KTM & AUSTRIA CELEBRATE THE ERZBERGRODEO LEGEND: LIVE STREAMING ON WWW.KTM.COM & KTM RACING FACEBOOK
The eyes of both hard endurists and passionate followers of the sport tend to glaze over at the mere mention of the legendary Erzberg Rodeo – the annual man and machine attack on Austria’s Erzberg, the Iron Mountain. This weekend thousands of aficionados flock to Erzberg to compete against the mountain or to urge on those who are brave enough to test themselves in probably the world’s toughest ride. Thousands try, only a handful of them succeed.
KTM riders have had a stranglehold on the main trophy, a simple chunk of iron ore that is presented to the fastest man up the mountain carved and terraced by mining going right back to the time of the Celts. Who will win in 2013 will only be decided after the notorious Red Bull Hare Scramble on Sunday.
The name most frequently inscribed on the Erzberg role of honor is KTM’s Taddy Blazusiak of Poland who has won no less that five times. Now recognized as the finest EnduroCross rider in international competition, Blazusiak broke into international competition on the Iron Mountain in 2007. After an amazing ride in Saturday’s Iron Road Prologue where his talent was obvious amongst the massive field of 1500 competitors, Blazusiak was offered a KTM machine for Sunday’s Hare Scramble and came away with the prize. The Polish rider, subsequently signed by KTM factory rider, won the Red Bull Hare Scramble in the next four years, the only one to have his name on the winner’s list five times.
Blazusiak did not compete in 2012 because of a program clash with the US-based EnduroCross competition, in which he is also a multiple champion so last year, young upstart British KTM rider Jonny Walker stepped up to the challenge and won the chunk of iron ore. Now in 2012 Walker, also now a KTM factory rider will try to repeat the victory. Taddy will definitely be at Erzberg and hopes to compete but this will only be decided when he is able to assess his level of fitness. He injured his wrist in a crash at the Barcelona X-Games recently, which has interrupted his special training regime to prepare to attack the Iron Mountain.
Making his first attempt at the Iron Mountain is KTM Enduro Factory rider Ivan Cervantes of Spain. Cervantes returned to the Orange factory team in 2013 after a two-season break and is currently second in the E2 championship standings. But Erzberg is another level of challenge for any professional rider. The fastest 500 riders from Saturday’s Prologue qualify to start up the wicked slopes of Erzberg in Sunday’s Hare Scramble. They have a four-hour limit to complete the course and less than 20 make it to the top. Only those who are tough enough, skilled enough and able to endure the pain and exhaustion get to the finish line.
The Erzberg Rodeo attracts riders from all over the planet and in 2013 they include Japan’s veteran Erzberg competitor Taichi Tanaka, riding at #5 and competing for KTM Japan Racing. And because the fame of the legendary race has also spread across the globe, Tanaka has also arranged venues for public viewing back home in Japan.
In fact enthusiasts all over the world will be able to follow the 2013 Red Bull Hare Scramble via live streaming on www.ktm.com and KTM Racing Facebook from 11:00 CET on Sunday June 2, 2013
The Erzbergrodeo is a massive four-day event with a program tailored to satisfy riders and true believer fans who come in their thousands to ride and party on and around the Iron Mountain. In 2013 as well as the GENERALI IRON ROAD PROLOGUE, the RED BULL HARE SCRAMBLE and the legendary ERZBERGRODEO RIDER‘S PARTY on Saturday night, there is the popular KÄRCHER ROCKET RIDE where the only way is up the mountain in a direct line. Other popular features include Freestyle MX and the internationally famous STURM AUF EISENERZ where the world’s biggest gathering of motorcyclists, many in costume, parade through the streets of the nearby town of Eisenerz.
The XIX edition of the Erzberg Rodeo gets underway on Thursday and concludes on Sunday. While a definite sporting highlight for anyone passionate about motorcycles and extreme riding, it is also not for the faint hearted. Even those that go for the parties and to help celebrate the extreme riding will need plenty of high octane energy to get through the weekend.
- GENERALI IRON ROAD PROLOGUE (Saturday): 1500 starters – fastest 500 qualify for the Hare Scramble
- RED BULL HARE SCRAMBLE (Sunday): 500 starters, 20 checkpoints, limit of four hours to get to the top
- 2012 Jonny Walker (UK, KTM)
- 2011 Taddy Blazusiak (PL, KTM)
- 2010 Taddy Blazusiak (PL, KTM)
- 2009 Taddy Blazusiak (PL, KTM)
- 2008 Taddy Blazusiak (PL, KTM)
- 2007 Taddy Blazusiak (PL, KTM)
- 2006 David Knight (UK, KTM)
- 2005 David Knight (UK, KTM)
- 2004 Chris Pfeiffer (D, Gas Gas)
- 2003 Cyril Despres (AND, KTM)
- 2002 Cyril Despres (AND, KTM)
- 2001 Juha Salminen (FIN, KTM)
- 2000 Chris Pfeiffer (GER, Gas Gas)
- 1999 Stefano Passeri (I, KTM)
- 1998 Giovanni Sala (I, KTM)
- 1997 Chris Pfeiffer (D, Gas Gas)
- 1996 Chris Pfeiffer (D, Gas Gas)
- 1995 Alfie Cox (RSA, KTM)