Enjoying an impressive extreme enduro season in 2016 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Graham Jarvis is eyeing a fifth career win at the 2016 edition of Romaniacs…
Now that Romaniacs 2016 has started how does it feel to be back to Sibiu?
Graham Jarvis: “It feels good. I feel Romania is like a second home to me now and Romaniacs is a great event that I always enjoy riding. It’s really good to be back. Since Erzberg I’ve been training really hard for this race. I’ve also been competing in a series of completely different events. I’ve been trying myself in various events in order to build up my fitness for Romaniacs.”
Third in the prologue is a great start, you must be pleased with that?
“I kept telling everyone before the start that the prologue isn’t my thing but I guess I was wrong. I’m really pleased with third – it’s nice to have finished on the podium. The prologue is always a lottery and this year was no different. I just kept plugging away, trying to stay out of trouble. I didn’t even know I was third until I finished. For me the real race starts to tomorrow. I’m looking forward to getting into the mountains.”
Let’s jump back a few weeks, what did it mean to win Erzberg in such a dominant way this year?
“It was incredible. I’ve been racing at Erzberg for so many years but the way I won it this year probably felt better than ever before. To cross the line first, more than 30 minutes ahead of the next guy, is honestly something I never expected. I’d say it was the perfect race for me from the very beginning. I finally managed to get a good start and soon I was passing people. But all that’s in the past now. For the next few days it’s all about Romaniacs.”
How different is your training for Romanics, compared to a race like Erzberg?
“First of all it’s a different type of terrain. Erzberg is full-on rocks and it involves slower, more intense riding. In Romaniacs you’ve got lots of slippery rivers and climbs, which we also have back home in England. After all these years I’ve figured out that to train for Romaniacs it’s just best to stay at home and put the hours in. I’ve been trying to put in a lot of hours on the bike every day, in any kind of terrain.”
Romaniacs is always been one of your favourite events, why is that?
“That’s true, I’ve always enjoyed racing this event. It’s a tough four days of racing and it can get extremely tiring. But I believe the place and the terrain is amongst the best in the world for enduro riding. I also like the fact that it’s a bit of an adventure. You don’t really know where you’re going and you certainly haven’t walked the tracks before the event. You just go out there and do it. You don’t know what’s around the corner and that’s proper enduro riding for me.”
With four Romaniacs victories now in the bag, what’s it going to take for you to celebrate a fifth victory in Sibiu?
“The key to this race is to avoid making mistakes and getting lost. It’s happened to me in the past, like last year when I got lost due to a malfunction on my GPS. That’s the big difference with Romaniacs really. Any small mistake can cost you five or ten minutes easily. I’ll have to take things one step at a time and do my best to avoid mistakes. It’s also important to learn how to find your way out of trouble by yourself. I’ve ridden with other riders a lot in the past during the race but for me the best thing is to ride alone. In this race you’ve got to trust your own instincts.”