Graham Jarvis wins the 19th Red Bull Romanian Championship

At the age of 47, Britain’s Graham Jarvis won the world’s toughest enduro rally for the seventh time.

After Manuel Litttenbechler’s penalty kick on day one off-road, it looked like the Carpathian King would easily win “in the madness we trust”, but Theodor Kabakshev and Mario Roman kept the pressure almost until the end. Marius Popovici finished the race second in the bronze class, and Ovidio Nestor won in the iron class. Manny Jane cemented his record, being the only rider in the world to have finished all 19 Red Bull Romaniacs.

The 2022 edition debuted as tradition requires, with Prologue. Fans waited for the urban show in the center of Sibiu who couldn’t see their favourites for the past couple of years, and the riders were impressed with the atmosphere created and gave their all, despite the heat wave. Alfredo Gomez won the lead and it looked like the Spaniard was headed for another podium. Unfortunately, he had to retire on day three off-road due to medical issues and left Romania without points in the Hard-Enduro World Championship. Not only did Gomez follow the bad luck in this rally but also Manuel Littenbechler. The Bavarian, who was fighting for a fourth title, was penalized on his first off-road day with two hours for a clutch change. So, to get back to the points, he changed his approach, led the track most of the time, won day two and four off-road and finished sixth overall, coming from 16th.

Graham Jarvis No. 32 (Great Britain) led the rally from day one, although on day two, when the finish was above 2,000 meters above sea level at Vârful Puru in the Latorița Mountains, he doubted he would have the energy to keep up with the altitude pace to the end. On the final day, the Briton put in a bid by easily ascending the almost vertical climb of Gușterita Hill and eventually won by eight minutes ahead of younger Teodor Kabakshev #6 (Bulgaria), and 13 minutes ahead of Mario. Roman #3 (Spain). The 24-year-old Bulgarian is the junior world champion in SuperEnduro and is the podium at Red Bull Romaniacs the highlight of his career to date. After the podium in Romaniacs, Mario Roman became the general classification leader for the World Hard-Enduro Championship.

Graham Jarvis #32 (Great Britain): “Last year I injured my knee and was glad I was able to ride the bike again. On the third day I felt good, but today I had no energy at all, I was easily overtaken. I struggled To resist. Anything can happen, even the oldest can win. At 47 and after this injury, it’s unbelievable. I think it’s the most important win of my career.”

The Sibyons did a great job
Sibian Marius Popovici, a newcomer at Red Bull Romanics but a title racer in motocross (Eastern European 65cm C Champion), managed to finish the race in second place in the Bronze category. It was a stunning result for the teenager who climbed onto the podium alongside Matthias Falkner, the Austrian who won the 2018 Dakar Rally and is also a two-time MX1 world champion.
At the age of 17, Ovidiu Nistor won the iron class and is determined to train in order to start a silver medal in 2023. Following the development of this edition, both he and Marius Popovici gave hope that in the not-too-distant future we can once again have a Roman finish Race in the top ten in the gold category, the most challenging track.

With the raid engine on the platform
Matthias Falkner #342 (Austria) came to Red Bull Romanianx with the motorcycle he used in the KTM 450 Rally Factory, which he finished third at the Dakar 2022. Not only did the KTM pilot enjoy being able to. Sitting for hours in the saddle, but he actually took third place in the bronze class. With so many differences between the sports, Walkner never used first gear like he did during his four days off-road at the Red Bull Romaniacs: “In the end it was a pretty cool adventure, and that’s what I’m looking for. You don’t have time to rest here. I wasn’t expecting the Bronze Class road to be so difficult. I’ve had moments when I was wondering what I’m doing here, but almost every day I get to spend five hours on the bike and that’s been very good training for me.”

Silver Class – Duel to the Last Ascent
Chris Birch #102 (New Zealand) won the fencing with Frenchman Fabien Poirot #113, taking his second title at Red Bull Romanianx. After more than 400 kilometers and five days of racing, there was only a gap of 1 minute 26 seconds between the two. The New Zealander was a former regular in the Gold (Pro – as he was originally called) class and won the Rally in 2010, and this year he just came for the adventure, getting into the KTM 500 exc-f. It turns out that sometimes it’s really good that the bill at home doesn’t match the bill at the show.
Mani Gyenes #103 reached a record number of finishes. The Sătămărean team has finished all nineteen editions of the Red Bull Romaniacs and is the only one in the world to perform that performance. Unfortunately, he only had to settle for 16th after the coolant broke on day three and crawled to the stopping point.
After a day in Mărginimea Sibiului, two in Transalpina and one in Cindrel, the “In Madness We Trust” version remains one of the most beautiful versions in rally history. Sunrise on top of the mountain, Near impossible climb, Extreme descent, GPS as the sign can’t be seen due to fog, LiveManiacs – Amazing live sections that Gold Class had to complete three times – 20 degree temperature differences between start And the ending, are just some of the elements that remain in the memory of the competitors in the 2022 edition.

Martin Frenadimitz, mastermind of Red Bull Romanics: “I am very relieved that we managed to organize the rally in difficult times and had competitors from 52 countries. At Madness We Trust it was a very good test for the upcoming anniversary, when we will hold our 20th edition on 25-30 July. We are working on ideas to make the event even bigger. LiveManiacs has been a good way to bring the sport closer to the audience and fans. After trying this year, we will improve the sport and make it more suitable for mainstream media. I would like to thank all the competitors, fans and the whole team for this edition.”

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