If you were to ask any hard-enduro fan what their favourite international
event of the year is, a very large portion of them would simply say “Erzberg”.
With the 2019 edition of W.E.S.S Series underway, we thought we would go
back and have a look at what was a very eventful 2018 ErzbergRodeo.
With some of the best riders from around the world, it always makes for
interesting racing and the fact that this sport is so unpredictable makes
it even more exciting.
The top 50 qualifiers’ all line up as the race begins all eager to get a holeshot and take charge of the rest. As the flag is dropped, it is five-time winner Taddy Blazusiak is the quickest off the line and secures a clean holeshot ahead of the chasing pack. Heading into the first “challenging” climb of the race and Taddy is still ahead, with everyone chasing him and less than a minute behind.
1) Taddy Blazusiak 2) Jonny Walker 3) Billy Bolt 4) Manuel Lettenbichler 5) Wade Young.
Heading into the woods, it is clear to see that there were many of the
pro riders who make mistakes and struggle their way through – trying to
make as little mistakes as possible, and trying to make a push for the lead.
Heading into “Machine”, Manuel Lettenbichler had taken over the lead
but was barely holding off Billy Bolt, Jonny Walker and Wade Young. Taddy
follows quite quickly but seems to be struggling to get up.
An obstacle that has become one of the most iconic in the last couple years is “Carls Diner” and this year, it had been extended even further – testing riders physical and mental strength, even more than ever before. Heading into “Carls Diner” Manuel Lettenbichler continues to lead the pack, just ahead of Billy Bolt but with Jonny Walker, Wade Young and Graham Jarvis all a somewhat close distance behind.
As Manuel Lettenbichler and Billy Bolt approach “The Green Hell” the duo
decide to work together to get up the climb “easier” but as they are
doing so, Graham Jarvis and Jonny Walker are there as well. Who of the
4 riders would get up first and be able to pull away to cement their lead?
With the four riders’ all being stuck around the same tough obstacle,
it was clear that none of the riders wanted to give a gap and give away
a possible spot.
Manuel Lettenbichler was the first to get through the section as Jonny Walker and Graham Jarvis pushed their bikes up the pass. In an incredible act of sportsmanship, Manuel Lettenbichler stops his bike in an effort to help Billy Bolt get up the climb. Billy however decides against it after struggling too much.’ With some incredible riding and an even comeback, Graham Jarvis was able to secure his fourth title at Erzberg, followed closely by Jonny Walker and Manuel Lettenbichler, with South African Wade Young in fourth. In one of the toughest races in the world, it was impressive to see a total of 23 riders finishing.
1) Graham Jarvis 2) Jonny Walker 3) Manuel Lettenbichler 4) Wade Young (RSA) 5) Billy Bolt 6) Travis Teasdale (RSA) 7) Paul Bolton 8) Taddy Blazusiak 9) Pol Tarres 10) Mario Roman 11) Dieter Rudolf 12) Colton Haaker 13) Blake Gutzeit (RSA) 14) Philipp Scholz 15) Lars Enockl 16) Jozsa Norbert Levente 17) Josep Garcia 18) Daniel Oliveras 19) Kevin Gallas 20) Joakin Ljunggren 21) Xavier Leon Sole 22) David Cyprian 23) Leon Hentschel.
With so many talented riders in one place, we will definitely be interested to see what the 2019 edition of the ErzbergRodeo has to offer and who will rise, and fall. 2019 is also the 25th edition of ErzbergRodeo, which will make the win even greater.