KTM slays the iron giant

Blazusiak wins another Red Bull Hare Scramble

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, May. 27, 2008, Photography by J. Edmunds, KTM Images
KTM rider Taddy Blazusiak completed one of the world’s toughest Enduros and made it look easy, winning his second Red Bull Hare Scramble at the 2008 Erzberg Rodeo in nearly two hours.

Blazusiak bested the field of 500 competitors, reaching all 16 checkpoints to win by a 15 minute margin. The Red Bull Hare Scramble was the main event of the Erzberg Rodeo, held May 22-25.

Erzberg, a massive iron mountain in the Austrian Alps, presents a difficult challenge, forcing riders to work their way up across the terraces cut into the mountainside through years of mining. One of the toughest one-day competitions on the extreme Enduro calendar, only 36 of 500 racers completed this year’s course.

Taddy Blazusiak is on top of the world after winning his second Red Bull Hare Scramble in as many attempts.A large and vocal crowd of supporters from his native Poland came to Austria to support Blazusiak’s trek. The weekend was already a success for the 25-year-old after winning the Rodeo-X Supercross final a day earlier.

BMW’s Andreas Lettenbirchler led at the start of the race and held on for 20 minutes before breaking a footpeg on a rock at the second checkpoint. With his chief rival hampered, Blazusiak pushed ahead and won with relative ease.

Lettenbirchler, meanwhile continued to have further problems as his gear shaft broke at the ‘Gerichtsgraben’ one of the most difficult parts of the course. Lettenberg and his BMW G 450 X were forced to continue the course in first gear, including the difficult ‘Reitwagen-Klamm’ section near the end of the race. Despite these setbacks, Lettenbirchler finished in second place.

“Erzberg was harder than ever and packed with dirty tricks. The Gerichtsgraben was absolutely crazy, and the Reitwagen-Klamm even topped it,” says Lettenbirchler. “There were 20 people with ropes pulling up bikes and riders. Without outside help it would have been impossible.”

Blazusiak also won the 2007 Red Bull hare Scramble, competing as a wild card entrant on a borrowed KTM EXC 250.

Honda’s Paul Bolton finished third, three minutes behind Lettenbirchler and 19 seconds ahead of 2007 Dakar winner Cyril Despres of KTM.