- Kirsten Landmann heads to Red Bull Romaniax for the first time since 2018.
- The rider explains the differences between the Dakar and the grueling endurance race.
- Landman is South Africa’s leading hardtail enduro rider with an attitude that not many can match.
Kirsten Landman She is undoubtedly one of the pioneers of endurance racing in South Africa and the pioneer of this grueling sport.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, the 2023 Dakar Challenger heads to Romania to compete in the Red Bull Romaniacs – the toughest and most challenging enduro race on the planet.
But wait a minute, isn’t the Dakar the hardest?
Always willing to talk about the sport she loves, Landmann sat down with News24 to explain the intricacies of comparing the Dakar to Hard Enduro, which leads to the realization that what she’s about to face in Romania is wild (to put it mildly).
Landmann sets the tone with a scathing declaration: “Red Bull Romaniax is the craziest thing, and the obstacles (hills, cliffs, etc.) you won’t even try to climb up, so you think, ‘How can you get a bike up there?!'” “
“Romanians are very physical, and you need really good technical abilities. You’re on one bike path, hanging off the side of a mountain, one mistake and you and your bike are gone.”
It’s not the same thing
The Dakar Rally is considered the toughest race on the planet. Passing through 14 stages over two weeks, competitors (cars, bikes, quads and trucks) are put to the test as mind and body are pushed to the limit.
Some stages can be over 900km long and complete in between 10 and 12 hours on the bike, but Romanian roads vary. It’s very different.
“The Dakar is off-road, and it’s much faster,” says Landmann. “It’s Raleigh.”
And Romaniacs is what we call hard enduro. The bikes are different, the setups we ride are different, the terrain we race on is different. It’s a lot more physical… In Romaniacs you can ride for 90 kilometers a day and nine hours. So, the technique is completely different.
“Mountain bike races have a higher average speed than we Romaniacs do.”
The Red Bull Romaniacs runs over five stages for a total distance of 600km, with an easy 90km a day that requires nine hours to complete. This is about 10 km / h.
While the Dakar has its own unique set of challenges, Landmann says, it is “more than just a mind game, and that aspect is what breaks people down”.
Matthew Green of South Africa, 2022 Red Bull Romaniacs
targets for Romania
Landmann 2023 did not go according to plan. Shortly after returning from Dakar, she was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism, which pushed back her schedule by more than four months.
But now that she’s back in the saddle, and with onepreparatoryIn the bag, you head to Romania for the most challenging event of the hard enduro calendar, where you compete in the silver class.
Landmann last competed in the Red Bull Romaniacs in 2018 and is now looking for a better finish than the top 50 she achieved in her last outing.
“A lot has changed in the five years since I last competed in Rome,” she adds.
“My drive, my physique, me as a person — a lot has changed since 2018. But I wouldn’t keep doing what I do if I didn’t raise the bar that high.
“For this year, the Top 20 is going to be great, and I’m going to be over the moon. But I’m going to be really excited with the Top 30.”
The Red Bull Romaniax Championship will be held from July 25 to 29.
2022 Red Bull Romaniax