The History of the Erzberg Rodeo - Pt 2
August 17, 2017
Part 1 covered the history of the race. Now we're highlighting the skills needed and recognizing the riders who succeeded.
The Erzberg Rodeo: What It Takes to Race
A Zen State of Mind
For a race this challenging, mastery is attained through strength of mind and body. Fitting is the phrase: no guts, no glory. The terrain is highly deceptive, and the four hours from start-to-finish are the most dangerous and exhilarating of any rider's life. To succeed, riders must maintain composure. Exhaustion will set in, which can lead to tragic mistakes in logic. There are no second chances; the smallest mistakes can cost you your place or lead to serious injury.
Completing the Race
The slopes are steep. 20+ checkpoints must be reached to qualify for the trophy. In the heat of the race, many skilled riders have missed these checkpoints, costing them the victory. Winners must have reached all checkpoints in the least amount of time. Bikers say the Iron Road Prologue is a critical part of the race. Though it can't compete with the madness that is the scramble, a Prologue victory offers a slot in the first 200, an enviable position that lends you a head start over the competition.
Most bikers assume that dirt biking is only about racing and bike riding skills. While these skills are pivotal, when it comes to terrain like the Iron Giant, strength plays a big role. Both muscular endurance and cardio stamina are necessary to complete each event.
Alfie Cox via Dakar.com
In 1995, rider Alfie Cox from the Republic of South Africa became the first winner of the Erzberg Rodeo. He rode his beloved KTM all the way to the summit of the mountain to prove himself victorious over the other 120 or so participants.
German born professional rider Chris Pfeiffer, also known simply as CP, made a name for himself through motor bike stunt riding. He has won the Red Bull Hare Scramble four times! He claimed the rock trophy in 1996, 1997, 2000 and 2004. Pfeiffer is among the most well-known professional riders in the world due to this race.
2003 brought plenty of new blood to the enduro scene. While Cyril Despres (KTM) won the race for the second time in a row, the inclusion of freestyle MXers from all over the world changed the game. Extreme freestyle MXers such as Andy Bell, Ronnie Renner and Kenny “Cowboy” Bartram turn the Rodeo from a simple race to a spectator sport.
Though Pfeiffer won the 2004 race, Travis Pastrana stole the spotlight with his stunts during the race. He took second in the Iron Road Prologue.
Tadeusz “Taddy” Blazusiak via RedBull.com
Tadeusz “Taddy” Blazusiak is famous in enduro; addicted to riding since the age of 5, Taddy burst into the spotlight in 2007 for winning the race with calm demeanor. He borrowed a bike from a friend, though he's known for his love of KTM. He's the only man to have won 5 consecutive Erzberg Rodeo races at the time of this publishing.
Graham Jarvis via Offroad Viking
In the 2011 Erzberg Rodeo, he triumphed over the Iron Mountain and beat more than 1,800 contenders. Husaberg’s star racer, Graham Jarvis, was first to cross the finish line but lost his triumph by missing one of the checkpoints. The error cost him, but he redeemed himself a victor in 2013.
The Erberg is a challenge like no other for racers of all backgrounds, desires, and dreams. Do you have what it takes?