Alfredo Gomez launched his quest for a first Red Bull Romaniacs title with a stirring prologue win around the punishing inner city course to the delight of the huge crowd in sunny Sibiu, Romania
The Spaniard navigated his way around the tricky Extreme Enduro course to finish in an amazing time of 17 minutes 53 seconds on his KTM, leaving four British riders in his wake.
The 27-year-old’s 11 flying laps ensured he got first pick for the start of the four off-road days – the Madrid native choosing to go third when the action switches to the mountains.
Briton Jonny Walker managed to fend off three of his compatriots as he seeks a third consecutive title with four-time winner Graham Jarvis back in third, rookie Billy Bolt fourth and prologue master Paul Bolton fifth.
Bolt and Bolton thrilled the fans lining the streets early on with a spectacular display of Enduro riding, Walker and Jarvis’ experience telling late on to snatch the podium places behind Gomez.
Gomez said, “I wasn’t really fighting or competing against anyone, I was just riding. It’s the prologue, I just concentrate on not falling!”
Walker said, “In a few spots it was a fumble, a mess of riders and I didn’t see what was going on with who. When I finished I thought I was first, I didn’t see Gomez pass me.”
Meanwhile veteran Jarvis was keen to play down his advanced age, after snatching a podium place on his Husqvarna.
The 41-year-old added, “I plan to just keep going until I drop and if I didn’t think I had a chance at winning I wouldn’t be here. They added the water this year which made it slippery and there was some queueing at the difficult stuff, otherwise it was smooth.”
Australian Chris Perry finished first in the Silver class with Kiwi Angus MacDonald second and Briton Andrew Noakley third, while Estonian Toomas Triisa topped the Bronze class from Czech rider Miroslav Culka. Briton Richard Main led the Iron class standings from Dutchman Marco Smits and German Phil Gilges.