KTM factory rider Jonny Walker went out hard and strong on the final day of the Red Bull Romaniacs in Romania’s Carpathian Mountains but the last stage of this 4-day long Hard Enduro was a tale of two halves for the UK rider.
Jonny was out in front at the half way mark. He had made up three minutes time on leader and Romaniac veteran Graham Jarvis, was an impressive nine minutes faster than Spain’s Alfredo Gomez and 11 minutes faster than Andreas Lettenbichler of Germany. Having challenged the established leaders, everything was pointing to an overall podium third for the 22-year-old Walker, but in the second half of the day’s ride he made a small navigational error and got lost in a deep gully. The actual track was very close by but once he was committed to the path he had taken the only option was to back track the same way as he had come.
Overall glory went to Jarvis with Gomez in second and Andreas Lettenbichler in third. But Walker represents a new generation of elite riders in the Extreme disciplines and while missing the podium he managed in 2012, he still only missed third place by about three and a half minutes. In this very tough and unpredictable test of man and machine, Jonny rode fast enough to have pulled off first or second place. Luck plays a major part and several incidents kept this goal from his grasp in the tenth edition of the competition. Undeterred, Walker has already committed to return next year for the eleventh edition of the Red Bull Romaniacs.
KTM’s Enduro factory riders Ivan Cervantes and Cristobal Guerrero of Spain both tested themselves against the rigors of the Romaniacs for the first time but mindful of the fact that there is still one round of the World Championships to go, both had to retire with minor injuries.
Other KTM riders to make the top ten finishers in this most difficult four-day event were Britain’s Paul Bolton, Chris Birch of New Zealand, Germany’s Philipp Scholz and Austria’s Lars Enoeckl, giving the Austrian manufacturer five of the top ten places.
Final overall results
- Graham Jarvis, UK, Husaberg, 23 hours 46 minutes 55 seconds
- Alfredo Gomez, Spain, Husaberg, 24:32:21
- Andreas Lettenbichler, Germany, Husqvarna, 24:46:57
- Jonny Walker, Britain, KTM, 24:50:46
- Paul Bolton, Britain, KTM, 26:01:54
- Chris Birch New Zealand, KTM, 26:05:26
- Ben Hemingway, Britain, Beta, 26:42:26
- Philipp Scholz, Germany, KTM, 32:02:41
- Lars Enoeckl, Austria, KTM, 32:06:36
- Wade Young, South Africa, Husaberg, 32:10:37