Austria/ Enduro/ Erzbergrodeo/ Red Bull Hare Scramble/ 1800 starters, 7 finishers
Magnificent seven finish, while 99.7% crash out!
This weekend’s Red Bull Hare Scramble, held as part of the 18th Erzbergrodeo in Austria, saw four Britons dominate the world’s biggest and toughest enduro event as Jonny Walker took top spot ahead of Dougie Lampkin and Ben Hemingway. Only seven of the 1800 starters reached the finish line.
EISENERZ (Austria). The Red Bull Hare Scramble is the very definition of what you might call a knock-out race. Of the 1800 athletes from 39 nations who started the world’s toughest enduro event, only the best 500 qualified for Sunday’s final. There, just seven (!) riders made it across the line, meaning that 99.7% of the athletes entered didn’t get to see the chequered flag!
On a day dominated by poor weather conditions, thick fog and persistent rain transformed the ‘Iron Mountain’ into a mud-bath ahead of this year’s event, with slippery slopes, soggy steps, deep puddles and slick forest sections resulting in more than a few overheated engines, spinning wheels, bouncing bikes and exhausted riders. Hundreds of athletes found themselves on the ground as they tried to negotiate the 30km course.
Indeed, such were the difficulties caused by fog and poor visibility that the race had to be ended 30 minutes before the official four-hour limit.
Victory went to Britain‘s Jonny Walker, with three fellow countrymen - Dougie Lampkin, Ben Hemingway and Paul Bolton – making it a clean sweep for the UK. “This mountain is merciless. They sent us through hell again,” laughed a mud-caked Walker in the finish area. “I had a good run into the finish – it feels great to have won.”
Lady luck certainly wasn’t smiling on two of the favourites, as Graham Jarvis (UK) and Andreas Lettenbichler (GER) were both disqualified after taking a wrong turn and missing a section of the course.
Results: 1. Jonny Walker (UK)?2. Dougie Lampkin (UK) 3. Ben Hemingway (UK) 4. Paul Bolton (UK)?5. Taichi Tanaka (JAP) 6. Lars Enöckl (AUT)?7. Dan Hemingway (UK)
Photos: Flo Hagena, Philip Platzer, Mathias Kniepeiss
For detailed results visit www.erzbergrodeo.at