Red Bull Romaniacs The Impossible, Edition 20 kicked off in full force today with the In-City Prolog, few words can describe the atmosphere, the electricity in the air, it was on fire. Competitors from 55 nations, their families, their support crew, riders from every class, spectators from all over the world, locals who took holidays from work, TV crews and media filled the Bulevardul Coposu, it was a showdown of all showdowns.
The mastermind behind the Red Bull Romaniacs Prolog, Andy Fazekas, did not disappoint. ‘The Impossible’ Prolog had a creative flare combining endurocross, freestyle and even imitating natural obstacles found out in the mountains plus the fast sections where speed was the name of the game. Despite its intimidating appearance with huge rocks and ramps and the wall ride, the track was designed to have good flow and be manageable for all of the classes.
The Gold class was dominated by an intense battle between Billy Bolt (GBR, Husqvarna) and Mani Lettenbichler (DEU, KTM). Bolt took the lead but Lettenbichler was hot on his tail, they built a gap between the other competitors and the showdown was between the two of them. Lettenbichler did manage to gain the lead at one point after Billy went over the handlebars which only made Billy more on the hunt for the win. Neither one of the two athletes were prepared to give anything up. Chasing behind was Alfredo Gomez (ESP, Rieju) who was also not prepared to sacrifice his spot on this year’s podium. They completed 10 laps in the 10 minutes + 1 lap.
The other performance that really stood out was Bronze class Pol Tarres (AND) on his Yamaha Ténéré 700, he stormed through every obstacle as if they were bumps in the road and handled his heavy bike with grace scoring a clean win of 1 minute, 22 seconds in front of his nearest rival. Tarres fellow Yamaha Ténéré 700 companion, Kevin Gallas (DEU), also a Romaniacs Legend but has never competed on a 4 stroke adventure bike before, didn’t have quite the same flow and speed on the big bike but he cleared all the obstacles and ended up coming in ninth position.
Billy Bolt: “I put a lot of pressure on the prolog. It was a good battle with Mani. I made one mistake which frustrated me. It was a little bit of an easier prolog which made the racing more intense and we did more laps. I haven’t had the best preparations for the Offroad Days, I just hope to get to the finish in one piece”
Mani Lettenbichler: “I am stoked to be on the podium, it puts me in a good position for tomorrow. The track was insane, it was really good, well done everyone. I’m hoping tomorrow will not be too crazy. Going to be watching out for Graham Jarvis, he’s pretty fast in the woods and all the top ten guys are hard competition”.
Gold Class Results:
1st – Billy Bolt (GBR)
2nd – Mani Lettenbichler (DEU)
3rd – Alfredo Gomez (ESP)
Silver Class Results:
1st – Ben Wibberley (GBR)
2nd – Nicolaj Thybring (DNK)
3rd – Philipp Bertl (AUT)
Bronze Class Results:
1st – Pol Tarres (AND)
2nd – Jürg Schütz (CHE)
3rd – Ian Derwent (AUS)
During the showdown of the Edition 20 Prolog the premiere of the Romaniacs theme song was performed live featuring Stuart Biggins from Australia. The catchy rock anthem had the crowds moving and will become the featured anthem for the twenthieth anniversary. Traditional Sibiu folklore dancing was performed in front of the wall ride and on the big screen highlighting some of the culture of the host city, Sibiu and the region of Transylvania.