Thursday, July 1


Perhaps one of the most triumphant stories of 2010, Kiwi Off-Road hero and KTM Red Bull athlete Chris Birch has claimed the first Red Bull Romaniacs title of his career. In 2009 he finished second to the hard charging German born BMW rider Andreas Lettenbichler, but what a year 2010 has turned out to be for Birch outclassing all the elements with a never-say-die attitude.

Going into Off-Road Day 4 with just over a 27min lead from the competition Brit rider Graham Jarvis and 34mins ahead of German Lettenbichler, Birch couldn’t afford the slightest mistake. It became a battle of wits and pure endurance as Birch not only rode a near faultless final 126km stage he also did so an incredible 6mins faster than 2nd place finished Graham Jarvis who became the first finisher of Off-Road Day 4 doing it from the back of pack.

With a nation of clammy palmed fans following his every live GPS plot online it was clear from an external perspective that Birch had Red Bull Romaniacs 2010 in the bag. However for Birch it was a very different story. "I'm extremely happy today, because regarding all my technical problems from yesterday, I didn't even think that I would finish the race" says an all smiling Chris Birch who among other competitors battled through the slipperiest conditions of the event both mentally and physically exhausted.

The hard charging 2nd placed Brit Graham Jarvis, like Birch, battled through Red Bull Romaniacs 2010 showing at times some of the most magical riding finesse witnessed in the 2010 event that was plagued with mechanical problems. Jarvis’ 2nd place overall is a true testament to his gritty attitude and the former 2008 winner will be back for more next year.

German Lettenbichler took home the final spot on the podium when he crossed the finish line in unison with Paul Bolton and Jade Gutzeit in front of a huge crowd. Despite not repeating his victory from last year, the exhausted, battered and bruised BMW rider is more than satisfied with his performance. “This year’s race was probably harder than all previous Romaniacs due to the rain. The very first Off-Road day made me exceed my limits, so I'm actually very happy to have reached another podium here.”

Unofficial results for the 2010 Red Bull Romaniacs are:
1 BIRCH Chris (NZL, KTM) 28:17:31 hours
2 JARVIS Graham (UK, Sherco) 28:46:12
3 LETTENBICHLER Andreas (BMW) 29:18:29
4 BOLTON Paul (UK, KTM) 29:52:12
5 GUTZEIT Jade (RSA, KTM) 30:21:32
6 SEYDOUX Lionel (CH, KTM) 33:21:58
7 FORSTER Gerhard (GER,BMW) 35:47:18
8 CURTIS Darryl (RSA, KTM) 40:06:41
9 GYENES Emanuel (ROM, KTM) 42:10:59
10 BRANDAUER Erich (Husaberg) 42:36:54

Chris Birch now has his eyes set on the 2010 ISDE in Mexico Noemeber 1st – 6th and then onto defending his Roof of Africa crown November 25th – 27th.

And if you’re wondering about national news coverage, both One News and TV3 News will be covering Birch’s latest victory from 6pm tonight – do not miss it!

For now check out this cool video from Off-Road Day 4 and One News’ midday national news update (Coverage from Red Bull Romaniacs starts in chapter 2)

Video Recap Off-Road Day 4

One News Midday Update

Photos Courtesy of Red Bull Photofiles