After missing a navigational point the previous day and getting hit with a time penalty that effectively ruined his chance of a podium, Andreas Lettenbichler responded on day three of Red Bull Romaniacs in the best possible way. Charged with emotion, the KTM rider was on maximum attack from the word go.
Head down and riding hard, the German continuously picked off the majority of the 11 riders that started in front of him. Crossing the finish line third but as day three's winner on corrected time, the veteran of the Gold class proved there's plenty of fight left in the old dog.
"Today I rode for myself – like I knew I could," said Lettenbichler. "I was annoyed with yesterday's mistakes and in my mind I needed to set things right. I was in attack mode from the word go. I think that was one of the best day's riding I've ever done."
Turning his fortunes around after what had been a relatively mediocre start to his race, Alfredo Gomez was runner-up to Lettenbichler. The Husqvarna rider finally found his Romaniacs groove and ended his day less than four minutes behind the German.
While the story of the day was Lettenbichler setting the world to rights, the battle for top honours in this year's Romaniacs between Jonny Walker and Graham Jarvis tightened up considerably.
With Walker leading the pack out, it was Jarvis' turn to give chase. Pushing hard to bridge the gap to his close rival, Jarvis notched almost 90 seconds out of Walker's overall lead to leave him just over two-minutes in deficit heading into the fourth and final day.
"That was a fast day's riding," confirmed Jarvis. "It was fast and flowing – there were no real stoppers to slow things right down. Midway I was worried that I wasn't doing enough to catch Jonny but I tried not to panic and just push a pace I was comfortable with. It's definitely still all to play for going into the final day."
With this year"s Red Bull Romaniacs far from decided, Walker knows he's got a fight on his hands if he want to make it two wins on the bounce. Fifth today, he's hoping to use that to his advantage in the race to the finish-line.
"It's not the day I was hoping for but I can't let it bother me," admitted Walker. "I started out fine, and even pulled a bit of a gap before the service check, but then it went a bit pear shaped towards the finish. Thankfully I'm still in the lead – not as much as I want – but the race is still in my favour. Tomorrow is risk all mode. Only first will do."
Red Bull Romaniacs 2015 current standings
1. Jonny Walker (GBR) 17h34m51s
2. Graham Jarvis (GBR) 17h37m07s
3. Alfredo Gómez (ESP) 18h13m45s
4. Paul Bolton (GBR) 18h29m07s
5. Wade Young (RSA) 18h34m14s
6. Andreas Lettenbichler (GER) 19h04m23s
7. Blake Gutzeit (RSA) 19h50m36s
8. Philipp Scholz (GER) 19h50m36s
9. Lars Enockl (AUT) 19h55m30s
10. Brett Swanepoel (RSA) 19h56m09s