Jonny Walker makes brilliant start to 2012 Red Bull Romaniacs

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Traditionally the Red Bull Romaniacs 2012 started with a prologue in downtown Sibiu, a course of man-­‐made obstacles with scary names like “Kidney massage”, “Guillotine” and “Minefield”. Rock music and live commentary combined with adrenalin-­‐soaked Hard-­‐Enduro action attracted the biggest crowd ever and the spectators did not get disappointed by the fierce battles between the top riders of each class.

The line-­‐up of obstacles was slightly different from last year and again managed to quite intimidate many of the Hobby-­‐class riders. Prologue-­‐manager Andy Fazekas had aimed to create slightly more technical obstacles but still keep them manageable for the majority of participants, especially in case of rain. Surprisingly, despite dark clouds over Sibiu in the morning, it stayed dry – which made the course significantly faster. Jonny Walker stunned everyone through the qualification rounds with a winning time of less than 18 seconds and he was followed by Graham Jarvis and Xavi Galindo. The finals were dominated by Walker again, with Xavi Galindo on 2nd and Andreas “Letti” Lettenbichler on 3rd place. It was great to see Galindo back on the bike and in shape after a brutal crash at the Erzberg.

Jonny Walker: “This is my first time at the Red Bull Romaniacs, I loved the prologue, this is my game. Some of the obstacles could have been a bit more flowy, so I could have taken them faster… In general this is my favorite part, after that I am only looking forward to my flight back home!” Especially the perspective of relying on a GPS device in the Romanian wilderness did not make him particularly look forward to the Offroad days, since he had never used one before. But Martin “Frejn” Freinademetz comforted him: “You will only need it if it gets foggy, otherwise you can rely on the work of our trackmanagers (600km of well-­‐marked track!) and if everything goes wrong, you`ll just be eaten by the bears!” Walker considers it a disadvantage that after winning the prologue, he will be the first on the track tomorrow.

Xavi Galindo: “I am very happy about the prologue result today. I love the Red Bull Romaniacs because it includes so many different elements. My favorite is the navigation! This race is not won by full speed but by strategy and I am really happy about the nice weather this time, which plays in my favor!”

Andreas Lettenbichler: “The Red Bull Romaniacs is one of my favorite races: Everybody is so friendly and has a good time, coming back and meeting all the people feels like we’re a big family. Of course we all have our expectations when we come here, and a place on the podium would be great, but the first and foremost thing is, to have fun Enduro riding. The prologue had been set up nicely: there was a good selection of different lines, and I was hoping for the hobby riders that it would not rain! For me it was all the same… and I certainly enjoyed it!”

Graham Jarvis: “I love Romania and it is so great to ride Enduro here! It takes a bit of courage to participate in the Red Bull Romaniacs, there are some gnarly downhills in Martin`s box of surprises. The prologue was different from last year, more technical, a bit tougher and slower in pace – but nicely rideable, especially considering the dry weather! Today I started my race with the prologue on a brand new bike – mine took too much of a beating last week but fortunately there were no surprises! All top riders are also in good shape -­‐ so if nobody makes any mistakes, it’s gonna be a nice and equal fight.”

Chris Birch: “The Red Bull Romaniacs is my favorite race! If I had to design a race it would be like this. The mix of the terrain is perfect. The trails are perfect for Enduro, slippery but not to slippery, steep but not to steep. It was a very nice prologue, but we didn`t expect anything else from the Red Bull Romaniacs team! My first run was ok, but in the 2nd one I went over the handlebar! In general, rain would have added some spice, but it was good to once have a prologue without… It still is quite easy to get hurt, especially for the hobby riders – and I can`t understand that there is still people riding without a neckbrace. I have two friends who can`t walk anymore and it is terrible!”

You can watch the Red Bull Romaniacs LIVE here

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