Graham Jarvis had a lonley Day 3, getting out front early and riding without major incident to the finish.
Day 3 of the 2012 Red Bull Romaniacs Hard Enduro Rally was one of the most difficult riders faced over the four-day event. Drastic altitude changes marked the trek from Voineasa to Sibu with a towering 3,280 foot hillclimb section separating the men from the boys. Husaberg’s Graham Jarvis continued his domination of the 2012 Romaniacs, taking first on Day 3, followed by KTM rider and former Romaniacs champion Chris Birch in second and Husqvarna’s Andreas Lettenbichler in third.
Jarvis experienced little traffic as he continued his quest toward a third Romaniacs title, and he came in over 17 minutes ahead of Birch at the finish. The British rider stunned race officials at checkpoints, service points and the finish by coming in 15 minutes before the minimum estimated riding time. Birch similarly wowed spectators by taking second on a foot that may be fractured.
“It was pretty lonely for me out there today,” said Jarvis. The only two riders I saw were two guys from the Hobby-class.”
Lettenbichler opened the day in position to score another runner-up finish, but clutch problems forced the German to lose nearly 20 minutes addressing the setback. Romaniacs rookie Jonny Walker, winner of the 2012 Red Bull Hare Scramble at Erzberg and the Romaniacs Prolog, also experienced difficulty after a crash dislocated his shoulder. The KTM rider was able to remount and finish in sixth, remaining third overall after Day 3.
Jarvis continued to lead the pack on the overall time sheets and Lettenbichler’s third-place finish kept him safely in second with only one day remaining.
Jonny Walker took the win on Day 4 and earned third overall, making him the youngest rider to earn a Romaniacs podium.
As energy levels waned, Day 4 proved to be an exercise in heroism for riders chasing the finish. Walker managed to come in first ahead of Lettenbichler with Birch holding on to third ahead of Jarvis.
Jarvis faced his most difficult challenge of the event after crashing and drowning his bike in a river. “The first three days of the race went just perfect for me. I was able to pull a good gap on my competitors and had some great rides. Today I crashed and drowned my bike which lost me some time so I decided to take it easy into the finish.”
Overall, Jarvis came out of the 2012 Red Bull Romaniacs as King of the Carpathians, winning his third rally and tying record holder Cyril Despres. Jarvis is committed to returning to next year’s Romaniacs to move past Despres and claim the overall win title. Lettenbichler went home second overall and was followed by Walker in third. The KTM rookie is now the youngest rider to reach the Romaniacs podium, an astonishing feat considering this was also his first race utilizing GPS navigation.
“I’m here for the experience this year and want to come back next year to kick some butt. I am stoked to have made it onto the podium of this unbelievable race.”
2012 Romaniacs overall podium with Graham Jarvis (center) in first, Andreas Lettenbichler (left) in second and Jonny Walker (right) in third.
2012 Red Bull Romaniacs Overall Results:
1. Graham Jarvis (Husaberg) 19:03:47
2. Andreas Lettenbichler (Husqvarna) 19:47:43
3. Jonny Walker (KTM) 20:12:08
4. Chris Birch (KTM) 20:25:19
5. Xavier Galindo (Husaberg) 20:48:55
6. Melcior Faja (KTM) 21:29:35
7. Erwin Kovacs (KTM) 21:57:25
8. Altus de Wet (KTM) 23:10:21
9. Darryl Curtis (KTM) 24:00:50
10. Rienk Tuinstra (Husaberg) 24:06:29
11. Philipp Scholz (KTM) 24:18:15
12. Scott Bouverie (KTM) 24:25:33
13. Paul Fratila (KTM) 25:24:02
14. Riaan van Niekerk (KTM) 25:41:15
15. Kevin Wilson Archer (KTM) 25:51:07