Andreas ‘Letti’ Lettenbichler managed to finish the 8th edition of the Red Bull Romaniacs Extreme Enduro Rally in Romania on the podium in third place. Despite several injuries, the Husqvarna Monster Energy Speedbrain extreme enduro specialist battled his way through Sibiu’s legendary in-city Prologue, followed by four grueling race days in the backwoods of Transylvania, eventually finishing behind the 2011 winner Graham Jarvis and Chris Birch.
After having dominated the qualification runs on his Husqvarna WR300, a pretty spectacular crash in the semi-finals of the Prologue in downtown Sibiu was the cause for missing the “great” final. But nevertheless Letti won the “little” final, leaving no chance for his rivals.
The 8th edition of the Red Bull Romaniacs attracted the world’s off-road elite, who came to battle against each other, as well as the extreme heat which dominated this year’s event.
The off-road days were stuffed with all the ingredients that make for an opulent Extreme-Enduro meal. Day one was meant to be the appetizer, as Letti remembers:
“The first day was announced as an easy day, but actually it was quite the opposite. I had a really heavy crash at an extreme descent section called ‘Homer’s downhill’. When I tried to ride it instead of pushing the bike down the hill I lost control of the bike – and that’s where I damaged my left ankle. However, the Husqvarna was in surprisingly good shape after a couple of high-speed loops rolling down the hill, and even though I lost a bit of time due to that little incident I came in second on the day.
“The next day was all about riding single trails in the forest, nothing really spectacular. The third day was a great day; I enjoyed it because we had to ride all sorts of terrain and styles, with quite a lot of technically demanding sections. That day was really tough at the beginning. Right after the off-road start we had to climb up a section called ‘Doctor 3′, mostly zigzag, followed by a steep downhill which was a bit of a mission. The fourth day had three really steep uphills, one of them called ‘The little long way up’. I crashed twice on the last day and both of my GPS devices were destroyed so I had to follow some ‘hobby class’ riders to get back to Sibiu. Overall I am very happy about finishing in third place, considering all the injuries I’ve suffered! And the bike never quit on me, despite the tough ride.”
Results Red Bull Romaniacs 2011, Sibiu, Romania
1. Graham Jarvis (GBR, Husaberg), 20 hours 0 minutes 14 seconds
2. Chris Birch (NZL, KTM), 20:44:15
3. Andreas Lettenbichler (GER, Husqvarna Monster Energy speedbrain), 21:14:43
4. Paul Bolton (GBR, KTM), 22:40:39
5. Xavi Galindo (ESP, Husaberg), 22:52:15
6. Melcior Faja (ESP, KTM), 23:10:13
7. Darryl Curtis (RSA, KTM), 23:55:35
8. Gerhard Forster (GER, Husqvarna), 26:49:24
9. Sean Clarke (GBR, KTM), 27:01:25
10. Ervin-Zsolt Kovacz (ROU, GAS GAS), 27:05:58