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Maltese Riders Gear Up for the 21st Edition of Red Bull Romaniacs

The Red Bull Romaniacs, known as the world’s toughest Hard Enduro Rally, celebrates its 21st edition this year. The rally will feature seven Maltese drivers among its international lineup, each prepared to tackle the gruelling challenges of this extreme motorsport event. Starting on July 23rd with a prologue qualifying day, the competitors will face four intense days of rally racing through the rugged terrain of Romania.

The Maltese Contenders

The seven Maltese riders are Joshua Anastasi, Roger Zammit, Edward Sant Fournier, Victor Bajada and Andrew Cassar who will be competing in the Iron Class and Alex Sant Fournier and Gozitan John Attard, participating in the Bronze Class. These riders have been rigorously preparing for the event in Malta’s challenging heat and dust.

The Challenge Ahead

The Red Bull Romaniacs is notorious for its combination of technical riding and extreme endurance. Riders are expected to cover up to 160 kilometers each day, with the rally demanding up to 8 hours of hard enduro riding daily. Checkpoints along the route ensure that competitors stay on track and adhere to the rally’s stringent requirements.

Competitors receive the day’s stage route when collecting their GPS from race control half an hour before the morning start. This system ensures that every rider faces the same surprises and challenges without prior knowledge, testing their adaptability and navigational skills.

Marathon Stage: A New Twist

This year, the organizers have introduced a Marathon stage, combining days two and three. During this stage, riders are not allowed any outside help for maintenance or repairs. All work must be carried out by the competitors themselves, although they are permitted to assist each other and share spare parts and tools they carry during the race. This addition intensifies the rally, emphasizing the importance of self-reliance among riders.

Joshua Anastasi, one of the Maltese competitors, shared insights into their preparation: “We are all trying to get as many hours of riding on the bikes as possible whilst training in the heat and dust at the moment. Keeping up with the riding and training for the next four weeks of intense heat will be quite a challenge in itself.”

The riders’ training regimen includes extensive bike riding and fitness exercises designed to build the endurance needed to withstand the rally’s demands. The harsh Maltese summer heat serves as an excellent simulation of the challenging conditions they will face in Romania.

Daily Routine

The daily routine for competitors is grueling. Wake-up calls are at 4:30 AM, followed by breakfast. Competitors then receive their GPS routes at race control, with the rally stages commencing shortly afterward. Each evening, an online briefing at 21:00 updates them on the following day’s stage, ensuring they are well-prepared for the next leg of the rally.

The riders’ participation not only highlights their individual talents but also places Malta on the map in the world of extreme Enduro racing. With intensive training, these they are ready to face one of the toughest challenges in motorsport, embodying the true essence of endurance and teamwork.

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