After the prologue’s fun filled frolics, Red Bull Romaniacs 2015, the world’s toughest hard enduro rally got down to the serious business of racing. With a monster 124 kilometres of trails awaiting the Gold class riders, day one was certainly a sharp awakening for most.
Leading the field out, Husqvarna’s Graham Jarvis left the start-line at 7am in a determined mood. Immediately cranking up his race pace, he pushed hard to gap his chasing rivals.
Holding station at the front of the field for over five hours of seat time, Jarvis won the day and provisionally puts himself in the overall lead of Romaniacs.
“It’s been a good day,” said Jarvis. “I knew opening the track would give an advantage to the others, but I felt really good in my riding and pretty much hit my lines all day. It’s nice to be in this position already in the race.”
Second on the day went to the old hand Andreas Lettenbichler. The KTM rider was in top form on day one and, having started fifth, was quick to close his one-minute gap to Jonny Walker. Staying with Walker for the majority of the day, the duo crossed the finish side-by-side.
Day one didn’t deliver another win for Walker. Admitting to have tripped himself up on numerous occasions, the defending champion was just happy to shake his ride off and arrive home in one piece, while not giving too much away to Jarvis.
Behind the leading trio, KTM’s Paul Bolton came home fourth, while Jarvis’s team-mate Alfredo Gómez had a mistake-filled day for fifth.
A day for downhills
Usually it’s the uphills that challenge most, but on day one crafty track managers reversed the trend and gave competitors a series of never-ending descents. Needing pinpoint accuracy to avoid the pitfalls, day one may not have been the hardest-ever opener for Romaniacs but it was certainly one of the most mentally taxing, as Paul Bolton explains.
“It was a good day’s riding but unusually the downhills were the hardest part. They were widely varied too. Tight switchback goat-herding trails, fast, rough and pounding paths, and then a few rock-littered tracks thrown in for good measure. The track managers also made lots of the turns on right hand off-cambers making it seriously tricky to use the rear brake to steady yourself. Today was a good workout for both the body and brain!”