We all know how dangerous of a race the Isle of Man TT is, but if there’s one other race that can definitely give it a run for its money, it’s the Erzbergrodeo. Here’s a suggestion if you ever decide to give this race a whirl: don’t.
In case you’re not familiar with this event, the Erzbergrodeo is an off road race that takes place in a mining pit in Austria. Over 1,500 riders participate in the race every year…and that’s just only for qualifying. Only 500 riders get to compete in the actual race, called the Red Bull Hare Scramble.
That’s where it gets a little tricky. Those who qualified for the race have four hours to complete it. Seems pretty straightforward, right? Unfortunately, the course isn’t just long, it’s incredibly treacherous, too. Riders can’t rely on just skill and talent to get through it. They’ll also need a steady dose of luck and, at various points in the race, the assistance of their competitors. Can you imagine trying to beat someone and then asking for their help just so you can beat them? Seems counterintuitive to the very essence of racing, but the Erzbergrodeo does that to you.
This year, things got incredibly wonky as only five riders managed to finish the race. Five! Out of 500! That’s a one-percent finish rate! Even more incredible, four of the five riders - defending champion Jonny Walker, Andreas Lettenbichler, Alfredo Gomez, and Graham Jarvis - finished first together, deciding amongst themselves that it’s probably a good idea to just cross the finish line at the same time. The fifth finisher, Mario Roman Serrano, couldn’t join in on the fun, but rest assured, the fact that he finished the race is an achievement in it of itself already.
It is a little hard to believe that such a race could be so dangerous that anybody would want to even sanction it. But that’s the Erzbergrodeo for you. Check out these two highlight videos of the race to see exactly what you’re dealing with should you decide to enter it one of these years.
Continue reading to read more about the incredible four-way first place finish at this year’s Erzbergrodeo.
Why it matters
I only know about the Erzbergrodeo through clips and videos of the event, most notably that incredible helmet cam video from Johnny Walker from the 2014 race.
Obviously, I can’t speak for riders who have actually competed in the race, or as some have dubbed it, “the motorcycle equivalent of an Iron Man race.”
There are no shortages of stories about this race and more often than not, these stories range from extraordinary tales of survival to resigned recognition of the race’s toughness.
This year’s race was especially brutal considering that only five riders managed to finish out of the 500 that qualified for the race. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around that result. Five finishers? Really?
Good for those guys who managed to finish the race, even though I wonder why they didn’t wait for the fifth finisher to cross the line with them. In any case, these five riders deserve all the attention and accolades they receive for this remarkable achievement. It doesn’t even matter if you win it so as long as you finish with your bike intact and senses not reduced to shambles.
Hopefully, we get to see another one of those helmet cam videos from any of the five riders who completed the race. It seems strange asking to see something like this, but for our own curiosities, I think I share a lot of people’s sentiments when I say that I hope that one turns up soon.
Source: Red Bull Racing