18 years of Red Bull Romaniacs

The Red Bull Romaniacs is an event created by competitors for competitors, born out of his passion for enduro sport, the brain and driven person behind these events is Martin Freinademetz. Known for his career as professional snowboarder, he was world champion twice, won four world tour titles and participated in the 1998 Olympic games. During his time as a professional snowboarder, Martin met his wife Sigi, who since then has been his strong right hand manager. Besides their love for snowboarding, both share a passion for extreme enduro, which lead them to create Edition 1, the first Red Bull Romaniacs in 2004. In 2021 we have reached "Edition 18"

The Red Bull Romaniacs became one of the main catalysts behind the sport of hard enduro, which is now widely popular and fuelling the associated motorsports industries. 

"Every year the race seems to just get harder and harder. I definitely look to be in similar condition to last year, it is a long race so the first goal would be to eliminate the mistakes and then aim for the top.

The most challenging part is that it is a 5 day race so you have to stay focused the whole time and a mistake can change from you being first to not finishing. So for me the most challenging part is to stay focused through all those difficult sections

Its the longest hard Enduro in the world with 4 long days in the mountains for 6-8 hours a day.

I really do feel like I went into last year race pretty experienced, I just think going into Romaniacs super fit and healthy is a big advantage.”

Wade Young (ZAF) Winner of Red Bull Romaniacs 2018

Despite the large organisation and lots of international travel, Freinademetz has a strong focus on staying “hands-on” and RIDE!.  All race tracks are developed with Martin`s personal involvement and test ridden by him before approved - in order to avoid surprises that could affect the experience for the competitors.

"After such a hard race last year I was so pumped to place second. This year I’m really excited, I’m riding strong, have to ride consistent because there are no mistakes that are allowed in Red Bull Romaniacs. Having a good year and a podium result at Red Bull Romaniacs would get me back the WESS leading points which would be really cool!

The most challenging part is the long days and then waking up again having to get back on the bike and getting the body moving, its really hard to be so strong and in the right shape, its just so tiring. Also mentally the maintaining the level of concentration over the 4 days. For me Red Bull Romaniacs is the hardest of the WESS series for these reasons.

It is unique because it's such an adventure, riding in such a good, amazing place , it's so much fun. I couldn’t believe where we were going in the middle of nowhere and so many riders coming to share this adventure of 4 days riding in the wilderness.

My goal is to have fun and race, although it’s intense and gnarly, it beats up your body, at the end of the day, I try to have fun!”

Manuel Lettenbichler (DEU)

"I was happy after such a tough event to be on the podium for my fourth time.. It's 5 really long days, having to be up so early and such long days riding, it’s the toughest event on the WESS calendar. It is unique in that it's a rallye and you need to use GPS which you need to train with to get confident and this differentiates it from the other WESS races.”

Jonny Walker, (GBR) Winner of the Red Bull Romaniacs 2014, 2015

“I was very happy with 4th last year. This year because of my injury the preparation time has been minimal and a busy schedule has left me with the main goal of just finishing the race and scoring points for the WESS championship. I will struggle with the front runners but I’ll give it all I've got. The duration and difficulty of the event, number of days and hours per day make it challenging. The mountains and environment are something I haven’t experienced anywhere else in the world, the sheer uphills and downhills. It’s wild out there. Every race is a learning curve, the bike and body preparation. Due to my injury the podium will be a difficult task especially with the good rcompetitors out there, this year may be my toughest at Red Bull Romaniacs, but you never know, I'm going to cling on in there and do my best to make it to the finish.

Photographer: Marcin Kin

Billy Bolt - WESS series Winner 2018

Red Bull Romaniacs has always been one of my favourite races. It requires seriously tough endurance and the 4 Offroad days require a lot of commitment both mentally and physically. I feel like I am riding strong, leading in WESS so far, I just have to maintain my strength for the Carpathian Mountains and hope the weather is kind. 

I have been running my Jarvis Signature Tours in Bosnia and Greece which has given me lots of enjoyable training time so I feel ready and will give it my best shot. Obviously being on the Red Bull Romaniacs podium again is my goal and always a special place to stand after such a long, demanding event. I look forward to being there this year.”

Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna, Great Britain, winner 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017)

Over the years, the Red Bull Romaniacs core team has grown significantly and features all departments of a modern adventure sports business with a strong focus on development of race concepts, time keeping, rules & regulations, with special tracks created for each race class and stong event Marketing, the Red Bull Romaniacs achieve a yearly average of 1800 transmission hours in international TV and boasts a huge popularity online.

Freinademetz surrounds himself mostly with active competitors and people who are passionate about extreme sports. His team has a track record of creating internationally successful events that are known for some flavor of craziness and for their professional execution. Many motorsport professionals and competitors consider the Red Bull Romaniacs one of the best organized and most professional enduro events in the season. Despite the complexity and incredible unique to the Romaniacs event, the massive overall track length and riding time competiors have to manage to become a FINISHER.

It was something completely crazy for me when I came the first time in Romania. This is the kind of race that I will remember forever, definitely. Now I see that the race and especially the sport, the extreme enduro moved to a really technical sport. You cannot make another sport or other type of races like I was doing in my beginning, when I was doing extreme enduro and rally in the same time, in the same year. Moving from the heavy rally bike to the small 2stroke bike is not possible anymore. You need to train and focus for only one sport and this is what I do. I stay concentrate on the rally. I saw Graham Jarvis and a couple of guys and they focus on extreme enduro and they push the level really high. The time I spent in Sibiu was something special, but if I will do extreme enduro in the future it will be only for fun.

Cyril Despres (France/Andorra, 3 times winner 2004, 2005, and 2007)

Currently there are only two professionally executed Extreme Enduro events: The Erzberg Rodeo and the Red Bull Romaniacs. It was the first time for me to get to experience this event and I am quite surprised: by the concept, the amount of people involved and the professionalism. This is a very unique event, there is nothing comparable out there! What amazes me most, is how the team around Martin Freinademetz manages to bring the participants of each of the classes to their limits. Which is the purpose: at the end of the day it is a race and not a 5-day adventure tour!”

Heinz Kinigadner, motorsports legend, experienced race organizer and founder of “Wings for Life”

All Freinademetz events have the passion for Extreme Enduro in common and make the race experience for the participants quite unique:

  • amateur competitors get to race together with the best in the world, meeting the “who is who” of Extreme Enduro out there on the track, at the food points for noodles or in the hotel
  • everybody is challenged to their limits - and beyond, the amateur competitors and the professionals, to push the bar of what is possible in Extreme Enduro every year
  • participants benefit from world class service: they are taken care of from registration on, along the race track (with support, fuel and water) and they can rely on a state of the art safety and rescue team unique rules and regulations and time-keeping system to maximize fairness and fun of riding

The Red Bull Romaniacs has always been known as the pinnacle event and something on my bucket list! I try to live by the quote “if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough” and Romaniacs was exactly what I needed. All expectations were exceeded, it’s well organised and great to be a part of it all. As it states it’s the World’s toughest enduro, right from the start that prolog was not easy for a bronze competitor like me! Highlights were reaching the Red Bull arch at the end of each Offroad day. It continually gets tougher, just when you think you’ve conquered the day they make you push your boundaries more, forcing you to keep learning and pushing your riding. My riding improved a lot just by doing the event. The final finish with all the spectators and fellow Kiwi riders was pure emotion and a very proud moment, the medal takes preference on my shelf at home. Riding with the Proffesionals is amazing, having Walker and Jarvis cruising by you and also new enduro friends from all around the world was bloody cool too!”

BRONZE class rider Willy Buchanan (NZ)

The race has got more professional and better organized every year.

Chris Birch, New Zealand, (KTM) Red Bull Romaniacs winner 2010

It’s an extreme race by definition. When I participated a few years ago I found the race technical and very, very difficult. It was fun to ride because Red Bull Romaniacs has a very beautiful track and the public is incredible, especially at the Prolog. It is a very good event.

Giovanni Sala (KTM, Italy, 2nd Pro class in 2006)

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