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ADV News7 Reasons Why You Don’t Want To Miss Red Bull Erzbergrodeo 2022

7 Reasons Why You Don’t Want To Miss Red Bull Erzbergrodeo 2022

After a two-year hiatus the Iron Giant is roaring back to life!

Published on 06.15.2022
2022 Red Bull Erzbergrodeo hard enduro
Photo: Philip Platzer/Red Bull Content Pool

In only a matter of days the infamous Red Bull Erzbergrodeo is set to begin, ready to teach even the most elite riders a lesson on reaching the limits of human endurance. Held in the bowels of an iron ore mine in Austria, the four-day event is considered one of the toughest hard enduro races in the world with only a handful of riders finishing the race out of 1,500 competitors.

Huge boulder gardens, massive hill climbs,  deep mud, thick forests, and adrenaline pumping rocky descents are all on the menu to test man and machine. Set to be a thriller, here are 7 reasons why it’s not to be missed!

1. A Very Different Mountain

2022 Red Bull Erzbergrodeo hard enduro
Photo: Jakob Schweighofer/Red Bull Content Pool

The Iron Giant has lain dormant since 2019 due to the pandemic, but now it’s finally ready to roar into life again. Because work at the ancient mine still continues, the terrain is said to be “significantly different” since the last edition. So much so that after terrain inspections, race organizers had to add new track sections. This means riders will tackle unfamiliar stretches of track in addition to famed sections such as loose and rocky “Dynamite,” obstacle-laden “Water Pipe,” boulder-strewn “Machine” and the outrageous enduro challenge of “Carl’s Dinner.”

2022 Red Bull Erzbergrodeo hard enduro
Photo: Sebastian Marko / Red Bull Content Pool

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As usual the weather will play a huge part. Sun, rain and thunderstorms are forecast for this year’s race after previous editions saw soaring heat, thick fog, snow, torrential rain and even hailstones the size of ping-pong balls.

2. Pol Tarres & His T7 Take On The Iron Giant

An extreme enduro race like Erzbergrodeo always attracts a little bit of crazy and for 2022 Pol Tarres is bringing the goods! The Spaniard will be taking on the Iron Giant aboard his Tenere 700 adventure bike, taking crazy to a whole new level. “I am very well aware of the little chance I have to finish the race, but I happily accept it. I am not going to Erzberg to try – no, I want to finish the race no matter what,” explains Pol who already has three Erzbergrodeo races under his belt aboard a two-stroke machine, including a top 10 finish.

2022 Red Bull Erzbergrodeo hard enduro
Photo: Javi Echevarria

This is a massive challenge, but if anyone can do the impossible is Pol. He already made history aboard his T7 with a top 20 finish at Red Bull Romaniacs in the bronze class. If he finishes Erzbergrodeo, he will become the first rider to ever conquer the Iron Giant aboard a twin cylinder motorcycle. Get the full scoop here.

3. More History In The Making 

Germany’s Manuel “Mani” Lettenbichler, 24, will be looking to add his name to the elite list of legends. With an impressive Erzbergrodeo finish at the age of 16, he is the youngest rider to ever complete the event. But Mani is ready for another record with a bid to win the race this time. This would make him and Andreas Lettenbichler, 47, the only father-son duo ever to have earned victory on the mountain. Having already placed third and second in 2018 and 2019, Mani is one of the strongest contenders to take the top podium.

2022 Red Bull Erzbergrodeo hard enduro
Photo: Future7Media / Red Bull Content Pool

Spain’s Sandra Gomez, 29, is keen to prove herself too. She already made history in 2020 as the first woman to finish Romaniacs in Gold Class and now she is aiming to write the history books once again as the first woman to finish the climb.

4. New Challenges

Out of the 1,500 hopefuls that show up to compete in the Prologue timed trial race, only the 500 fastest riders will make it to the main event —  Sunday’s Hare Scramble. At the strike of 2.30pm, the qualifying riders are set loose on the iconic Erzbergrodeo 40 km course with only 4 hours to finish. Only an elite few will cross the finish line, with the majority scrambling to get as far as they can. From the early climbs of Wasserleitung and Three Kings, the course increases in difficulty with punishing sections like Machine, Carl’s Dinner, Cuckoo’s Nest, Dynamite, and Lazy Noon coming thick and fast. 

2022 Red Bull Erzbergrodeo hard enduro
Photo: Future7Media / Red Bull Content Pool

Expect a few new challenges to be added into the mix too. “The 2022 Red Bull Erzbergrodeo racetrack will be a real highlight in its 26 years of history,” explained race creator Karl Katoch, in an interview with enduro21. “Both skill level and difficulty level remain unchanged, but we will add some new challenges to the more than 35 kilometers long track. Only the best of the best will reach the finish, the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo will remain a real test of mental strength, riding skills and endurance for the competitors,” added Katoch.

5. Clash Of The Titans

The best just keeps getting better. Jointly leading the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship, Graham Jarvis enters Red Bull Erzbergrodeo with a serious shot of claiming a record-breaking sixth victory. Graham has been superb so far in 2022 with two podium results, putting an eight-month-long knee injury well and truly behind him. Having won multiple Erzbergrodeo races already, including the previous two editions, the Brit’s confidence is sky high and in the pressure cooker environment of the Iron Giant that’s worth its weight in gold.

2022 Red Bull Erzbergrodeo hard enduro
Graham Jarvis will be looking to claim a record-breaking sixth victory. Photo: Future7Media / Red Bull Content Pool

However, Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt and KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler are arguably his biggest challenge for victory come Sunday. Bolt shares the championship lead with Jarvis and this weekend Billy will leave nothing on the table in order to hold on to his series lead. In turn, Lettenbichler heads into round three of the Championship riding high and carrying what could prove to be all-important race-winning momentum from Xross in Serbia. Neither Bolt nor Lettenbichler have taken the top step of the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo podium, and they will surely be bidding to tick this one off their list.

6. Higher Stakes

For the first time in the history of the Hard Enduro World Championship, 1,500 points are on offer during the weekend with 500 points for the Iron Road Prologue and 1,000 points for the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo. You can bet riders will be extra hungry for the top step!

2022 Red Bull Erzbergrodeo hard enduro
Photo: Sebastian Marko / Red Bull Content Pool

7. The Atmosphere

Absent since 2019, this year’s Red Bull Erzbergrodeo is long awaited and the excitement is already running high. While Sunday’s epic Red Bull Hare Scramble is naturally the showstopper of the event, everything about this legendary race is all things Hard Enduro ― all wrapped in a 4-day festival atmosphere with more than 40,000 riders and fans from all over the world flocking into the hosting town of Eisenerz to join in the fun.

The party atmosphere is everywhere. From riders and fans testing themselves at the races before the main event just for fun to the music, food and the rider village complete with garden patios and mini beer tents.

How To Watch

Photo: Philipp Carl Riedl / Red Bull Content Pool

Austria’s Red Bull Erzbergrodeo takes place from June 16-19. Catch the race live on Red Bull TV here. You can also download the free Red Bull TV app to watch the unmissable action.

Author: ADV Pulse Staff
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