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Jarvis wins again at Romaniacs despite rain

Red Bull Romaniacs - 16.07.2016 Sport

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Graham Jarvis confirms his good form at Red Bull Romaniacs, winning the third offroad day in the Sibiu woods and maintaining his overall lead despite rain showers and wet grass.    

After a tough second offroad day, only 50% of the riders were on the start line on Friday morning. Rain and thunderstorms kicked in after three days of scorching sun and dusty trails, offering the Red Bull Romaniacs riders a better grip and cooler temperatures. 
  
The weather stayed cool during the day, with only a few local rain showers and some fog at the top. The grip however went from hero to zero as soon as grass became involved. The wet grass on some of the hills might have been one of the biggest scare factors of the day for all competitors. Weather conditions worsened later in the day, creating mayhem. 
  
Thursday’s winner and current overall lead Graham Jarvis (GBR) was first to take off before being chased by the runners-up. By the time he reached “10A”, just before CP3, Mario Roman (SP, starting time: 3min after Jarvis) briefly caught up with him. Alfredo Gomez (SP, starting time: 6min after Jarvis) was hot on their heels and slowly gained time on Jarvis. All this happened before they entered the gnarly sections “Black slope”, “English farmer” and the new “CDI”. Before those sections, in terms of riding time, the hacking order was: Roman, Jarvis, Gomez, Young, Bolt. 
  
When things got really ugly before the service point, Gomez was the one to step up to the plate. He came out first after “CDI”, faster than Jarvis and being chased by Roman. However, Jarvis recovered quickly and regained his lead, arriving at the service point ahead of Gomez. He held his lead the second half of the day, picking unimaginable lines and staying on the bike even in close to vertical downhills. By the time he reached the finish, he had built a sizable lead of ca. 13 minutes.  “The King” left the racetrack with another day-win up his sleeve at around 2pm to get some rest and recuperate for the “Grand finale” on Saturday. 
  
"It was another really long day,” he said. “I can't afford to back off with these guys pushing so hard.  The competition is at a really high level, whatever lead I have I just have to keep going and push hard. Right from the start, there were some really gnarly hill climbs, I was off my bike five or six times pushing, it's been tough. It was cold at the top, all kinds of weather rain and fog, I had wet gloves making my hands cold, and it was hard to ride." 
  
Gomez finished in a well-earned second place, stealing big chunks of Jarvis glory in the tough sections before the service point. “I did my best all day,” he added. “It was a good day for me.  I did crash twice in the wet grass going too fast. The problem is Graham is flying and he can go straight when other people can't! I need to go home and practice!" 
  
Impressively, the rookie Roman continued to deliver a very consistent performance on the third race day - with only one more day to go. Taking third 25 minutes behind Jarvis, he is also third overall. "It was a tough day, 7,5 hours, I expected it to be less and the level today was pretty high,” he said. “I rode well, made a few GPS errors, the trails were marked well but it was quite foggy up there. I still managed to arrive third. Overall I am very happy and we'll see what happens on the final day" 
  
Wade Young (ZAF) stayed close to the leading trio all day. When arriving at the finish ca. 30 minutes after Jarvis, he seemed to be rather unaware of his performance during the day and reported many riding mistakes, not finding the flow and some navigation issues. Despite all this, he finished the day fourth, securing a good fourth position in the overall ranking. 
  
Billy Bolt (GBR) delivered some impressive riding times in the morning until checkpoint 3, but was struggling in the carnage of the sections after “10A”, where he lost over an hour. 
  
Saturday will see the last day of offroad racing and the finale of Red Bull Romaniacs 2016. 
  
Results: http://www.redbullromaniacs.com/results/results-2016/ 

German version here