Once again it is my great pleasure to participate as a head photographer in this incredible event for the eleventh year in a row now. As one of the most difficult enduro races in the world, with extremely hard race conditions that are sometimes inhuman and are a tough challenge for all riders and all the support crew alike, this year’s challenge was the most demanding one yet! From the photographer’s perspective, the Red Bull Romaniacs event contains everything that any photographer would ever want. Possibilities of photoshooting an event like this are so numerous that sometimes you are simply not sure what to shoot or what part of the track to visit.
Riders will need skill, speed, and stamina to get through this five-day adventure of spectacular terrain, stunning landscapes, and ruthless obstacles ending in the Carpathian Mountains.
Taking place just over a month after the Erzbergrodeo, there’s no let up for the world’s best Hard Enduro riders in 2018 as they arrive in Sibiu, Romania for the daunting Red Bull Romaniacs.
The scenery of the Carpathian Mountains may be beautiful to look at, but the competitors won’t have much time for sightseeing as they contend with four days of punishing offroad riding after tackling the famous Prolog race on the streets of Sibiu.
Sibiu is a city in Transylvania, Romania, with a population of 147,245. Located some 275 km (171 mi) north-west of Bucharest, the city straddles the Cibin River, a tributary of the river Olt. Now the capital of Sibiu County, between 1692 and 1791 and 1849–65 Sibiu was the capital of the Principality of Transylvania.
Sibiu is one of the most important cultural centres of Romania and was designated the European Capital of Culture for the year 2007, along with the city of Luxembourg. Formerly the centre of the Transylvanian Saxons, the old city of Sibiu was ranked as “Europe’s 8th-most idyllic place to live” by Forbes in 2008.
One thing that never changed so far during the Red Bull Romaniacs event is the expression on the faces of all riders (from about 40 world countries) once they realize that hell broke lose in Romania and that extremity in its essence is embracing them during the ralley in Southern Carpathian Mountains.
The multitude of potentialy superb spots for photography are pure joy for amateurs and professional photographers alike. Water, mud, river crossing, narrow passes, uphills and downhills represent a vast range of photographic challenges.
Riders in some places simply remain stuck for a few minutes, which gives you extra time to choose the best position for the image you want to take. Adding to this the simply huge number of competitors you have the time to play with your equipment, enjoy yourself and make some epic shots.
Between shooting all the action on the track, you can always turn to the beautiful landscape vistas of the Romanian Carpathians. Light conditions are constantly varyying so it also allows you to really enjoy the beautiful atmosphere of wild nature in this part of Romania.
The riders of the Red Bull Romaniacs are divided in 4 classes: Gold, Silver, Bronze and Iron. Total altitude meters covered during the race: Gold class 60k, Silver & Bronze class 50k, Iron Class 40k. There were more than 300 people at work during the 12th Hard Enduro Rallye 2015 which attracted the riders from 40 countries.
The breathtaking wilderness, the Romanian hospitality and the unbelievable challenges make the 600km race an unforgetable, livelong memory for all participants.