Veteran Graham Jarvis scores his seventh victory in Red Bull Romaniacs 2022
Legendary extreme enduro veteran Graham Jarvis created history by winning the 2022 edition of Red Bull Romaniacs. Taking place in downtown Sibiu from July 26 to 30, the world’s toughest Hard Enduro Rallye put the 47-year-old Brit’s skill to test a year after his left knee injury that sidelined him from the same competition last year.
Jarvis is by far the most successful rider to participate in the Red Bull Romaniacs, after having won the competition seven times. He also finished second on four occasions.
“I felt good the other days but today I had to dig so deep, I had no energy, people were passing me, and I just held on, anything can happen, even for old guys,” the rider said in relief as he receives his seventh win and twelfth podium at the competition.
“I'm just happy to be riding my bike after an injury like I had last year. At 47 years old it's incredible, probably the best win of my career, honestly,” he added.
Red Bull Romaniacs Hard Enduro Rallye is among the top-flight competitions hosted by Romania, which attracts riding competitors from more than 50 countries in every edition. This year, it was a close competition for the rider as he was head-to-head against his Husqvarna teammate, Bulgarian youngster Teodor Kabakchiev, who came just eight minutes and 32 seconds behind the eventual winner.
On the other hand, Sherco’s Spanish rider Mario Roman provided a fiery competition for the podium, as he closed the fourth day in third place with just 4.9 minutes behind Kabakchiev despite having an off day on Offroad Day 2 from dehydration.
“7 years in a row running the Romaniacs and accumulating experience in this very different and particular race of the world championship,” says the rider who’d previously scored his first victory in the Hard Enduro World Championship in Israel a few months prior in a lengthy Instagram caption. He adds while congratulating Jarvis, “Happy to have managed to finish Sano as it involves many risks and to accumulate good points for the championship.”
The top six riders also include Canadian Trystan Hart (KTM), Austrian Michael Walkner (GasGas), and German Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM). The latter, who was crowned champion in the three consecutive editions (2019, 2020, 2021), missed a fourth consecutive victory due to a two-hour penalty on the first day for outside help with a broken clutch. However, he won the second and fourth stages with some impressive performances.
In the silver and bronze categories, New Zealander Chris Birch (KTM) and Latvian Edgars Silins (Motosports Racing Team) topped their charts with records of 18 hours & 46 minutes and 16 hours 51 minutes & 13s, respectively. Hometown rider Ovidiu Nistor (Black Ryders Sibiu) is the champion of the iron category, coming 19 minutes and 8 seconds earlier than his competitor, Arron Flynn, and Kirwins Capers’ Chris Beecroft (GBR) took home the prize of the atom category despite having a patchy record.
(Photo source: Red Bull Romaniacs 2022)