Despite being a five-time enduro world champion Ivan Cervantes is completely new to racing Hard Enduro. But after placing an impressive eight overall on his debut ride at the Red Bull Hare Scramble, Cervantes immediately signed up for his next adventure with the Red Bull Romaniacs. RedBull.com caught up with Cervantes before he headed to Sibiu…
RedBull.com: Are you looking forward to your first time racing at the Red Bull Romaniacs this year?
Ivan Cervantes: “I’m really excited about going to race the Red Bull Romaniacs. Hard Enduro is something that’s completely new to me but I’m willing to learn. Riding in the Romanian wilderness will be a new challenge and I’m looking forward to it.”
RB: What goals have you set yourself to achieve?
IC: “I’m realistic about what I want to achieve. I’m not going there expecting to win or anything like that. Most importantly I just want to finish the race in the best possible position that I can. It’s a four-day event. Anything can happen in that time – the most important thing is to finish each day without making any major mistakes.”
RB: The Red Bull Hare Scramble at Erzberg was your first taste of Hard Enduro. You must have enjoyed the experience enough to come back for more?
IC: “At first with all the snow and rain I thought to myself that I must be crazy. And then when I was sat on the start line in a foot of water I thought everybody was crazy. But once the race started I really enjoyed myself. I’ve been told that it was the toughest race there in a very long time so to have finished eight is a result I’m very proud of.”
RB: What was your highlight of the race?
IC: “I had a couple. The first was when I was in second position for the first thirty minutes – that was incredible. Another moment was on a tough hill climb. I looked up and saw both Graham Jarvis and Jonny Walker stuck on either side of it. At first I didn’t know what to do. Should I wait or go? I decided to try my luck and hit it full gas. I managed to pass them both up the middle of the hill. That was a funny moment I wasn’t expecting.”
RB: Navigation is an important part in the Red Bull Romaniacs with riders relying on GPS systems to follow the course. Are you nervous about getting lost?
IC: “I think learning to use the GPS system is what I’m most nervous about. I’ve never used one before. I hope I won’t get lost on the first day. But my teammate Cristobal Guerrero is also riding. We’ve made a pact that if we get lost then we get lost together!”
RB: For the tenth anniversary of the race the organisers are returning to the original Prologue format that will run around the town of Sibiu. What are you thoughts on it?
IC: “I’ve been watching videos of the Prologue on You Tube and it’s nothing like I’ve ever ridden before – it looks insane riding over wooden bridges and through old buildings. I think that’s going to be a lot of fun and a great way to start the week.”