The most awaited Enduro event of the year, Red Bull Romaniacs, and round four of the World Enduro Super Series is starting to hype up in just two weeks away. Celebrating its 15th year edition, organizer, Martin Freinademetz, set up some new twists, courses, for riders for this Romanian event
In masterminding the one of the most demanding enduro rallies in the world, Martin Freinademetz has also been competing at two rounds of Extreme Lagares, getting a taste of mixed discipline, and in WESS events this year.
Stepping up again to WESS, Romaniacs covers multi-day format and highlight some of the most extreme and breath-taking Enduro riding in the championship. A memorable week of riding is waiting ahead for the 500 competitors from 53 nations passing from the heart of Sibiu into the wilderness of Carpathian Mountains.
Romaniacs has also fresh twists with new routes into the Carpathian wilderness and overnight bivouacs for competitors. For its 15th edition, Martin Freinademetz breaks down what riders can expect this year.
Mr Freinademetz, with the upcoming 15th edition of the Red Bull Romaniacs, how are preparations going for round four of WESS?
Martin Freinademetz: “Everything is coming together nicely for the 15th edition of the Red Bull Romaniacs. I think we have a lot of fine trails we can use this year and we will also visit some areas we haven’t been to since some of the earliest editions of the race. For our organising team, it’s very much a 12-month process arranging for the race and no matter how ready we feel, it’s always very busy in the build-up to the race. But things are looking at high note and everything is falling into place and I’m confident people will really enjoy what’s on offer in Romania.”
The popularity of the event seems to gain more attention with 53 nationalities representing their own country.
“After 15 years the popularity of Red Bull Romaniacs is not fading. This year the entries were completely sold out after one day of opening. We have about 500 riders from 53 nations competing, which make it the largest Enduro race on the calendar in terms of altered nationalities. Again, the United Kingdom is the largest with 86 competitors, but Australia, Germany, Austria and now Russia are strongly represented. There are riders from all continents of the world racing. I believe the reason for this is that the race offers something for everybody regardless of ability. It’s five days on your bike with a lot of beautiful memories to take away from it.”
Part of WESS for 2018, what do you feel Red Bull Romaniacs will add to the championship?
“We’re very proud to be part of the WESS championship for 2018. I feel the landscape of Red Bull Romaniacs fits well with the mixed-discipline aspect of the series. We are a Hard Enduro race but the kind of riding we have is not solely Hard Enduro, it covers all types of terrain. Some fragments are extreme, but a lot of it is very fast and flowing. Also factoring in the Rallye aspect adds another dimension to our round. It’s very much man and machine out in the wilderness. You have to survive with just the tools you carry and for me that is Enduro.”
Facts about Red Bull Romaniacs
189 – Bronze class finishers for 2017
86 – United Kingdom is the largest nation represented for 2018
32 – Graham Jarvis’ 2017 winning time in hours
27 – Gold class competitors entered for the 15th edition
20 – Track managers preparing the four off road days
12 – Wacky obstacles planned for City Prologue in Sibiu
- – Wins held by Graham Jarvis, the event’s most successful rider
2 – Overnight bivouacs for 2018
Did you enjoy organising round of four of WESS and also competing in rounds of Extreme XL Lagares and Trèfle Lozérien AMV?
“I am a race organiser by trade but I’m an Enduro rider at heart, and so I wanted to experience other events I hadn’t ridden before. I really enjoyed both races, especially the Trèfle Lozérien AMV Classic Enduro, which was very new for me. It’s important to push myself like that, while maybe also learning new ways and ideas that can be applied to my own race. I hope to race some more WESS rounds before the year is over.”
What are your preparations for this four unique days of Red Bull Romaniacs Enduro riding?
“As the event has grown over the years, we have ensured the staff and man power required to put on an Enduro race of this scale. Each of the four off road days are at least 160 kilometres long, but we actually mark well over 200 kilometres so riders of all categories have an almost unique route for each day. In the past the Bronze route was the main track, with Gold and Silver loops added on. Now Gold riders will stay to their own course for the majority of the day and this eases the passage of traffic on the terrain. To do this we’ve increased the number of track managers. Two track managers increased to four or sometimes six people. In total the race requires about 20 track managers, plus a foot crew of 10-15 people who help clear tracks or de-mark post event.”
Are we able to see the return of the overnight bivouac in this year’s race?
“We’ve reintroduced the bivouac for 2018 and will spend two nights away from Sibiu. However, unlike previous editions, both nights will be in the same location, which eases the logistics for those following the race. The reason for this is to discover new and fresh trails. There is some real wilderness riding to be found here — untouched with no braking bumps or ruts. Even if you are a seasoned Romaniacs rider these days will be new for you.”
What obstacles are being planned for this year?
“The City Prologue is an iconic part of Red Bull Romaniacs. In terms of the overall results it’s not so important, but it is something that’s very special to us. Although a lot of people are now coming out into the mountains to watch the real enduro action, it’s good to bring the sport to the people in the city who can’t. My good friend Andy Fazekas is the mastermind behind it and every year he surprises me with his creations. With this being the 15th edition of the race he’s got some wacky ideas in store, so we’ll have to wait until prologue day to see what he’s got planned this time around.”