Each year since 1995, motorbike enduro fanatics have made the pilgrimage to the small mining town of Erzberg in Austria's Styrian mountains to challenge themselves at the Erzberg rodeo. The Erzberg mountain is the richest deposit of iron on the planet with some 1.3 million tons of ore mined from it every year.
...come from all over the world to take on the challenge of the Erzberg enduro. The four-day event begins with 1,500 amateur and professional riders, who are whittled down to 500 by Sunday - the day of the Red Bull Hare Scramble an climax of the Erzbergrodeo. Only the fastest 500 from the Iron Road Prologue get the chance to ride in the Scramble, which is universally known as the toughest challenge in enduro and only a handful of riders make it to the finish within the time allowed.
You need a clear mind and calm demeanour to avoid becoming frustrated by the terrain of the Iron Mountain. A delicious mixture of endless steep slopes and breathtaking downhill passages, horizonless gravel deserts and almost impenetrable woods await our riders. Poland's Taddy Blazusiak is one such competitor and this year, five will be Taddy's lucky number as he looks for his fifth win in a row in the Red Bull Hare Scramble. Check out the highlights of last year's event below.
There aren't that many rules in the Erzberg rodeo - competitiors have enough to worry about with the terrain - but only street-legal motorbikes, trail motorbikes, motocross motorbikes, scooters, quads and side car motorbikes are allowed to enter. And for the Red Bull Hare Scramble, only the Iron Road Prolog motorbike must be used. Look at a photo gallery of the riders in action.
Winning the Red Bull Hare Scramble automatically gives you an almost God-like status in the enduro fraternity and as well as Taddy's recent wins, the likes of David Knight MBE, Chris Pfeiffer, Juha Salminen and Cyril Despres, have won here and been presented with the coveted trophy, which is formed from a piece of rock from the mountain.
Red Bull Hare Scramble
At 11am on Sunday, Karl Katoch will take the 500 riders down to the start point, next to the Erzberg Lake and at 12.00 pm they line-up, with the fastest 50 riders from the Iron Prologue taking the front row positions for the Scramble. The riders have four hours to pass 20 checkpoints on the 23km track until the chequered flag is waved at 4.00 pm. There is only one way to the finish line and that is straight up the mountain. Only the very best rider make it to the finish line.
Gravity not an issue
Not only will you find the toughest enduro riders slugging it out over the Erzberg Mountain, but some of the world's best freestyle motocross riders also make their way to Austria – both to display their FMX skills and to take on the Red Bull Hare Scramble. The likes of Travis Pastrana, Ronnie Renner and Mat Rebeaud have ventured to Erzberg and each year there's an FMX Party at the Erzberg Arena, where year after year, thousands of spectators come along just to be part of this reckless party.
- Official site of the Erzbergrodeo
- More video from the 2010 Red Bull Hare Scramble
- Watch more FMX this weekend with Red Bull X-Fighters LIVE from Rome
- Read the report from last year's Red Bull Hare Scramble