Hot on the heels of an exciting opening round in Portugal, the World Enduro Super Series (WESS) now heads to Austria for the Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble on May 31 - June 3.
Long regarded as the world‰Ûªs toughest single day Enduro, the Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble has grown during the last 24 years to become one of dirt bikes most important and fun-filled off-road festivals.
Attracting an entry of up to 1,500 competitors from over 40 nations, Europe‰Ûªs largest open cast iron ore mine in Eisenerz ‰ÛÒ affectionally known as the Iron Giant ‰ÛÒ ceases production for the first weekend of June to welcome thousands of passionate Enduro fans. A true spectacle of the sport, it‰Ûªs only fitting that in 2018 the Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble forms part of the search to find this year‰Ûªs Ultimate Enduro Championship.
Now staged over four days, the action opens with Thursday‰Ûªs Rocket Ride. A hill climb like no other, competitors go head-to-head as they bid to conquer one of the Iron Giant‰Ûªs steepest quarry climbs. Friday and Saturday are all about the Iron Road Prologue as riders aim to qualify for Sunday‰Ûªs main event. Against the clock, competitors compete in a time trial as they blast their way up the maze of gravel-based quarry roads, hoping to become one of the fastest 500 riders who will start the iconic Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble.
Sunday is time for the serious business of racing. Faced with the world‰Ûªs toughest Enduro course, the 500 qualified competitors have four hours to complete over 20 checkpoints strategically placed around the Iron Giant. Battling their way up and down near-vertical climbs and descents, crossing boulder gardens and treacherous forestry, it‰Ûªs a race where only the strongest survive. A place where the greats of Enduro have etched their name onto the Winner‰Ûªs List.
South Africa‰Ûªs Alfie Cox was the first rider to write his name on that elusive list when he won the inaugural running of the event back in 1995. Claiming a double win in 1996 and 1997, Germany‰Ûªs Chris Pfeiffer put himself on the Enduro map and with two more victories coming in 2000 and 2004 he went on to become the second most successful rider ever to compete in the Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble.
Multi-time world champions and Dakar Rally winners have also conquered the Iron Giant over the years. Five-time world Enduro champion Giovanni Sala (Italy) has a winner‰Ûªs trophy in his home, while five-time Dakar Rally winner Cyril Despres (France) stood atop the podium in 2002 and 2003. Enduro‰Ûªs most decorated world champion Juha Salminen (Finland) was victorious in 2001, while sporting legend David Knight (GB) was the rider to beat in 2005 and 2006.