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July 2014 - Con Takes on the Redbull Romaniacs
Just back in Oz from the 2014 Redbull Romaniacs its time to reflect on the experience of racing the “Worlds Hardest Enduro Rallye.” It was a dream to ride Romaniacs ever since seeing the amazing images of early editions of this event, the crazy downtown street race that everyone has seen, along with mountain images were burnt into my mind and calling me whenever the event would come around each June/July.
2014 would be the year as everything lined up with work, family, and friends competing ect, the easiest part was sign on and pay your entry ($2000 Au approx, which includes all accommodation, lunch, dinners, re-fuel during race), proceeded with crapping yourself at the thought that your now going to be racing Romaniacs!!
Organising a bike to race at the event is challenging with many different providers to choose from, expect to pay anything from 2 – 2.5k depending the condition of the bike, money up front can be stressful, but that’s the only way to secure a bike for the race. We were lucky enough to have Marty Orchard from Top Gear KTM who was riding the event this year who organised the purchase of brand new KTMs. The bikes were to be delivered from the KTM factory to KTM dealer in Buchurest then onto the race/service team that would take over and ship the bikes to Sibiu in a crate to be assembled before the start. The Pit/Service crew “Top Cross” were amazing looking after us and 4 riders from KTM Sth Africa including young sensation and eventual 3rd place overall rider, Wade Young. We were treated like factory riders with our own mechanics and even a chef who cooked us meals every day! It was full factory stuff, awesome!
I prepared well in the lead up to the race, i organized “hardcore” GPS rides to get used to the navigation required at RBR. We rode nasty trails in “tough” conditions (or what we thought was tough!) all over Vic with other 2014 Romaniacs competitors. I continued with plenty of Moto Trials riding and even practiced with my KTM 350 at the Oakleigh MCC Trials club grounds to hone skills.
My main sponsor and supporter of the Aussie "Romaniacs Realizing a Dream" FB page Melbourne printing company “REDiNK” came on board early believing in me to do the job. M2R helmets loved what we were doing and organised the Aussie MXON design helmet to go with our cool green/gold Scott gear and custom design Aussie riding jerseys. You could not race Romaniacs without bike protection so we packed our bags and flew over Aussie company FORCE Accessories bashplates, disk guards ect also a few Funnel Web Filters, and a Tender Batteries super light lithium replacement for the stock KTM unit, to go with this Ring Master Images produced the coolest ever boxing kangaroo bike graphics kits that made us the standout team in the whole Romanian paddock. It was cool to be an Aussie at the 2014 RedBull Romaniacs! All these guys helped us tremendously which made racing Romaniacs 2014 much less stressfull.