Erzberg Rodeo 2016
The Erzberg Rodeo is a hard enduro motorcycle event held annually in an Iron Ore quarry called Erzberg, which has been given the nickname the "Iron Giant". This year was the 22nd running of the event in Eiserenz, Austria. The main race of the four day event is the Red Bull Hare Scramble which sees 500 riders attempt to race from the bottom of the quarry around the 20-30 km course including passing the summit of the mountain. I really mean attempt as this race is one of the hardest in the world, and is simply crazy to watch.
1500 riders initially take part in the Iron Road Prologue to qualify for the Hare Scramble. This gives all the riders a taste of the task at hand, and also sorts the racing grid for the main event.
The Prologue introduces the riders to some of the steep hills, so steep on first viewing it appears impossible anything could ascend or descend them.
The main event has 500 head to the start line which in itself is a spectacle as all the riders head for the bottom of the quarry. The Red Bull skydiving team also payed a visit to the start line, as all spectators headed to the best vantage points around the course.
The timing for the Hare Scramble is unusual, the 500 riders start in waves of 50 and have 4 hours to finish the race, however the time for all riders starts with the first wave! Not only is starting in the first wave important for an attempt to win the race, it also helps considerably in reducing the traffic on the many obstacles over the course of the race. The ultimate goal for most of the 500 riders is simply to finish the race, with some hoping to just make it up the first set of hills, the Kärcher Rocket Ride.
The race is simply mayhem, with everyone storming up the hills crossing each others paths and some times the bikes were passing out the riders. As more and more waves of riders were stopped by the hills, true sportsmanship emerged with some riders having made it to the top, leaving their bikes and heading back to assist other riders in reaching the top. Throughout the entire course competitors can assist each other, and out side of the no help zones spectators can also help out.
The race was won by Graham Jarvis for the third time, with a wining margin of over 30 mins. Of the 500 riders that started the race, only 9 finished this year!
1. Graham Jarvis (GBR) 2h18m47s
Full Gallery http://www.dosphotography.com/p578977085
Keywords: Alps, Austria, Eisenerz, Enduro, Erzberg, Graham Jarvis, Hard Enduro, Hare Scramble, Motorbike, Motorcycle, Off Road, Race, Red Bull, RedBull, Rodeo
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