WADE YOUNG REFLECTS ON 2018 VICTORY AT ROMANIACS

Sibiu, Romania – 31 July, 2018 — Round four of the World Enduro Super Series saw Sherco Factory Racing’s Wade Young become the youngest ever winner of Red Bull Romaniacs. For five epic days of Enduro racing the 22-year-old South African battled both his rivals and the elements to secure the biggest victory of his career to date.

Pushing to his absolute physical limits during each of the long and demanding days of racing, Young conquered the toughest Enduro terrain Romania had to offer and etched his name onto the winner’s list of the world-famous Hard Enduro Rallye.

Congratulations Wade, how does it feel to have won the 15th edition of Red Bull Romaniacs!

Wade Young: “Thanks. This race is probably the toughest Enduro race around so I’m really stoked on the win. It’s a hugely demanding event. It’s five days on a bike and you get pushed to your absolute physical limit. I’ve been trying for a while now to get it done and finally the winner’s trophy is mine. But thanks also go to my whole Sherco Factory Racing team, my mechanic and family and friends who’ve kept me going all week.”

Entering the final day of racing you only had a small four-minute lead, were you nervous about that?

“I felt like I was riding well all week and knew that I could do it. But also, Manuel Lettenbichler was riding good too and was keeping me honest. He was fast on the up hills but I managed to reel him in on the downhills and flowing sections of the course. It went like that for the whole day right until the last couple of checkpoints. I knew then it was a case of now or never and I just gave it everything I had. I rode at maximum attack for the final 20 kilometres.”

What was the feeling like entering the final hillclimb in Gusterita, knowing you’d done enough to win?

“I could hear the crowd cheering and the atmosphere was just pumping. The final hillclimb is always nervy because it’s so steep and easy to make a mistake. With the gap being so tight crashing there could have lost me the entire race. I wanted to celebrate but held back until the finish line and then once I passed the chequered flag the enormity of it all hit me. It was an unreal moment in my Enduro career.”

Aside from winning the race, were there any other highlights for you during the Red Bull Romaniacs?

“Probably just before the service point on off road day three. There we had the hardest climb of the race and I managed to pull a gap on the guys. Up until then the climbs were not my strongest asset and to just get it right and build a small lead felt awesome. It was a little victory in itself.”

You’ve had multiple podium results here and now a win, what is it about the Red Bull Romaniacs that suits your style of riding?

“I think it’s the long days — it’s not just all about technique. Somewhere like the Erzbergrodeo relies a lot on technique and trials riding, where for me Red Bull Romaniacs is a pure form of Enduro riding. It’s man and machine against the elements for as long as it takes each day. It’s the toughest and most physically demanding Enduro race in the world. It requires you to dig deep and that’s something I can do when the going gets tough. I feel like I showed that this week — there were some gnarly days for sure.”

Finally, with a debut Red Bull Romaniacs win do you think you can keep that momentum going and claim a debut Red Bull 111 Megawatt victory?

“I’d definitely like to. Although it’s completely different to here in Romania, it’s a race where I’ve finished on the podium before. I’m riding well and I’ve always been strong there, so I’ll try to fight for the top step of the podium again.”

Next year promises to be an exciting 2019 Dakar Rally. Famed as one of the most difficult and enduring races on Earth, The Rally has been set to take place (in its entirety) in Peru, South America.

The dates for this year’s race have been set as January 6-17 2019. This ultimate Enduro Rally features 10 incredible stages, one marathon stage (no pit crews allowed) and two days of rest for competitors.

In total, the riders will ride just over 4,900km, with nearly 3,000 of those timed specials and 1,900 non-race travel. And 70% of the action will take place in the sand dunes of Peru.

From the Capital riders will head south, covering the beautiful coastal region with stages in Pisco, San Juan de Marcona and Arequipa – places already visited during last year’s event which was won by KTM’s Matthias Walkner.

The epic Marathon stage will occur in Moquequa before the riders arrive to Arequipa for the rest day. From there, riders head back to Lima after taking on San Juan de Marcona and Pisco.

Leading up to the 2019 Dakar Rally, competitors will get some well-needed practice in a few events:

  • Atacma Rally in Chile (FIM Cross Countries Championship)
  • Desafio Ruta 40 Rally in Argentina (FIM Cross Countries Championship)
  • Inca Challenge in Peru (Dakar Series event)

Last year’s Dakar Rally traveled through three countries – Peru, Bolivia and Argentina – and took riders nearly 8,300kms in 14 stages, which included two marathon stages where riders could not use their pit crews.

2019 Dakar Rally Schedule

Date Stage Place
6 January Starting ramp Lima
7 January Stage 1 Lima – Pisco
8 January Stage 2 Pisco – San Juan de Marcona
9 January Stage 3 San Juan de Marcona – Arequipa
10 January Stage 4 Arequipa – Moquegua
11 January Stage 5 Moquegua – Arequipa
12 January Rest Day Arequipa
13 January Stage 6 Arequipa – San Juan de Marcona
14 January Stage 7 San Juan de Marcona – San Juan de Marcona
15 January Stage 8 San Juan de Marcona – Pisco
16 January Stage 9 Pisco – Pisco
17 January Stage 10 Pisco – Lima

Round 4 of the World Enduro Super Series 2018 – Romaniacs Epic Edition 15

Today he had started the day with a 4 mins disadvantage behind Wade Young in the overall race progress – with the ultimate win in his sights. And Manuel Lettenbichler delivered again, as he did throughout this entire race: He won the day and only missed the title by a mere two minutes, ending up with a second place on the podium! His absolutely best result so far.

Wade Young seemed to be holding back a little during the morning while Lettenbichler was charging out of the gates on fire. After the second to last checkpoint Young let it rip and charged forward, regaining time he had lost to Lettenbichler during the morning. His strategy appears to have been to conserve energy in the morning and then go for a final spurt, which granted him the title: the winner of the 2018 Red Bull Romaniacs – Epic Edition 15. In fact, he is now the youngest ever winner of the Red Bull Romaniacs. This level of competition to the second and to the minute has never been seen before. Despite the craziness of the race and the unbelievable level of strain riders and bikes have to go through, it again shows, how much the performance level in this sport has grown.

Final overall result Gold Class after Offroad Day #4:

 

1   Wade Young RSA
2   Manuel Lettenbichler GER
3   Jonathan Walker GBR
4   William Bolt GBR
5   Alfredo Gomez ESP
6   Paul Bolton GBR
7   David Cyprian CZE
8   Blake Gutzeit RSA
9   Mario Roman ESP
10   Philipp Scholz GER

 

 

World Enduro Super Series schedule for 2018

 

–          round 1: Extreme XL Lagares (POR), 11. – 13. May

–          round 2: Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble (AUT), 31. Mai – 3. June

–          round 3: Trèfle Lozérien AMV (FRA), 8. – 10. June

–          round 4: Red Bull Romaniacs (ROM), 24. – 28. July

–          round 5: Red Bull 111 Megawatt (POL), 8. September

–          round 6: Gotland Grand National (SWE), 26. – 27. October

–          round 7: Red Bull Knock Out (NED), 10. November

Final overall result Gold Class after Offroad Day #4:

 

1   Wade Young RSA
2   Manuel Lettenbichler GER
3   Jonathan Walker GBR
4   William Bolt GBR
5   Alfredo Gomez ESP
6   Paul Bolton GBR
7   David Cyprian CZE
8   Blake Gutzeit RSA
9   Mario Roman ESP
10   Philipp Scholz GER

 

 

World Enduro Super Series schedule for 2018

 

–          round 1: Extreme XL Lagares (POR), 11. – 13. May

–          round 2: Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble (AUT), 31. Mai – 3. June

–          round 3: Trèfle Lozérien AMV (FRA), 8. – 10. June

–          round 4: Red Bull Romaniacs (ROM), 24. – 28. July

–          round 5: Red Bull 111 Megawatt (POL), 8. September

–          round 6: Gotland Grand National (SWE), 26. – 27. October

–          round 7: Red Bull Knock Out (NED), 10. November

Sibiu, Romania – 26 July, 2018 — The fight for victory at round four of the World Enduro Super Series heats up as Sherco Factory Racing’s Wade Young claims the win on Off Road Day 2 at Red Bull Romaniacs.

The battle for top honours in this year’s Red Bull Romaniacs continues to be a three-way affair as Young (RSA), Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jonny Walker (GB) set the pace at the head of the field. After an incredibly tough opening day in the mountains, the competitors from 53 nations in the 15th edition of the race faced a somewhat shorter course for Off Road Day 2. Hard in places but offering breath taking mountain top Enduro riding in others, it was a day to savour for many.

At the sharp end of the field, the battle for Gold class honours raged on. Leading the field out, Lettenbichler was chased down by Young and Walker. At checkpoint four, WESS points leader Walker had eliminated the six-minute gap to his rivals as the trio broke away from the rest of the field. Arriving almost together at the service point, it was too close to call.

But the afternoon told a slightly different story. Holding station at the front, Young managed to weaken Walker’s grip on him. Pulling clear, and bringing Lettenbichler with him, the duo crossed the finish line two minutes ahead of Walker to give the South African the stage win and the overall lead in the race. However, on corrected time, Walker’s morning efforts saw him split Young and Lettenbichler to end his day as runner-up, pushing the young German privateer back to third.

Behind the top three, Poland’s Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) put the pain of yesterday’s shoulder injury behind him to secure an impressive fourth place. The fight for fifth was incredibly tight between British trio Paul Bolton (KTM), Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) and Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna). Only one-minute separated the three riders after over six hours of racing, with Bolton claiming the top five result over Bolt and Jarvis.

In the Silver class there was a change of stage winner as Austria’s Micheal Walkner got the better of his fellow countryman Dieter Rudolf on Off Road Day 2, while Australia’s Robert Nowark was third. Rudolf continues to lead the category with two days remaining.

Frenchman Jean-Michel Vigand was the winner of the Bronze class, marching to a 12-minute margin of victory over New Zealand’s Norman Thomas. Jond Christophe (FRA) placed third. Despite ending his day in ninth, Brazil’s Gianino Coscarelli continues to lead but sees his advantage reduced to two minutes over Czech Republic’s Bieri Marc.

Lithuania’s Mindaugas Simkevicius had a great day at the office taking the Iron class win from Markus Oberndorfer (AUT) and Tom Oberndorfer (GER). Simkevicius remains stationed at the head of the category.

Now entering the second half of this year’s Hard Enduro Rallye, the race turns back towards Sibiu, leaving behind the region of Straja and Petrosani.

 

Wade Young (Sherco – RSA): “Overall, it’s been another good day. I’m enjoying the long days on the bike and seem to build my pace more and more towards the end. This morning Jonny and Manni were really pushing the pace, I wasn’t 100 per cent comfortable and so had to sit back. During the afternoon I relaxed into it more and brought the fight to them. We’re only halfway into the race so there’s still two big days to come but, like I said, I’m enjoying it and so that’s got to be a good thing running this pace.”

Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER): “Today was longer than expected and also faster. There were some pretty gnarly sections though to keep things challenging. Jonny, Wade and myself were so close this morning and then in the afternoon we broke away from Jonny and it was another full gas fight to the finish. Wade’s gained some time on me but there’s a long way to go and tomorrow will be another big day for sure.”

Jonny Walker (KTM – GB): “This morning went really well and I was able to pressure Manni and Wade. In the afternoon I found it hard to get the same traction on some of the hills and lost a bit of time. I was falling back a little so just tried to ride smooth and limit the damage as best I could. There’s two days left to race, so there’s everything to play for.”

Taddy Blazusiak (KTM – POL): “I hurt my shoulder yesterday in a crash so I wasn’t sure how today would go. The slippery conditions and a sore shoulder made it tough to properly control the bike but I’m fighting on. Considering everything I’m happy with fourth today, because this is also only my second time racing with GPS. My confidence is growing on the navigation side of things and I’m looking forward to tomorrow to improve again.”

Mindaugas Simkevicius (LTU) – Iron class leader: “This morning started really well, but I forgot my water after the service point and had nothing to drink for the rest of the day. I think that caused me to tire quicker than normal and in the second half of the day I made a lot of mistakes. But conditions were a lot better out there today than yesterday; the track was really good fun to ride and I’m delighted to be leading at this stage in the race.”

Results: World Enduro Super Series, Round 4

Red Bull Romaniacs, Off Road Day 2

Gold Class

1. Wade Young (Sherco – RSA) 5:51:17; 2. Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 5:51:59; 3. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) 5:54:16; 4. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM – POL) 6:08:33; 5. Paul Bolton (KTM – GB) 6:17:51; 6. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB) 6:18:39; 7. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna – GB) 6:18:54; 8. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna – ESP) 6:45:01; 9. Blake Gutzeit (Yamaha – RSA) 6:59:05; 10. David Cyprian (KTM – CZE) 7:01:13

Silver Class

1. Michael Walkner (AUT) 5:45:02; 2. Dieter Rudolf (AUT) 5:46:59; 3. Robert Nowak (AUS) 5:56:43; 4. Josu Artola (ESP) 5:58:24; 5. Stefan Simpson (GBR) 5:58:39

Bronze Class

1. Jean-Michel Vigand (FRA) 3:50:06; 2. Norman Thomas (NZL) 4:02:07; 3. Jond Christophe (FRA) 4:02:36; 4. Bruno Freitas (PRT) 4:05:44; 5. Mark Tielemans (NLD) 4:06:55

Iron Class

1. Mindaugas Simkevicius (LTU) 2:11:08; 2. Markus Oberndorfer (AUT) 2:13:01; 3. Tom Oberndorfer (GER) 2:21:47; 4. Antanas Lucinskas (LTU) 2:22:42; 5. Markus Beeler (CHE) 2:27:02

Provisional Classification (After Day 2)

Gold Class

1. Wade Young (Sherco – RSA) 14:08:41; 2. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) 14:12:37;  3. Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 14:21:32; 4. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna – GB) 14:54:17; 5. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM – POL) 15:11:13; 6. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB) 15:23:15; 7.  Paul Bolton (KTM – GB) 15:25:12; 8. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna – ESP) 15:55:42; 9. David Cyprian (KTM – CZE) 16:31:42; 10. Blake Gutzeit (Yamaha – RSA) 16:38:54

Silver Class

1. Dieter Rudolf (AUT) 13:55:01; 2. Josu Artola (ESP) 15:22:22; 3. Emanuel Gyenes (ROU) 15:37:35; 4. Michael Walkner (AUT) 15:40:28; 5. Stefan Simpson (GBR) 15:52:28

Bronze Class

1. Gianino Coscarelli (BRA) 12:47:28; 2. Bieri Marc (CHE) 13:00:07; 3. Milos Novakovic (SVN) 13:10:58; 4. Andreas Maier (AUT) 13:42:47; 5. Aivars Kukojs (LVA) 13:46:54

Iron Class

1. Mindaugas Simkevicius (LTU) 13:41:46; 2. Dani Coufal (ESP) 14:21:03; 3. Antanas Lucinskas (LTU) 15:27:38; 4. Markus Oberndorfer (AUT) 15:30:22; 5. Markus Beeler (CHE) 16:23:30

Sibiu, Romania – 25 July, 2018 — Germany’s Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) set the pace on Off Road Day 1 of Red Bull Romaniacs to claim the Gold class win.

After Tuesday’s action-packed Prologue opened round four of the World Enduro Super Series, the 15th edition of the race took riders out into the surrounding Carpathian Mountains of Sibiu, Romania for the first of four demanding days of Enduro riding. After almost 160 kilometres of racing, Lettenbichler took the win over Sherco Factory Racing’s Wade Young (RSA) with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jonny Walker in third.

In the Silver category Austria’s Dieter Rudolf remained the rider to beat taking the win, while Brazil’s Gianino Coscarelli continued his winning form in the Bronze class. The Iron Class saw Spain’s Dani Coufal top the standings on Off Road Day 1.

An early start greeted the competitors from the 53 nations in this year’s Red Bull Romaniacs as riders left the start line before dawn, at 6.30am. With a point-to-point course laid out, the route took them across the mountains to the finish line at the Straja ski resort. Periods of rain throughout the day ensured the already wet and muddy trails offered an early wake up call for competitors across all classes.

Taddy Blazusiak (KTM – POL) had the honour of leading the field out, followed closely by Young and then Prologue winner Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB). An early crash from Blazusiak allowed Young to hit the front of the field – a position he would hold throughout the day, eventually crossing the finish line first on the road after almost nine hours of racing.

As the fourth Gold class rider to start, Lettenbichler pushed hard and quickly worked his way past Bolt and Blazusiak, riding on to the wheel tracks of Young. Shadowing him for a large portion of the day, he dropped back nearing the finish line, but still had enough in hand to take the win on corrected time and provisionally move to the top of the classification.

For Walker, a day of costly little mistakes prevented him from challenging Lettenbichler and Young. Riding well, despite the slippery mud, he ended his day third. For Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna – GB) the opening day in the mountains did not go quite to plan. Admitting to running out of energy the 2017 winner salvaged fourth overall.

Off Road Day 2 will see competitors remain in the region of Straja with another 160-kilometre mountain loop starting and finishing at the ski resort.

 

Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER): “That was a pretty good day. At the beginning I managed to pass Taddy and Jonny and then around checkpoint eight I caught up with Wade. I tried to stick with him but at the end he was just too fast, so I rode my own pace and got to the finish in one piece. I think my time was good for the overall, which is awesome. It’s really, really wet out there and the last part of the day was so muddy. The clay was so slippery — it was hard to get any grip at all. Now I need to focus on tomorrow and hopefully ride another good day.”

Wade Young (Sherco – RSA): “Manni was chasing me down all day but he never got past me. If I made a mistake I could always hear him behind me – he kept me honest all day and kept me pushing. We knew this morning after all the rain it was going to be difficult. It means you end up using so much more energy trying to keep things under control and in a straight line. Going into the first hill was probably the toughest part of the day for me, I hadn’t quite got used to the forest and it was so slippery – I pretty much had to push the whole way up.”

Jonny Walker (KTM – GB): “That wasn’t my best day — the afternoon didn’t go too well. I made a few mistakes and lost some time. However, it’s only day one and I feel good. I did have a few problems as it was really tricky riding in the low cloud and fog. But aside from those issues I’m happy with how things have gone and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I know there’s room to improve.”

Results: World Enduro Super Series, Round 4

Red Bull Romaniacs, Off Road Day 1

Gold Class

1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) 8:15:21s; 2. Wade Young (Sherco – RSA) 8:16:24; 3. Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 8:25:33; 4. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna – GB) 8:30:23; 5. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM – POL) 9:00:40; 6. Paul Bolton (KTM – GB) 9:01:51; 7. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB) 9:04:36; 8. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna – ESP) 9:04:41; 9. Travis Teasdale (Beta – ZAF) 9:18:38; 10, Mario Roman (Sherco – ESP) 9:21:03

Silver Class

1. Dieter Rudolf (AUT) 8:08:02; 2. Josu Artola (ESP) 9:15:43; 3. Emanuel Gyenes (ROU) 9:16:55; 4. Adam Giles (AUS) 9:34:48; 5. Michael Walkner (AUT) 9:46:26

Bronze Class

1. Gianino Coscarelli (BRA) 8:37:54; 2. Milos Novakovic (SVN) 8:43:36; 3. Bieri Marc (CHE) 8:48:36; 4. Andreas Maier (AUT) 9:19:12; 5. Aivars Kukojs (LVA) 9:32:58

Iron Class

1. Dani Coufal (ESP) 11:29:49; 2. Mindaugas Simkevicius (LTU) 11:30:38; 3. Antanas Lucinskas (LTU) 13:04:56; 4. Markus Oberndorfer (AUT) 13:17:21; 5. Markus Beeler (CHE) 13:56:28

Provisional Classification (After Day 1)

Gold Class

1. Wade Young (Sherco – RSA) 8:17:24; 2. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) 8:18:21s;  3. Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 8:29:33; 4. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna – GB) 8:35:23; 5. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM – POL) 9:02:40; 6. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB) 9:04:36; 7.  Paul Bolton (KTM – GB) 9:07:21; 8. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna – ESP) 9:10:41; 9. Travis Teasdale (Beta – ZAF) 9:25:23; 10, Mario Roman (Sherco – ESP) 9:28:03

Silver Class

1. Dieter Rudolf (AUT) 8:08:02; 2. Emanuel Gyenes (ROU) 9:19:55; 3. Josu Artola (ESP) 9:23:58; 4. Adam Giles (AUS) 9:42:33; 5. Stefan Simpson (GBR) 9:53:49

Bronze Class

1. Gianino Coscarelli (BRA) 8:37:54; 2. Milos Novakovic (SVN) 8:47:36; 3. Bieri Marc (CHE) 8:51:36; 4. Andreas Maier (AUT) 9:28:12; 5. Aivars Kukojs (LVA) 9:38:58

Iron Class

1. Dani Coufal (ESP) 11:29:49; 2. Mindaugas Simkevicius (LTU) 11:30:38; 3. Antanas Lucinskas (LTU) 13:04:56; 4. Markus Oberndorfer (AUT) 13:17:21; 5. Markus Beeler (CHE) 13:56:28

Red Bull Romaniacs Event Information 
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Facebook: Red Bull Romaniacs
Instagram: @redbullromaniacs
Twitter: @RedBullRomaniac

Photo credit: Future7Media

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WORLD ENDURO SUPER SERIES – 2018 SCHEDULE

Rnd 1. Extreme XL Lagares (Portugal) May 11-13
Rnd 2. Erzbergrodeo (Austria) May 31-June 3
Rnd 3. Trèfle Lozérien AMV (France) June 8-10
Rnd 4. Red Bull Romaniacs (Romania) July 24-28
Rnd 5. Red Bull 111 Megawatt (Poland) September 8-9
Rnd 6. Hawkstone Park Cross-Country (England) September 22-23
Rnd 7. Gotland Grand National (Sweden) October 26-27
Rnd 8. Red Bull Knock Out (The Netherlands) November 10