Interview with Martin Freinademetz

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Martin Freinademetz is the XVENTURE boss and as such about to score the 14th edition of the legendary Red Bull Romaniacs Hard Enduro Rallye in 2017. Martin also did the 1st edition of Red Bull Minas Riders in Brazil earlier this year and he’s been involved as the Sports Director at Red Bull Sea to Sky from the very start in 2010.

Given Martin’s experience one might think he could take it easy and take his time to get the next edition of Red Bull Sea to Sky planned. But on the very next day after the Mountain Race – the main event of Red Bull Sea to Sky – Martin gathers the team and starts to work on the next edition and to make it even better. He’s is closely cooperating with the team of the Kemer Enduro Club headed by Semih Özdemir, who is scouting new tracks and preparing the tracks over the entire year before the race.

Martin, you’re finalizing the tracks with the Kemer Enduro Club right now. Let’s start with the Forest Race track. What can we expect?

Martin Freinademetz: The track will be shorter than last year with 42km but we expect most of the riders to spend about the same time on the bike as last year. So obviously the Forest Race track is a little more technical in 2016. Multiple Gold Medalist Ismail Özgül is the responsible track manager for the Forest Race track and he designed a memorable one. It starts at the beach, goes over the fishing boat bridge into the forest, through a canal and into the mountains.

So this sounds like a big variety of terrain.

Martin Freinademetz: Yes, and there are superb views from the hills that are easily accessible for the spectators. The track is getting more demanding after it gets to the mountains and those who need to take a rest should treat themselves with a stop at the points of the track that provide an outstanding view of the Mediterranean Sea.

The track will then lead back to the sea on challenging paths carved by donkeys and goats. But the fun ain’t over when you get to the beach. The track will take the riders past the ancient harbor of Phaselis where most of the tourist boats anchor and into a pretty technical section that is also easily accessible for the spectators and that will give them a flavor of what’s to be expected in the Mountain Race on the following day. The riders will have to cross the river multiple times and ride along and even into an aqueduct so the bikes will most likely create little tsunamis if the riders manage to stay on the bike. After that the track passes hotels and restaurants and the Red Bull finish arch waits for the riders right at the beach.

Ismail has done an outstanding job designing this track and I’m really pleased with the work.

What about the main event, the Mountain Race? As always there will be a Bronze, Silver and Gold finish – what do we have to expect?

Martin Freinademetz: Ismail’s big brother Ali „Jackal“ Özgül is responsible for the Mountain Race track and he’s also done an amazing job designing and preparing the 2016 track which is about 60km long and has a total of three tank points if you’re going for Gold! We’ll start at the beach again and follow the river bed all the way. To get to the Bronze Finish on about 1,300m it’ll cost the riders about 10 intense kilometers within the river bed followed by some cute single trails and forest roads.

Once the riders have passed the Bronze Finish and have ambitions to go for Silver or even Gold Ali puts them to the test right after the Bronze Finish. There will be a section with a gnarly climb of about 200m of altitude difference. Rumor has it that Ali will sell snacks in that section since it’s expected that it is going to take most riders quite a while to make it.

Once this is done the riders will follow an old goat trail that Ali and his team have spent a lot of time to uncover with their bushwhackers. The track will be demanding, riders will go through sweat and tears to reach the Silver Finish after about 40km at an altitude of – no, this is no typo – 425m. Ok, we should add that the price you have to pay for reaching the Silver finish is that the track takes the riders to about 1,600 meters of altitude before they descend to the finish at 425m.

Ok – if Martin Freinademetz calls a climb gnarly then the riders will call him names. This is going to be fun! Now let’s talk Gold!

Martin Freinademetz: After Silver the riders will „enjoy“ an old hunters trail for about 10km. Those 10km won’t be overly difficult but technically demanding without interruption and thus energy-sapping until the next checkpoint. The team of the Kemer Enduro Club again has spent a lot of time with their bushwhackers to make that old trail rideable.

After that the riders will meet an old friend, the Dark Canyon, and they will celebrate the friendship while riding upwards. Make sure to bring something to drink to the party, you will need it! For the spectators there is good news: A new forest road will make it possible to easily reach an area where the last battles for the positions will take place. From there it will take the top riders about 10 minutes to get to the Red Bull finish arch at 2,365m on top of the Tahtali Mountain!

This year we’re expecting the top riders to reach the finish of the Mountain Race in 3:30 hours. Within the 7 hours limit still a good amount of participants shall earn the Gold Medal.

Will there be the same prize money as in the years before?

Martin Freinademetz: We’re going to pay out a total of €10,000. The split will be the following:
Beach Race: 1st €1,000, 2nd €600, 3rd €400
Forest Race: 1st €1,000, 2nd €600, 3rd €400
Mountain Race: 1st €3,000, 2nd €2,000, 3rd €1,000
This is a bit less than the years before but if you win all 3 races you can still earn €5,000!

Following the news in the past couple of months there might be concerns in regards to the overall security in Turkey. How do you comment on that?

Martin Freinademetz: We understand that the incidents back in July may have caused concerns. We’re in close and continuous contact with the Turkish security authorities and are doing everything possible to make the event as secure as possible. At this point of time we do not have any indication of specific problems relating to our event.

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