The 10th anniversary of the Red Bull Romaniacs in Sibiu, Romania, saw for the first time not one but two riders from Canada standing on the podium. In the Hobby Single class, Kitt Stringer rode to a third-place finish, while his friend and fellow competitor Esteban Torres Bonet claimed the top spot. Both riders are from Victoria, B.C., and this was their first attempt at the Red Bull Romaniacs.
They got off to a great start by ending up in the top three at the Prolog in downtown Sibiu. After seeing what the city could throw at them, Stringer and Bonet turned their attention to the off-road portion of the event. Over the next four days, Mother Nature tossed everything she had at them—including rain, fog and some of the steepest mountain terrain imaginable.
“Even the high speed stuff was very technical and you just had to be 100 per cent on your mental game the whole time because it was so easy to make a mistake and hurt yourself,” said Stringer.
With Bonet leading the Hobby class, a close battle erupted between second, third and fourth. Stringer put on a good fight for second place but it was Spaniard Xavier Garcia who beat him by 30 seconds. The last two hours of racing on the final day of the event were the most intense for Stringer. With 17-time Estonian motocross champion Toomas Triisa right on his heels, Stringer had to give it all he had, and then some.
“I knew he had a shot of getting me,“ said Stringer. “On the last day I had to leave everything out there. I just said, ‘It’s the last day, if I go home in a wheelchair, that’s the way it’s going to be,’ but I let it hang out and luckily, I just managed to hold on to the podium.”
Stringer and Bonet had excellent support from their friends and fans back home. The Red Bull Romaniacs was broadcast live on a web stream and Stringer said that as soon as the event started his Facebook page exploded. At one point he had 200 followers.
“People were really stoked that the Pacific North West Motorcycle Association was behind this and people have been Facebooking me left, right and centre, saying how awesome it was,” said Stringer. “There were people waking up at two in the morning to watch the live web cam. It was pretty cool.”
Now Stringer is hooked on hard enduros. He would like to try the Red Bull Sea to Sky in Turkey on September 27 to 29, 2013.
"The people from Husaberg were really accommodating to us and really hooked us up and it sounds like we can get a bike for Sea to Sky and I'd like to do that," he said.
Stringer is also toying with the idea of bringing a hard enduro to B.C.