After more than 28 hours grind in the mud and mountains of Romania’s Transylvania, KTM factory rider Chris Birch was the big winner in the 2010 Red Bull Romaniacs, the toughest four-day Extreme Enduro event on the racing calendar.
Six of the top ten finishers in the Pro Class were onboard the Austraian KTMs when the riders struggled home on a last leg covering 126 kilometres of country that only the bold and the brave dare to tackle. Second overall was Britain’s Graham Jarvis, while Germany’s Andreas Lettenbichler rounded out the podium.
The first day after the prologue brought an untimely end to the Romaniacs for KTMs Extreme Endurist Taddy Blazusiak, winner of four Erzberg Rodeo Hare scrambles when he had a too close encounter with a tree and injured his shoulder.
Birch, who was a prominent rider from the first day went out 23 minutes ahead of Jarvis on the final day and showed his true Kiwi fighting spirit. In the course of yet another mud filled day, he clipped a further six minutes off his total time by the time he charged through the final Red Bull winners arch to take the chequered flag and the top spot on the podium for the first time in his career.
“I’m extremely happy about taking my first overall victory,” Birch said in the finish area.
Graham Jarvis, one of Birch’s toughest rivals was also generous with his comments for the winner.
“Chris was able to add time today and also ran a terrific race,” he said.
The 2010 Romaniacs was characterised by heavy rain, adding yet another dimension to the tough prologues plus four days of extreme terrain through rivers, over rocky outcrops and the forests of some of the most beautiful parts of Romania’s Carpathian Mountains.
PRO CLASS RESULTS:
1 Chris Birch, New Zealand, KTM – 28 hours 17 minutes and 31 seconds
2. Graham Jarvis, UK, Sherco – 28:46:12
3. Andreas Lettenbichler, Germany, BMW – 29:18:29
4. Paul Bolton, UK, KTM – 29:52:12
5. Jade Gutzeit, South Africa, KTM – 30:21:32