Walker wins Erzberg by 15 minutes
The Erzberg Rodeo has grown into one of the major events of World Enduro.
On Thursday Seppi Fally won the Rocket Ride - a series of three hill climbs ridden flat out Video
Friday was the Prologue day when the 2000 entrants were whittled down to the 500 qualifiers who would compete in the final. Austrian Seppi Fally set the fastest time on a Kawasaki kxf 450, Slovakian Blaz Legisa was 2nd and Lars Enöckl was 3rd. Johnny Walker qualified 4th and Graham Jarvis was 7th. Paul Bolton 8th. David Knight crashes on Prologue and he is airlifted to hospital with rib and elbow injuries. Dougie Lampkin was 22nd. Ben Hemingway 25th. Dan Hemingway 31st. Jack Lee 34th. Tom Healey 38th. Mark Jenkins 45th, Luke Copestake 47th. Andrew Noakley 51st. Martin Craven 97th. Neil Flockhart 129th. Adam Smith 140th. Richard Main 147th. Jane Daniels was the quickest Lady, Results Solo - Ladies - Twin Cylinder - Quads
Red Bull Preview of the 18th Red Bull Hare Scramble proved to be prophetic as British riders dominated the race. For the main event the weather was wet. Lars Enocal took the holeshot. The first big challenge was a loose gravel climb alongside the water pipe. It was an area where outside assistance was allowed but there was no where to stand let alone push. Most riders opted to turn around and try again and again. Meanwhile at the front Jonny Walker was forging a massive lead. He had a nasty off at the boulder section known as Carl's Dinner but he picked the KTM up and carried on to win by 15 minutes. Graham Jarvis and Andreas Lettenbichler got lost in the mist and missed a check. Despite being disqualified Graham carried on to cross the line first for the second year to be told he was out. Lars Enocal struggled on the rocky going and Dougie Lampkin moved up into 2nd followed by Ben Hemingway and Paul Bolton. At the 25km mark Dougie had plenty of time to tackle the rock strewn Dynamite - the last major obstacle. Ben Hemingway moved up into 3rd to complete an All British podium. Paul Bolton was 4th and Dan Hemingway was 7th. Dougie said "I am glad it's over." Asked if he would be back next week Dougie said "Ask me next week". Ben said "Incredible I can't tell you how happy I am". After the race Andreas Lettenbichler said that he was leading Graham Jarvis when they went into the mist and he could not see his hand in front of his face. Results Reports Johnny Walker - Graham Jarvis - Dougie Lampkin - Andreas Lettenbichler - Paul Bolton
Taddy wins Erzberg Rodeo 2011
KTM Enduro Factory Team rider Taddy Blazusiak has claimed a fifth consecutive Erzberg Rodeo victory, making him the most successful competitor in the history of the event. The toughest running of the race to date, the battle to beat the ‘Iron Giant’ saw Taddy take the lead off the start before briefly dropping to second behind Britain’s Jonny Walker. Soon back out front, as the lead riders headed towards the start of the hardest sections of the race Taddy began to edge ahead. From the start of the XVII running of the Erzberg Rodeo the weather played its part in ensuring nothing was easy as rain made all sections of the track extremely slippery.
With a two to three minute lead as he entered the notorious and feared Carl’s Diner sections of the race Taddy struggled to maintain his pace, making several small but costly mistakes. Nearing the end of the section a bad choice of line saw Taddy briefly stuck as Graham Jarvis moved into the lead. But soon after Taddy found he was the first rider to pass through the next route check--point. Although passing the remaining check points and arriving at the finish behind Jarvis, Taddy was the first rider to reach the finish having past through all 20 route check points. In doing so he was credited with winning the race, claiming an amazing fifth consecutive win.
Taddy now turns his attentions to the start of the ’11 US Endurocross championship.
Taddy: ‘It’s been a tough race but to get a fifth win is just amazing. From the start I felt good, but the weather was horrible. I took an early lead before getting past on one of the first climbs, but once we got to the first tough sections in the forest I got back into the lead and pushed hard to open up a gap at the front. I didn’t have any problems on any of the next hard sections and had about a two or three minute lead as I got to the toughest rock section known as Carl’s Diner. I was the first guy through it and just couldn’t get good lines. I lead through the first section but then stalled my bike and lost some time. Then Graham found a really good line by keeping high on the rocks and past me because I was stuck at the bottom in the big rocks. My line was terrible and he got past me. I knew then that it was going to be tough to get back in front of him but I pushed hard to the next check--point. I could see that there were no tyre tracks at that next check--point, and then got the news that he’d missed it. It was really hard getting to that check--point but after I got there I just wanted to finish the race with no mistakes, which I pretty much did. Everyone that’s trying to win this race knows that you have to be fast through the tough sections but that you also have to go to all the check points. Graham was riding really well but getting to that check--point took a lot out of me. It’s amazing having five wins here, I have to say such a big thanks to everyone who helped me as well as to all my sponsors. Now I’ll be spending my time getting ready for Endurocross in the States which starts with the first race at X Games.’
Gas Gas finished second at the notorious Erzberg extreme enduro, held in Austria despite suffering from a serious ankle injury picked up back in May. Regarded by many as one of the toughest off-road events in the World even for fully fit riders, Dougie's achievement is even more incredible when he has not competed in an enduro competition since early February due to his SPEA FIM Trial World Championship commitments.
After finishing third at Erzberg twelve months ago, thirty-five year old Lampkin was determined to fight for the top step of the podium and knew that starting the main event on the front row of the grid was his priority. Low temperatures and continuous showers over the past couple of days has seen the usually dusty quarry transformed into a more manageable venue, although a revised course layout provided a new headache for the ex multi FIM World Trial champion.
Qualifying was made up of two separate runs over Friday and Saturday, prior to the main event which took place earlier today. Aware that both man and machine would have to remain in good condition to be in with a chance of taking a podium finish, Dougie adopted a calculated approach to place twenty-sixth out of over one thousand, four hundred entrants during the qualifying prologues, and in doing so reserved a spot on the front row in the process.
With his damaged ankle heavily strapped Dougie got a good start off the line and was quick to move into third position behind countryman Graham Jarvis and race leader Tadeusz Blazusiak. Passing through the 'help zones' without any real problems Dougie soon found himself at the part of the course where outside assistance was forbidden. Applying his extensive trials skills he navigated the mass of near vertical boulder-fields on board his factory Gas Gas EC 300, continuously pushing for second position.
Despite his best efforts Dougie was unable to close the gap on the two front runners, with the Gas Gas runner crossing the line in a provisional third place. An exhausted and slightly disappointed Dougie was then informed that Jarvis had been disqualified for missing a check point for the second year running, therefore promoting Dougie into second position with Brit Jonny Walker rounding out the top three.
Lampkin explained. "When I came across the line I was sure that I had finished in third and if I'm honest I was a little disappointed as that was my position last year. When I was told I had actually finished second I couldn't believe it - Erzberg is both mentally and physically draining, so the second step on the podium feels like a just reward."
"I've thoroughly enjoyed the event, right from the very start it looked great and to come away with second is a brilliant result, but this was by far the hardest edition of the event that I've ridden. My ankle has given me no end of problems recently and I had serious reservations how it would fair in this type of extreme, punishing environment, however I'm pleased it held out." Said Dougie
"Alpinestars provided me with some specially modified boots, which have helped a lot and to be fair my foot wasn't really an issue during the race - it's only now I've finished that it has started to really hurt."
"My bike has been absolutely brilliant all weekend and did all I asked of it. Erzberg is a special event and taking second is a dream come true in my current condition." Ended Lampkin.
Results – Erzberg Rodeo 1. Taddy Blazusiak (POL/KTM) 2. Dougie Lampkin (GBR/Gas Gas) 3. Jonny Walker (GBR/KTM) 4. Ben Hemingway (GBR/KTM) 5. Xavi Galindo (ESP/Husaberg) 6. Dan Hemingway (GBR/KTM) 7. Taichi Tanaka (JPN/KTM) 8. Cyril Despres (AND/KTM) 9. Piero Sembenini (ITA/Gas Gas) 10. Chris Birch (NZL/KTM)
Blazusiak rocks Erzberg '10 to claim fourth consecutive
victory at the Iron Giant
KTM Enduro Factory Team rider Taddy Blazusiak has claimed his fourth consecutive Erzberg Rodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble victory, dominating this year's event after claiming a near perfect win. Leading from the start Taddy didn't have things all his own way as he made a small, but costly, mistake while weaving his way through one of the technical wooded sections of the course. Dropping off the racing line, and having to return to the start of the trail before working his way back towards the next check-point, Taddy dropped down into sixth position but wasted no time in working his way back into the lead. Once back out front Blazusiak pushed no harder than he needed to and having opened up a commanding lead by the time he exited some of the event's most technical sections he arrived at the finish in a time of 1.45:43, more than 10 minutes ahead of runner-up Andreas Lettenbichler. Just 16 of the 500 starters finished the Red Bull Hare Scramble.
Even more so than in previous years, Erzberg '10 was a busy event for
With thousands of Taddy fans flocking to the race to catch a glimpse of the
extreme enduro star, on Saturday evening he took part in the Red Bull
Motorclash - a race up the qualifying prologue course against former F1 World
Champion Kimi Raikkonen. Although Kimi's WRC Citroen topped the timed race,
the event attracted thousands of spectators and proved to be a massively
exciting part of the Erzberg festival.
Taddy Blazusiak: 'I was really focused on getting a good start because normally you can never guess when the flag will drop. I got a really good start, which was great. I made it to the top of the first climb in the lead. That made things so much easier for me this year. I felt pretty good early on but then I made a small mistake, which cost me quite a lot of time. I hit a tree stump and ended up quite a long way down a hill I'd already ridden up. I arrived at the check point from the wrong side but they didn't allow me to continue, so I had to go back and come at it the correct way. I dropped from first to about sixth because of that. I chased the riders ahead of me like a maniac from that point. I was riding like I was in an enduro special test - I really gave it everything. I actually worked my way back into the lead quite quickly, and once I was there I just maintained my lead. In the past I've pushed and pushed, but this year, once I knew I had a good lead, I rode smart and took my time. There were some really physical sections of the track, but I really enjoyed it. It's fantastic to win for a fourth year. There were some times not too long ago after I injured my shoulder when I wasn't sure if I'd be racing Erzberg this year. I worked really hard to make sure I was ready, that's why this win means a lot to me. Also, I have to thank KTM and everyone that helped and supported me. It's been another great event and to win for a fourth time is just fantastic.'
Erzbergrodeo XVI: Taddy Blazusiak wins the Red Bull Hare Scramble for the fourth time and Japan conquers the "Iron Giant".
The polish KTM factory rider dominated the toughest Red Bull Hare Scramble of all times over Andreas Lettenbichler (GER, BMW) and Dougie Lampkin (UK, Beta).
Though Blazusiaks triumphal win came not as easy as in the past years, the world's most successful Xtreme-Enduro athlete could reach the finish inside the Erzbergrodeo Arena with 11 minutes margin over his competitors. “The track was real tough this year, so I'm very happy that I could conquer the “Iron Giant" another time.", said Taddy at the finish line.
German top-rider Andreas Lettenbichler finished second and managed to reach the Red Bull Hare Scramble podium for an amazing fourth time. Lettenbichler's goal was a shot for the win, but the sympathic Bajuvarian was more than happy with his accomplishment. “The heat and the gnarly track got hard on me and Taddy was riding in his own class today.", said Lettenbichler.
12-times Trials World Champion Dougie Lampkin finished on third place today and was really satisfied with his race. After an unlucky drop-out of the race in 2009, Lampkin showed his true colours this year and reached the finish 17 minutes behind Blazusiak.
Out of the 500 starters, only 16 riders reached the Red Bull Bow inside the Erzbergrodeo-Arena after 4 hours. Japanese Trials rider Taichi Tanaka from Osaka delivered the most respectable ride of today - he started out of 5th (!) row and overtook more than 200 competitors on his way to the finish.
More than 30.000 spectators visited the Erzbergrodeo XVI and made up for an enthusiastic atmosphere all around the Erzberg areal.
Historic victory for Taddy Blazusiak at Red Bull Hare Scramble
KTM factory rider Taddy Blazusiak, with his unbelievable ability to fight for victory, on Sunday became the first rider in the history of the Erzberg Rodeo to win three times in a row.
The fifteenth edition of the Red Bull Hare Scramble, the high point of the Erzberg Rodeo will go down in the history of major offroad events in Austria. Taddy Blazusiak, riding his KTM 250 EXC secured a historic victory at the race that is considered the world's toughest one day extreme Enduro competition.
The 26-year old Polish rider goes down in the record books of this legendary extreme Enduro event as the first rider to have scored three consecutive wins. The event attracted 1500 starters from 30 countries and took place in the Austrian province of Styria.
Victory by a huge margin Blazusiak not only dominated the competition in the Red Bull Hare Scramble but also managed to distance himself from second placed Briton Graham Jarvis by more than half an hour. The unbelievably tough competition at this year's Rodeo was proven by the fact that of the 500 who started in the final, except for the third placed Andreas Lettenbichler, only a total of 20 starters were able to complete the 20 check points without any mistakes.
Prologue action Taddy Blazusiak had already taken second in the prologue of the Erzberg Rodeo behind local Austrian favourite Seppi Fally thus registering his ambitions for the final. The results of the other KTM riders was also noteworthy. Apart from Cyril Despres, who in 2009 concentrated only on the prologue and made an impressive podium on his factory KTM 690 Rally machine, Chris Birch (NZL) and the Mexican Enduro champion Homero Diaz were two other EXC-two-stroke riders in the top five prologue finishers. Among the team of top international Enduro rider gathered at the KTM tent were also Canadian Cory Graffunder, the South African Daryl Curtis, the Belgian Gilles Dejong and the Briton Paul Bolton.
Spectacular action in spectacular setting Immediately after the start of the Red Bull Hare Scramble, which traditionally takes place at 12:00 noon at the foot of the spectacular mine site, the winner of the previous two years hung back behind several of his opponents. Blazusiak, who was not in his best form because he was suffering from a cold and in fact did not contest the second run of the prologue on Saturday, took over the lead after a third of the distance. He advanced his lead at every key point of the race thereafter. The extreme Enduro specialist reached the top of the hill completely exhausted with a race time of 1h 42min. "That was the absolute limit," Taddy Blazusiak said after the race. "That is a very emotional win for me. To win here at Erzberg with my team where my whole life changed in 2007 is like a dream," the clearly moved winner added.
All credit to winner and competitors who tackles epic race The outstanding performance of the winner, as with all of the competitors who tackled the race at Erzberg was recognised by KTM Motor Sports Director Winfried Kerschhaggl. "All of the competitors deserve a big compliment. The entire event has once again proven how unique it is. Nowhere else in the world, whether it is amateur or fully professional, do you see such a setting, and all of this in front of such a huge, enthusiastic public. What Taddy achieved today was simply sensational and once again shows that his skills are at least as extreme at the Rodeo itself. We are happy to have a rider and a character of the caliber of Taddy on our team," Kerschhaggl added.
The KTM Motor Sports Director and the Polish offroad star had already agreed to extend his contract as a factory rider for an additional two years several days before the start of the Erzberg Rodeo.
Results Red Bull Hare Scramble 2009 1. Taddy Blazusiak (POL, KTM) 2. Graham Jarvis (UK, Sherco) 3. Andreas Lettenbichler (D, BMW) 4. Ben Hemingway (UK, Gas Gas) 5. Cory Graffunder (CAN, KTM) 6. Rory Mead (NZL, Yamaha) 7. Dan Hemingway (UK, KTM) 8. Chris Birch (NZL, KTM) 9. Gerhard Forster (D, BMW) 10. Kyle Redmond (USA, Yamaha)
Taddy claims third consecutive Erzberg Hare Scramble victory
KTM Enduro Factory Team rider Taddy Blazusiak has claimed his third consecutive win at the world famous ErzbergRodeo. Finishing a massive 42 minutes ahead of runner-up Graham Jarvis from Great Britain, Taddy was made to work hard for his win after crashing shortly after the start. Hitting a fallen rider's bike while negotiating one of the event's early down hill sections, Blazusiak spent much of the first half of the race working his way to the front.
With 30 degree heat blazing down on the Iron Mountain the event proved too tough for many but thankfully Taddy was able to work his way to the front of the race, despite having suffered from food poisoning during the days leading up to the event. Reaching the top of the course in the lead Taddy then opened up a huge 42-minute winning margin before claiming his third consecutive Erzberg Hare Scramble title.
Taddy Blazusiak: "I can't explain how hard this year's event was – it was much harder than the last two years. But I'm really thrilled to have claimed a third KEGEL-BtAZUSIAKi consecutive victory. I had to work hard for it. Getting a bad start, being sick ~woc before the race, and the heat, all made it really hard. I think I must have eaten something bad during the week leading up to the race because I spent two days before the race scared of going too far away from a toilet – with the weather being so hot starting the race dehydrated was the last thing I wanted. Thankfully the prologue went well. I won the first day finishing ahead of Cyril Despres on his twin-cylinder bike, which was good. I decided not ride the second day's CO prologue due to not feeling 100 per cent.
"Although I was on the first row for the start I hit a rock going up one of the first hills and dropped to about fifth. Then going down the first loose, rocky hill I hit the bike of a fallen rider and crashed heavily. That dropped me to about 12". "My plan of trying to save energy went out the window then. I spent the first half of the race playing catch up. All the way up the mountain I pushed as hard as I could. After about 40 minutes I took the lead, just as I got to the top of the mountain. After that I tried to just manage my lead and not do anything stupid. I opened up a comfortable lead and although I wasn't pushing as hard as I was from the start, by the time I got to the finish I was 42 minutes ahead. I got stuck a few times during the second half of the race but I've never been happier to see the chequered flag at Erzberg.
"The 30 degree heat added to this year's harder course made it really hard this ~w,oc year. I have to say a big thanks to the KTM for helping to get me through the event. I was planning on racing the next round of the WEC in Slovakia, but I think I'm going to give it a miss now. I need a little time to recover."
Results – Erzberg Rodeo Hare Scramble '09 1. Taddy Biazusiak (KTM Enduro Factory Team) CO 2. Graham Jarvis (Sherco) 3. Andreas Lettenbichler (BMW)
Lampkin lifted out
Dougie Lampkin's debut at the Erzberg Red Bull Hare Scramble ended in disaster with the thirty-three year old former multi World trials champion being airlifted to hospital suffering from heat exhaustion and concussion after a hefty blow to his head.
Dougie underwent an immediate scan on arrival at the nearby hospital, which thankfully revealed that there is no sign of internal bleeding from the brain. Whilst the doctors are happy with Lampkin's condition which is described as 'stable' the Beta factory rider will remain in hospital overnight for further observations.
Lampkin was nearing the end of the gruelling race, which was held in extreme temperatures when the incident happened. He was holding a solid second place behind eventual winner Taddy Blazusiak when his challenge was brought to an abrupt halt. With no previous experience of this unique event, Dougie had given himself every chance of victory by qualifying in twentieth place during Friday and Saturday's prolog sessions to book his place on the all important front row for today's main race.
Despite lining up alongside the fifty faster riders Dougie did not make the best of starts and had to battle his way through the heavy dust and past several slower riders during the early part of the race. His progress was not with out incident, with the Yorkshireman suffering injuries to his hand, arm and leg during a heavy crash, which also winded the talented trials rider.
Typically Lampkin battled on in a brave and determined fashion to claw his way from outside the top ten to an incredible second spot behind Blazusiak who had won the event twice before prior to today's competition. With the win being a step too far on his first visit to this Austrian classic Dougie focussed on bringing his larger 450 four-stroke machine safely home against the much lighter two stroke machines that would eventually pack the top order.
However this was not to prove to be the case, and with the summit of the last rocky climb in sight Lampkin simply collapsed and fell from his bike as his body refused to take any more punishment. Efforts were made by his support team to get Dougie back up and running, but despite his heroic attempts Lampkin finally passed out.
It was whilst Dougie was being attended to, with his helmet removed, that a flying rock from a passing rider dealt the final blow as it smashed heavily against his unprotected skull. Medics were soon on the scene and called for the air ambulance to lift Dougie to safety such was the inaccessibility of his location deep within the rocky gulley.
Veteran campaigner Lampkin received track-side treatment for his condition and injuries prior to him being airlifted, and was conscious throughout the ordeal. The race was delayed for approximately forty-five minutes to allow for Dougie's safe extraction.
Hopefully Dougie will be released from hospital tomorrow morning to allow him to fly back to the UK where he will rest prior to him heading to Italy later in the week for the next round of the 2009 SPEA FIM Trial World Championship this coming Sunday.
With no broken bones or lasting injuries Dougie will hope to be in good enough shape to regain the form that netted him two fourth places at the Japanese trial GP just a week ago. Lampkin was only back in the UK for just over twenty-four hours after making the long round trip to Japan and back before he headed off to Austria earlier this week. In hindsight this hectic schedule was perhaps not the best or most relaxing preparation prior to this punishing event.
Dougie Lampkin's next event: 21/06/09 Sunday - Barzio, Italy Rnd 5 World Outdoor Trial Championship
Monday 15th June – 09.30hrs UK
Dougie Lampkin has now been discharged from the hospital in Austria following his overnight stay under the care of the doctors and will fly back to the UK later today. Despite being battered and bruised after his ordeal at the Ezberg Red Bull Hare Scramble yesterday, the thirty-three year old veteran campaigner is confident he can be in reasonable shape for this weekend’s Italian trial Grand Prix.
“I feel much better this morning, the worse problem is my fingers and thumb. My thumb is especially swollen, but not broken and my fingers are minus a fair amount of skin and it looks like I am going to lose the nails on two of them at least.” Lampkin continued. “The problem was I crashed early on and damaged my hand which made it difficult to hold on. I tried my best to keep going despite being in a fair bit of pain, but with the heat and extreme punishment my body finally said enough was enough. It’s a shame as I was nearly home, and second place would have been a good result given the circumstances and this being my first attempt.”
“Hopefully in a couple days my hand will have settled down a bit and I can then be ready for this weekend’s trial in Italy to hopefully follow on from the two good results I got in Japan.” Dougie ended.
Taddy Blazusiak undisputed King of Erzberg 2008
On the eve of the Red Bull Hare Scramble at the 2008 Erzberg Rodeo, experts predicted that no rider would master the Iron Mountain in less than two hours. KTM factory rider Taddy Blazusiak charged through the checkered flag in 1:20.132.
The Polish rider who won the event and a factory ride in extreme Enduro events for the Austrian sports motorcycle manufacturer in 2007, left no doubt about his shooting star role. He has taken to top level competition like a duck to water. Taddy not only won the 2008 event, he did it in seemingly effortless style and passed through the victory arch on the top of the mountain almost 15 minutes in front of his nearest rival, German rider Andreas Lettenbichler.
Popular victory Blazusiak's victory through the 16 control points of the massive mountain slope, terraced through hundred of years of iron ore mining was enthusiastically celebrated by the thousands of fans who came to Austria for the event. Particularly vocal were the large numbers of fans from his home country Poland who travelled south to watch him master what is considered to be the toughest one day competition on the extreme Enduro racing calendar.
Supercross winner Taddy had warmed up for the challenge on Saturday with a victory in the super final of the Rodeo-X Supercross then on Sunday, 500 enthusiasts from 32 different countries were on the starting line for the Hare Scramble. They ranged from fully fledged factory riders to enthusiastic amateurs and it was the German Lettenbichler who won the start and held onto the lead for the first 20 minutes before he was overtaken by the 25-year-old Pole. From that point on it was never in doubt that Blazusiak would capture the glory.
Fourth for KTM's Despres Dakar winner and KTM factory rider Cyril Despres of France was fourth this year while two other KTM riders from the USA, Kyle Redmond and Geoff Aaron came in at fifth and sixth. The results list continued to underline the supremacy and tenaciousness of the orange machines from KTM.
The 2008 Hare Scramble, the fourteenth annual race, wrapped up four days of riding and events at the annual Erzberg Rodeo and was this year held in perfect weather.
Taddy Blazusiak: “It’s great to have won at Erzberg again. It was a lot harder for me this year because the track was harder, the other riders were faster and I was expected to win. Last year no one really knew who I was.
“I got a bad start, which made things difficult for me in the early stages of the race. I thought my bike had started but it took several kicks before I was going, by that point I was behind and in the dust of the other riders. I bumped my way past a few riders in the first two corners and then almost failed to get to the top of the first hill because I lost all my speed at the bottom of the climb. I rode like a mad man for a while then, to make sure I didn’t lose too much distance to the leaders. I had a few close moments.
“I crashed into some tree at the bottom of the first downhill, and was about fourth or fifth at that point. Not long after that I past Cyril Despres and Juha Salminen and started to close in on the leader, Andreas Lettenbichler. Andi was riding well so it took me a little while to pass him but once I did I pushed really hard to pull away. Last year I was able to take it easy between the difficult sections but this year I was racing at motocross pace everywhere, which was tiring.
“When I knew I was four or five minutes ahead I started to think about taking things carefully. It’s so easy to damage your bike so I was picking my lines through the really rocky sections of the track. I’m really, really thrilled to have won.”
Results Red Bull Hare Scramble 1. Taddy Blazusiak, Poland, KTM 1:20:13 2. Andreas Lettenbichler, Germany, BMW, 1:35:58 3. Paul Bolton, UK, Honda, 1:38:03 4. Cyril Despres, France, KTM, 1:38:22 5. Kyle Redmond, USA, KTM, 1:42:19 6. Geoff Aaron USA, KTM, 1:45:32 7. Gerhard Forster, Germany, BMW, 1:46:15 8. Chris Birch, New Zealand, KTM, 1:47:35 9. Juha Salminen, Finland, KTM, 1:51:19 10. Mark Jackson, UK, KTM, 2:04:45
Taddy & Tom's Erzberg Red Bull Rodeo
Tom Sagar made a very worthwhile trip to Austria to impress in front of a large international crowd at this year's Erzberg Rodeo, with several big names on the entry list top ten results would have been good at this first appearance at the Erzberg mountain.
D3-Racing has a good track record at this event, twice winning before with David Knight so we know what to expect and how to prepare, Tom listened well and took advice from seasoned professionals like Juha Salminen. Over 1100 riders try to qualify for this race via the prolog, a 10 mile race up the mountain's roads averaging around 60mph!, each driver has 2 attempts and the fastest run counts. Tom's best time was 26th which was good enough for a front row start in the top 50 for Sundays Red Bull Hare Scramble with 500 starters.
For Saturday a new race was introduced to this festival, an outdoor Endurocross, a small track comprising of several rock and log sections, big lorry tyre's and a sandy hill climb, very much a track to suit trials riders. 10 riders qualified for this, the fastest 5 amateurs and the top 5 pro's starting in 2 rows with Amateurs having a 10 second head start. Of the pro's Fast Eddy quickly took the lead but tangled with an amateur in a tyre section so Tom charged through and took the lead through to the finish, never making a mistake. Following closely was Polish world trials ace Taddy Blazusiak who showed amazing skills riding a KTM for the 1st time. These two former European trials contenders entertained the crowd for 8 laps and showed that for Sunday's race they must be considered as serious challengers now.
The main event of this amazing festival is the Erzberg Hare Scramble on Sunday starting at 12.00pm in temperatures exceeding 35 degrees and nearly 40 km's of the hardest trails on this mountain. 10 rows of 50 riders starting at minute intervals, once again Fast Eddy took the holeshot with Werner Muller following close, race Favorite Salminen was last away and Tom made a mid pack start and had work to do. The first 5km's are very fast with lots of dust & big quarry hill climbs, not easy to pass other riders especially as at the start the big 4 strokes have an advantage of power, Tom riding a 250EXC 2 stroke started very aggressively and quickly moved inside the top 10 and once they arrived in the more technical sections he then moved into the lead just before the railway line. A small problem on a steep section when the bike behaved strange as if choked and the trials ace Taddy Blazusiak took over at the front. Tom and Taddy now pulled a large lead on the rest of the field, their small 2 stroke KTM's proving to be best suited to this terrain along with their trials skills. Further down the field Salminen who gated dead last had worked his way to third but was about 5 minutes behind the leaders. Taddy was the 1st to enters Karl's Dinner the famous rock section around 800 metres long , Tom managed to regain the lead here taking some smarter lines but crashed just after in the woods giving back the lead to Taddy. These two then entered the final rock section the Roof of Africa about 1 minute apart, this section is incredibly hard due to new rock falls and would test who would have any energy left. Of course the trials experts made it look easy but Tom made a small mistake as the bike washed down hill in a loose section. Taddy Blazusiak took a well earned win with Tom a further 5 minutes behind. The two young guns who were not pre event favorites proved anything can happen at Erzberg and does.
Maximum Solutions Suzuki RM250 vs The Iron Giant
Paul Edmondson and the Maximum Solution Suzuki team last week made the last minute decision to attend the Erzberg Rodeo.
Set deep in the Eisener Alps the setting for this annual event is quite simply stunning; snow capped mountains, green Alpine valleys, turquoise rivers and lakes and in the centre of it all The Iron Giant. So called because of the iron rich rock in the area this huge mountain has been sculpted by miners to feed industry and create Off Road Heaven.
Spread over four days and with courses ranging from easy to impossibly difficult there's something for everyone and every level of rider. Thursday's Kings Race is a 10Km race up the service tracks (like British fire roads) for big twin trailies. Run over two heats (with the fastest single run to count) the line up ranged from full factory bikes and riders through to one intrepid explorer on a 1970s Honda CB750 with a set of Renthals and knobbly tyres.
Friday and Saturday are the Prologue races, run over the same course as the Kings Race. Each rider looking to qualify for Sunday's main event must complete a timed run up the mountain on each day; the runs must be within 30 seconds of each other (or penalties are applied) and the single fastest run is taken as the qualifying time for grid position.
On Thursday a number of riders had fitted GPS systems to their bikes and the highest recorded speed on the straights was 185Kmh - clearly power and top speed was going to be important. Jetting and gearing set up had proven to be a challenge for pretty much everyone (even the massive "orange army") and the relative (compared to 450 4 strokes) power and RPM disadvantage of the 2 Stroke RM250 was a worry as a top 50 prologue place was needed to get a front row position on Sunday. Working on a number or different settings the decision was to run the RM250 on near standard gearing for Friday's Prologue and then, if some further testing could be completed, gear it to the moon for Saturday.
When the Prologue times were released the team was pleased to see that Paul had taken the RM250 up the hill in 8th place (and 2nd 2 stroke). With his qualifying position safe the team made slight jetting and suspension changes, fitted the RM250 with 14/44 gearing and waited for Saturday's run.
The team knew that the altitude towards the end of the run was going to be a problem but the RM's stability and the K-Tech suspension's ability to put the power on the ground allowed Paul to carry the higher speed of the raised gearing and he bettered his time by 17 seconds and placed 6th fastest - with a time only 19seconds slower than the winning Kings Race rider.
The RM was then returned to standard gearing, given a new rear tyre, air filter and its race day numbers and parked up for the night ready for Sunday's Red Bull Hare Scramble.
Paul had qualified 2nd fastest for Saturday night's Enduro Cross and the spare bike was wheeled to the line for this demonstration race. The fastest 5 Pro riders would chase the fastest 5 Amateurs for 10 minutes around the superb arena course of tyres, logs, rocks, water splashes and killer hills. The race started well but when he tangled with an amateur and hit the floor Paul restarted dead last. Working his way back through, and lapping faster than the other riders he made steady progress through the field to finish 4th at the flag. In keeping with the race's demonstration status Paul raised the biggest cheers from the huge crowd as he jumped up the hill which had caused so many other riders so many problems.
The Red Bull Hare Scramble is the main event. The top 500 qualifiers line up - in rows of 50 and, from a dead engine start, set off to challenge what is probably the most difficult and demanding off road race in the world.
When the flag dropped and the riders exited the first corner Paul and the Maximum Solutions RM250 were at the front - only to be quickly passed by a "creative" piece of riding by Austrian pro Werner Muller. Paul and Muller then began to pull a lead as the field climbed the huge hills out of the quarry.
Following an Austrian in Austria seemed to be a shrewd thing to do and as Muller's pace was good Paul let him lead through the early stages of the race. Unfortunately, even locals can miss a route marker in the dust and when Werner stopped and threw his arms in the air Paul realised they were way off the course. As they rejoined the race, back where they'd left it, they were almost four minutes adrift of the leading riders.
As the race got tougher Paul worked his way through the pack and entered the infamous Karl's Diner in around 7th position - this is the last place on the course where outside assistance is allowed. Traditionally known as the toughest place in the world to be on an off road bike the Diner was this year upstaged by The Roof of Africa. It was here that the trials riders came into their own and although himself a pretty good trials rider Paul had no answer to the three exceptional trials men who finished in the top 5.
To those at the finish it was clear that the Iron Giant had proven too much for the vast majority of those brave enough to take it on. Paul arrived in 5th place, only just behind extreme event specialist Wayne Braybrook and current WEC leader Juha Salminen and a little way down on the trials specialists Tom Sagar and Taddy Bzazusiak.
'That was the toughest thing I've done in a very long time, maybe ever' was Paul's first comment but the elation of finishing the world's toughest race was clear. Although Paul had no answer to the specialist Trials riders the Suzuki RM250 performed faultlessly and arrived at the finish not only intact but almost undamaged.
Our thanks go to;-
· Karl Katoch and Martin Kettner- for their dedication and organisation to provide what is unquestionably The Off Road Event.
· The British fans - for their support and assistance.
· Suzuki - for building the RM250.
· K-Tech - for providing suspension subtle enough to work over the roots and rocks yet progressive enough to soak up the high speed jumps and hits.
· DEP Pipes - for providing a system which works well, survives the rocks and looks great.
· Renthal - for providing their almost indestructible Twin Wall handlebars and sprockets and for Grips which allowed Paul to ride without discomfort.
· Michelin Tyres - for providing the MS Front and Comp IV rear tyres and the essential Bib Mousses.
· Putoline Oils - for providing oils and lubricants which allowed the bike to run cleanly.
· CORE - for providing the braking power to allow the high speed runs up the mountain and the subtlety in the woods and rocks.
· MXM - for providing their smart and tough graphics.
· MRS/Gaerne - for providing the comfortable and protective boots.
· Smith Goggles - for allowing Paul to see in the dust.
· WOR Events - for the loan of the camper.
Finally, we would like to say a huge Well Done to Tom Sagar for putting the UK on the podium (and for entertaining everyone with his celebration dance) and to Julian Stevens for giving Tom the guidance, support and opportunity to race against and beat the world's best riders.
Wayne Braybrook, Team GAS GAS UK has just finished 4th at the infamous Erberg Enduro yesterday... www.erzbergrodeo.at
After the two qualifying prologue runs, Wayne did enough to start on the front row. Wayne went to Erzburg for one reason....to win!, so hes obviously disappointed to finish 4th. Nevertheless with this first time experience i'm sure he'll been keen to return next year now that he knows the race etc. As in all forms of racing the start is crucial especially when the venue is a dust bowl like yesterday.
Wayne had a bad start (Top 20'ish) and was riding totally blind for parts of the course trying not to lose too much ground on the leaders which were gone...
Then after about 15 minutes his chain came off, got wrapped around the front sprocket which cost him approx 5 mins to get untangled...
With the race being around 1h 30mins for the the winner, there's no way this gap could be closed so Wayne battled on with a badly clogged air-filter to finish as high as he could and just passed Eddy in the final stages to finish a creditable 4th... Report by Shirty
KTM celebrates triple podium in Erzberg
Red Bull Hare Scramble KTM scooped all podium places at Erzberg on Sunday in what is considered to be one of the most extreme tests for man and machine, the Red Bull Hare Scramble for single cylinder machines held on Austria's Iron Mountain.
Polish rider Tadeuz Blazusiak set himself up for a good race when the Austrian manufacturer offered him a KTM 250 EXC to ride in Saturday night's Enduro Cross show race. His good result in that event gave him a wild card for a front row start in Sunday's Hare Scramble and the 24-year-old professional Enduro rider capitalized on the opportunity in the best possible way. He won the race with style and finesse, with a comfortable lead of around six minutes.
Tom Sager of Britain was second on his KTM 250 EXC and runaway championship leader in the 2007 Enduro E1 class world championship Finland's Juha Salminen was third. Salminen was onboard the brand new 2008 KTM 300 EXC-E machine, the first time it has been ridden.
"This is unbelievable for me," Blazusiak said after the race, which he completed in one hour 29 minutes and 48 seconds. "This is my first time at Erzberg and right from the first very rocky section it all went without any problems."
The character of the race and the enormously difficult terrain, cut out of the former open cut iron ore mine on the side of this Austrian mountain makes it very rare for a rider to have such a smooth run. The result is therefore a particular tribute to the skills of the Polish rider who dominated the race once he had secured the lead.
KTM rally factory rider Cyril Despres was less fortunate. He was in third place when a damaged tyre forced his retirement.
Young 18-year-old American rider Kyle Redmond finished in ninth place on his KTM 250 EXC in his first ever Erzberg competition, coming in just behind KTM Enduro E3 factory rider, Marko Tarkkala of Finland. German privateer Ralf Scheidhauer also put in a good race in the big field of starters and finished in tenth place on his KTM 250 EXC.
Riders had to contend with hot, dusty and very tough conditions for the race, with the skies opening in a major thunder storm after the leading riders were safely home.
All in all, KTM riders took six of the top 10 places in this gruelling race to wrap up a near perfect weekend. On Thursday KTM riders took four of the top five places in the 2-cylinder event on the Iron Mountain.
Results Hare Scramble 1. Tadeuz Blazusiak, Poland, KTM, 1 hour 29 minutes 48 seconds 2. Tom Sager, Britain, KTM, 1:35.36 3. Juha Salminen, Finland, KTM, 1:42.45 4. Wayne Braybrook, Britain, GasGas, 1:47.10 5. Paul Edmondson, Britain, Suzuki, 1:47.54 6. Gerhard Forster, Germany, Beta, 1:48.47 7. Paul Bolton, Britain, Honda,1:57.05 8. Marko Tarkkala, Finland, KTM 2:03.50 9. Kyle Redmond, USA, KTM, 2:09.49 10. Ralf Scheidhauer, Germany, KTM, 2:11.20
BMW win twin-cylinder race at Erzberg XIII
BMW Motorrad Motorsport factory rider Simo Kirssi claimed his second twin-cylinder class victory in three years at the Erzbergrodeo event staged in Eisenerz, Austria, where the Finn posted the fasted time of this year’s event on his second run up the ‘Iron Mountain’. Competing for the BMW Motorrad Motorsport team along with US racers, and Erzberg first timers, Micky Dymond, Gary Trachy and Greg Tracy and experienced Erzberg racer Chris Pfeiffer from Germany, Simo saved his best for the second of his two runs and posted a time four second faster than that of his closest competitor, defending twin-cylinder class champion David Knight.
With the 13.5 kilometre course not quite as fast and flowing as in previous years, a result of the organising team adding several chicanes in order to make the high-speed race a little safer, Simo’s first run didn’t go exactly as planned. Mysteriously Simo was unable to change gear at high rpm soon after leaving the start ramp and although the problem sorted itself out soon after he then proceeded to ride a little ‘too hard’. Running too deep into a number of corners, Simo struggled to find his rhythm and as a result finished eight seconds behind David Knight, yet still in second place, at the end his first run. For his second run Simo opted to use a different engine setup and chose to compete with the motor he has previously used for cross-country racing. Giving the Finn a little more bottom-end power, as well as a closer ratio gearbox, Simo was able to get better traction on the dry, dusty and slippery course and set about posting the fastest time of the event. Well aware that he could ill afford any mistakes on his final run Simo rode much more consistently than he had on his first assault on the mountain and making no mistakes reached the top of the mountain in a time of 9:02.93. In doing so he claimed victory in the Erzberg twin-cylinder class for the second time in three years, much to his and the BMW Motorrad Motorsport team’s delight.
Of the remaining members of the BMW Motorrad Motorsport team it was former AMA motocross and supermoto champion Micky Dymond that performed best finishing in a highly creditable sixth position. Having never competed at Erzberg before Micky, like the majority of riders, posted his best time on his second run up the mountain. Finishing just over one second behind ’06 Dakar Rally winner Marc Coma from Spain who placed fifth, Micky performed extremely well despite being an Erzberg ‘first timer’. Recording a time of 9:31.71 Dymond got to spend valuable time aboard BMW’s HP2 ahead of the Pike’s Peak race, which will be held in Colorado, USA in July. Behind Dymond stunt riding world champion Chris Pfeiffer claimed seventh, eight seconds behind his US teammate. With Greg Tracy placing eighth, Gary Trachy finished in 15th. Running into troubles on his first timed run Gary’s only recorded time was his second run, which would have been good enough to place him in ninth. Disappointingly, the fact that Gary failed to finish his first run resulted in the organisers adding 30 seconds to his time. Simo Kirssi: “It’s great to have won the twin-cylinder class again. The course rode very different to last year, because some changes had been made and because the weather was different. The track was a little slower this year because of the areas where they’d made the course a bit safer. “The first run didn’t go so well for me. I had a problem shifting gears soon after the start, and then I was riding a little bit too stiff and made some stupid mistakes like running too deep into some of the corners. I always find the first run dif- ficult. “My second run was really good though. I was using a different bike, which had a slightly different engine. I used the bike I use when I race the HP2 in cross-country races – it doesn’t have quite as much top-end power but it has really strong and smooth bottom-end power. It worked really well for me. I was more consistent and didn’t really make any mistakes. I guess you could say I rode with my head a little more than on the first run.” Mickey Dymond: “It was definitely a great experience. I wish I could go back and do a couple more runs up the mountain now because I learned a lot in my two runs. It’s hard turning up at Erzberg for the first time and being timed up the mountain straight away. But I had a great time. “The first section of the track was a little more like enduro than I’m used to with some narrow sections, rocks and even some water on the course. It seems a pretty cool event though. “The whole course was really slippery and I was looking for traction, but there wasn’t any. For me the most important thing was just getting more time on the BMW HP2. I’ve not had a whole lot of time on it and it is different to what I had been used to racing. It’s a really valuable test for me on the bike ahead of this year’s Pike’s Peak race.”
Kings Class 1. Simo Kirssi 09:02,93, BMW Motorrad Motorsport 2. David Knight 09:06,8, KTM 4. Giovanni Sala 09:21,27, KTM 5. Marc Coma 09:29,5, KTM 6. Mickey Dymond 09:31,71, BMW Motorrad Motorsport 7. Chris Pfeiffer 09:39,05, BMW Motorrad Motorsport 8. Greg Tracy 09:42,09, BMW Motorrad Motorsport 9. Klaus Martinjak 09:49,96, Aprilia 10. Peter Bachler 09:57,72, Aprilia 15. Gery Tracy 10:19,27, BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Title holder David Knight came, saw and almost conquered the unique twin cylinder Premier Class race at Erzberg on Thursday, finishing second in the opening event of the Erzberg Rodeo
The reigning World Enduro Champion from the Isle of Man rode his KTM 950 Super Enduro R to a clear eight seconds advantage to lead in the first lap but was deprived of victory when Simo Kirssi of Finland was two seconds faster in the second lap over the Iron Mountain. The rules of this distinctive event define the winner not as the rider with the fastest aggregate time over two laps but instead the title goes to the one who puts in the fastest single lap.
"Knighter" had flown in specifically for the race on Thursday and immediately leaves to return to continue competing in the Grand National Cross country (GNCC) in the USA, where he is currently second in the standings.
"I could have been faster in the second lap but I made a small mistake at the exit of one of the corners and that cost me a couple of seconds," David Knight said after the race. "All in all I am still quite happy with the result because I didn't have any chance to practice and conditions were quite slippery so I rode rather cautiously."
Austrian Werner Müller (KTM) was third and KTM factory rally team members Giovanni Sala of Italy and Spaniard Marc Coma were fourth and fifth. Overall four of the top five riders were onboard the KTM Super Enduro 950 R, a tribute to the power and performance of the machine, which more than proved itself over this extremely tough terrain.
Riders had to contend with hot, dry and very dusty conditions that virtually obliterated vision as they tackled the course carved into the remains of an old open cut iron ore mine in the Austrian province of Styria.
The premier class race was the opening event at the Erzberg Rodeo. Known for being one of the most challenging rides for motorcycle enthusiasts, the event draws a huge crowd to Erzberg (Iron Mountain) for a long weekend of events that culminates in the Red Bull Hare Scramble on Sunday.
Results 1. Simo Kirssi, Finland, BMW, 9:02.93 2. David Knight, Britain, KTM, 9:06.80 3. Werner Müller, Austria, KTM, 9:14.45 4. Giovanni Sala, Italy, KTM, 9:21.27 5. Marc Coma, Spain, KTM , 9:29.50
Knighter wins all at Erzberg ‘06
KTM Enduro Factory Team Farioli rider David Knight became the first rider ever to win both the twin-cylinder class and the Red Bull Hare Scramble race at the Erzberg Rodeo when he claimed victory in both events during the ’06 edition of the event. Finishing two seconds ahead of Finn Simo Kirssi in the twin-cylinder race board a KTM 950 Super Enduro R David then placed nine minutes ahead of Andreas Lettenbichler in the Hare Scramble event on his KTM 300 EXC.
In the twin-cylinder class David got to ride the factory KTM 950 for the very first time during the first of his two timed runs up the iron mountain and gelled perfectly with the bike from the first moment he through his leg over it. Having spent much of the day prior to the race familiarising himself with a production version of the 950 Super Enduro R, David posted a time of 8:52.27, which proved to be the fastest of any rider. On his second run David recorded a time some four seconds slower but claimed a well deserved and highly important win for both himself and KTM.
Conditions changed dramatically during the days after the twin-cylinder race as clear skies and warm temperatures turned to wind and rain just before the start of the Red Bull Hare Scramble event. Determined to win and defend his title Knight started well and scaled the second hill of the event just meters behind early leader Werner Muller. Then having to attack the third hill twice Knighter dropped back to around 20th position but quickly moved himself into the top 10 and as the event got more and more technical. Just 15 minutes into the event David hit the front, where he continued to make light work of the slippery conditions, and claimed the win in a time of 1:17.33.
David Knight: “Racing the 950 Super Enduro R was certainly different to riding the 250 EXC-F, which I raced the weekend before Erzberg. I spent some time riding the production 950 the day before the twin-cylinder race, so that I could get used to the bigger bike, and I knew straight away that I would be competitive. It took me a little while to adjust to the race bike on my first run, because I hadn’t ridden the factory race bike before, but as soon as I got three or four corners behind me I immediately felt settled.
“My first run went well. I set off steadily because the first part of the course was pretty dangerous in places and you had to be very precise. I built my speed then, got some good lines, and had a good run up the mountain. I caught a few slower riders but I don’t think I could have gone much quicker.
“I was starting in among slower riders on my second run because I was sharing the bike Giovanni Sala was riding so I had to wait for him to finish before I could start. I made sure that I left a big gap between myself and the rider in front and didn’t catch them until right at the end of the course. I really enjoyed the second run, maybe a little bit too much because I was just having fun, waving at spectators and drifting in and out of the corners. I got some parts of the track better and on some bits I was slower but to beat everyone on my first time on a twin here is great. The 950 Super Enduro R was great fun to race and winning shows just how good the bike is.”
“Winning the Red Bull Hare Scramble as well as the twin-cylinder race has made it the perfect weekend at Erzberg for me. I was a lot more confident going into this year’s event because I knew what to expect and the race went really well. I missed the jump at the start because another rider started his bike too early and I looked across to see what was happening. I still managed to get a good start though, which was good. I got roosted with rocks by Werner Muller on the second hill so I went wide on the third hill, hit a hole, lost all my speed and had to go back to the bottom again to get another run at it.
“I managed to get back passed a load of the riders that had passed me without too many problems and then got roosted with rocks by Giovanni Sala on the 950. I got told then that I was in third so I settled down a bit then. I knew that Travis Pastrana was ahead of me but I passed him when he got stuck on some rocks. I only had Muller to get passed then and I was shouting and shouting at him to let me passed because his bike was just firing rocks at me all the time.
“Once I got passed I had no problems at all and just tried my best not to damage the bike. I got told that I had a good lead so I just rode steadily to the finish. It was definitely easier than last year’s race but I enjoyed it much more as well.
“Winning both classes was what I wanted to do but winning the twin class having not seen the bike until my first run up the mountain was great. I’m just pleased to have been able to defend my Hare Scramble title and make it a great weekend for KTM.”
Results: Erzberg Rodeo, twin-cylinder class
David Knight (KTM 950 Super Enduro R) 8:52.27 Simo Kirssi (BMW) 8:54.21 Cyril Despres (KTM 950 Super Enduro R) 9:02.38 Giovanni Sala (KTM 950 Super Enduro R) 9:08.26 Chris Pfeiffer (BMW) 9:17.9 Jimmy Lewis (BMW) 9:20.13 Klaus Martinjak (Aprilia) 9:39.56 Gerhard Forster (BMW) 9:54.19
Results: Erzberg Rodeo, Red Bull Hare Scramble
David Knight (KTM 300EXC) 1:17.33 Andreas Lettenbichler (Gas Gas) 1:26.21 Cyril Despres (KTM EXC250) 1:27.33 Graham Jarvis (Sherco) 1:28.49 Daryl Curtis (KTM) 1:36.20 Bartosz Oblucki (Husqvarna) 1:44.40 Chris Pfeiffer (Gas Gas) 1:46.40 Gregory Eyries (Yamaha) 1:47.55