The hype for the Erzbergrodeo amongst the world’s best Enduro-riders remains unbroken - though the most massive attack in 2012 will swap over from the British Island!
It’s the creme de la creme of the international Offroad motorcycle scene, which gathers each year in the middle of Austria to take on the challenge called Erzbergrodeo. The list of world champions, who have collected glory, honours and loads of bruises over the past 18 years at Erzberg, assembles the Who-is-Who of the Motocross-, Enduro-, Trial- and even Rallye-Sports. MX-legends like Heinz Kinigadner (AUT), Jeremy McGrath (USA) and Stefan Everts (BEL) have cherished the fresh Austrian mountain air as well as US Freestyle-icons Travis Pastrana and Ronnie Renner. Enduro-Superstars Giovanni Sala (ITA), Paul Edmondson (UK), Juha Salminen (FIN) and David Knight (UK) have been regulars on the Erzbergrodeo’s podium, and even Dakar dominators Cyril Despres (AND) and Marc Coma (ESP) have left their marks on the mighty mountain. Not to forget the highly skilled trials aces like Chris Pfeiffer (GER), Andreas Lettenbichler (GER), Dougie Lampkin (UK), Taichi Tanaka (JPN), Graham Jarvis (UK) ? and the great Taddy Blazusiak (POL), who dominated the „Iron Giant“ over the past five years like no other rider before him.
Remarkably, the number of british athletes to occur in the Erzbergrodeo’s results has obviousely increased over the past few years. Right after David Knight took home the sought-after Red Bull Hare Scramble trophy in 2005 and 2006, a wider part of british offroad community began to discover the unique event in the heart of Austria. Talented and charismatic riders like Paul Bolton, Wayne Braybrook, Paul Edmondson, Mark Jackson, Andrew Reeves, Martin Craven, Andy Cripps, Dougie Lampkin, the brothers Hemingway, Graham Jarvis and lately the new rookie sensation Jonny Walker left their „business cards“ at Erzberg by constantly securing podiums and top-10 finishes.
The run of extremely talented british riders on the Erzbergrodeo remains unbroken as well in 2012. Husaberg’s top-gun Graham Jarvis, 18-times Trials world champion Dougie Lampkin (Gas Gas) and KTM’s rookie-sensation Jonny Walker have already celebrated podium arrivals at the notorious Red Bull Hare Scramble and are definitely hot-bets for the prestigious win of the world’s toughest single-day Xtreme Enduro.
The KTM Factory Squad is also preparing the long-awaited return of David Knight to the Erzbergrodeo. After dominating the US-GNCC series in 2007/08, the „Knighter“ returned to the WEC in 2009 and collected his amazing fifth Enduro World Champion title in 2010. Plain to see, that David would be a major threat to the Erzbergrodeo winner’s circle if he can find a free spot in his very busy schedule.
The Brit-Boys will have to face tough competition not only from the rest of Europe but from overseas as well: the Erzbergrodeo is also looking forward to a bunch of great riders coming over the big pond from the USA and Canada in 2012. Due to the increasing coverage on popular networks like Fuel-TV, Speed Channel and FOX Sports, the Erzbergrodeo has found it’s way in the schedules of more and more north american offroad riders.
Another major reason for the Erzbergrodeo’s foreign popularity is Taddy Blazusiak’s role as an enthusiastic ambassador for the event. The most successful Erzbergrodeo competitor of all times has put his focus on the US EnduroCross race series lately and beats the drum for the unique motorcycle offroad festival.
5 trophies are (for the time being) enough: Taddy Blazusiak misses out at the 2012 Erzbergrodeo!
It’s exactly this orientation on the fast growing EnduroCross sports in the USA, which will end Taddy’s 5-year long dominant string at the „Iron Giant“ in 2012. The 29-years old crowd favourite from Poland will not appear at the starting gate at the Erzbergrodeo’s 18th issue.
„My international career has started at Erzberg in 2007, and I will always feel strongly connected to the Erzbergrodeo. KTM offers me new interesting challenges over in the US, which I’m very glad to accept. That doesn’t mean that I will not return to the Iron Giant in the future, but now it’s time to turn some heads overseas.“, Blazusiak explains his motivations. Taddy has just recently left a very bold impression at the X-Games in Los Angeles.
Sunday, June 10th 2012 will mark the date when more than 40000 enthusiastic fans will celebrate a new winner of the infamous Red Bull Hare Scramble since 5 years, and chances are high that the Union Jack will wave upon the podium.
„With outstanding riders like Graham (Jarvis), Dougie (Lampkin), Jonny Walker and hopefully David (Knight) all together at the starting gate, it’s most likely that I’ll have to train my English for this years’s podium ceremony. Each of them will be really hard to beat, so it’ll be very exciting to see how the rest of the world will try to get to the top of the game.“, says Erzbergrodeo-Mastermind Karl Katoch.
But Katoch sees some potential for the homegrown riders as well: „24-years old Austrian Lars Enöckl (KTM) has developed into a real world-class rider over the past two years. Lars just recently placed 7th overall at the Tough One in England and has showed his talent at the Hell’s Gate Xtreme Enduro in Italy as well. We expect another great moment from Lars at the Erzbergrodeo this year and will continue to support talented Austrian riders in cooperation with Heinz Kinigadner, KTM and Red Bull in the future.“
Erzbergrodeo Press/Media Service