Enduro

Line Honours Shared Between Four Finishers At 2015 Red Bull Hare Scramble.

Posted:

Words: Ben Johnson - RedBull.Com

In the most extraordinary finish ever seen at the Erzbergrodeo, Alfredo GÌ_mez, Jonny Walker, Graham Jarvis and Andreas Lettenbichler were declared joint winners of the 2015 Red Bull Hare Scramble.

Amid amazing scenes on the Iron Giant, the four riders were all declared winners of the 21st and toughest ever edition of the Erzbergrodeo after being forced to abandon a heated head-to-head race for outright victory and work together to drag their bikes out the near-impossible new forest section christened 'Downtown' that all but defeated the world's best hard enduro riders.

Mario Roman also beat the odds, riding through the pain barrier of an injured knee, to complete the race just seconds before the four-hour deadline.

In an incredible show of sportsmanship and camaraderie, the foursome and Wade Young, who was subesquently DSQ'd for missing a checkpoint earlier in the race, teamed up after getting stuck on the sheer, gripless virgin climb almost two hours into the race, pulling each bike to the top and then riding the final 15 minutes of the race side-by-side to cross the finish together, with just two minutes of the four-hour time limit to spare.

Following Jonny Walker's sprint to victory in just 1h 37m last year, Erzbergrodeo boss Karl Katoch set about making the 2015 course more challenging. The newly uncovered 'Downtown' proved to be a step too far as the decisive few 100 metres of the section turned what had been a perfectly-poised battle between Jarvis, GÌ_mez and Walker into a battle for survival that resulted in the extraordinary finish.

Walker had led from the very first climb out of the start after emerging unscathed from a tangle of bars with five-time Erzberg winner Taddy Blazusiak which ended the Pole's attempt for a sixth win before it eve started. Both rider and bike crashing back down the hill, sustaining race-ending damage.
The 21st Red Bull Hare Scramble fires into life. - Credit: Philip Platzer/Red Bull Content Pool
The defending Red Bull Hare Scramble champ made the break as his rivals took evasive action around the stricken Blazusiak and had stretched his lead out to as much as 4m 30s before a fall punched a hole in his radiator and Jarvis and GÌ_mez closed the gap down to under a minute as they reached the infamous Carl's Dinner.

As the riders exited the woods following the iconic boulder field and entered the new section, Jarvis and GÌ_mez had passed Walker and his overheating KTM, setting up a thrilling finish. However, no-one had counted on Downtown ‰ÛÒ which was quickly renamed 'Green Hell' ‰ÛÒ from stopping the race dead in its tracks.

As pathfinder Jarvis ground to a halt, GÌ_mez, Walker and latterly Lettenbichler and Young formed a traffic jam behind him, all unable to make forward momentum.

It would take an incredible 90 minutes for the fivesome to pull themselves clear of the treacherous section and, with just 30 minutes of the four-hour time limit left to run, it guaranteed that the smallest number of finishers in Red Bull Hare Scramble history would cross the line ‰ÛÒ five.

After riding together to the finish, race organisers rightly declared GÌ_mez, Walker, Jarvis and Lettenbichler as joint winners and all four were unanimous in their assessment of the 2015 Red Bull Hare scramble as the toughest edition yet, and the infamous Downtown among the most difficult obstacles they've ever faced.

"I joked with everyone that I didn't think there would be any finishers," said Jarvis. "We just couldn't get up that section, so five or six of us helped each other get out but the crowd was loving it, so it was good fun."

It was a really special experience. It was team work, we were all a team out there, echoed now six-time podium finisher Andreas Lettenbichler. '"The course was OK, but the track managers can't ride motorbikes so it was a little bit too difficult for us."

Top Image: And then there were five... Red Bull Hare Scramble

Credit: Robert Lynn / Future 7 Media

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