): 4h 47m 43s (+28m 8s)
- Mario Roman (ESP, Sherco Factory Racing Team): 4h 54m 54s (+14m 44s)
- Jonny Walker (GBR, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing): 5h 2m 34s (+22m 24s)
- David Cyprian (CZ, JD Gunnex KTM): 5h 17m 36s (+37m 26s)
- Pol Tarrés (ESP, TTR Officine Rigamonti Husqvarna): 5h 24m 11s (+44m 1s)
- Josep Garcia Montana (ESP, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing): 5h 43m 8s (+1h 2m 58s)
Top 3 Results Silver and Bronze Class
Top 3 Results – Silver Class
- Josu Artola (ESP) Zatika Team: 4h 32m 4s
- Sam Winterburn (GBR) Eurotek: 4h 50m 40s (+18m 36s)
- Charles Feyrit (FRA) Team TT Beaujolais/ LMSENS: 4h 53m 56s (+21m 52s)
Top 3 Results – Bronze Class
- Eric Slominski (USA) Slowmaniac: 4h 3m 50s
- Marcin Weglarz (POL) Team EURORIDER Katowice: 4h 5m 501 (+2m 1s)
- Radu Sardarescu (ROU) Enduro Fanatics: 4h 7m 56s (+4m 6s)