Red Bull Romaniacs Results: Storms causes day one havoc – Mani Lettenbichler takes charge
Results from a stormy day one at the 2023 Red Bull Romaniacs where brutal weather conditions in the Carpathian Mountains closed out the day but Hard Enduro World Championship points leader Mani Lettenbichler claims a commanding early lead.
2023 Romaniacs Off Road day one in a nutshell:
- It’s fair to say no-one knew quite what to do for a while today, day one of the 2023 Red Bull Romaniacs. After a bright start the clouds loomed and then gave everything they had (rain, hail, lightening and gale force wind), causing chaos and forcing riders into deep into struggletown. Many relied on each other to get the hell outta there and reach the finish. Literally come hell or high water.
- “After the service I actually thought why is there not some hard stuff?”, said Mani Lettenbichler, the first rider at the finish, “then the last hour was so difficult, it was crazy. I actually called Martin (race director) to ask if he could help!”
- “I felt like I just three a couple of laps around the whole of Europe.” Added second placed Trystan Hart. “At one point it was raining so hard we could barely see, everyone was just hiding under trees at that point. It was just survival. It didn’t feel like a race.”
We’ll let Billy’s video explain the conditions...
- With the first live broadcast of the week being almost immediately off the start we watched dry and sunny conditions early on and saw Lettenbichler overtaking first rider away Alfredo Gomez to claim an advantage on the ground.
- Mani wasn’t the only one fast starting, in fact he wasn’t the fastest as Trystan Hart clocked the quickest time to check point one with Dominik Olszowy next best.
- Hart continued his flying start and set fastest check times throughout the morning, following Lettenbichler’s tracks. It was nip and tuck between the KTM duo for a while.
- Wade Young was also nailing a very solid opening day on the timing sheets and went onto clock fastest times in the middle of the day but suffered in the wet conditions, citing grip problems – although he wasn’t alone. FYI the leading Gold class riders are mostly running Michelin tyres and mousses so are largely in the same boat here…literally.
- And then the rains came and for a while it looked like organisers might call the day, or at least cut some of the course short in horrendous weather. But in true Romaniacs style (it is “The World’s Toughest Hard Enduro Rallye” don’t forget) it was a case of put up and shut up – it’s the same for everyone.
- Mani Lettenbichler was the first and fastest rider home after a whole heap of struggles. One difference is this year he had no clutch issues and holds the overall race lead without penalties from the organisers.
- He was followed home true to form by KTM teammate Trystan Hart who lost 20 minutes in the bad weather to Mani in the closing stages.
- Benefitting from some good throttle control and possibly being better used to rain conditions, Michael Walkner and Graham Jarvis were setting fast times in the final Gold class sections.
- Overnight, times were adjusted and it was Billy Bolt who claimed third ahead of Wade Young fourth, Walkner fifth and Jarvis sixth. Teo Kabakchiev went off course and got hit with a 30 minute time penalty.
- The time gaps are already growing, partly due to the weather with Bolt over 30 minutes down on Lettenbichler already.
- Notable non-starter today was Mitch Brightmore who crashed during the prologue (having qualified on the front row) and sadly takes no further part on this year’s race.
- Following Michael Walkner’s example, two Austrian’s revelled in the rain for the Silver class one-two as well. Valentino Hutter took the day six minutes ahead of Philipp Bertl who narrowly pipped Romanian Emanuel Gyenes by 20 seconds for second and third respectively.
- Jurg Schutz took the Bronze class ahead of Ovidiu Nistor and a guy we’re more used to seeing in traditional enduro, Priit Biene finishing third.
- Robert Adams leads the Iron class after day one and Moritz Muller heads the Atom class.
2023 Romaniacs day one Gold class results:
2023 Romaniacs overall classification after day one:
Full results: www.redbullromaniacs.com
Photo Credit: Future7Media | Andrea Belluschi + Attila Szabo | Red Bull