News 8 Jun 2010

Off-Road: Blazusiak wins a record fourth Erzberg Rodeo

Blazusiak on his way to a record fourth win at Erzberg.

Blazusiak on his way to a record fourth win at Erzberg. Image: Jonty Edmunds/KTM

Red Bull KTM’s extreme Endurist Taddy Blazusiak wrote himself into the Erzberg Rodeo history books on Sunday scoring his fourth consecutive Red Bull Hare Scramble victory in the world’s toughest Enduro race on Austria’s Iron Mountain.

The 27-year-old Polish rider, onboard his EXC 250, had earlier secured his second place in the traditional prologue, took off when the start flag dropped at 12:00 noon sharp along with the rest of the 500-strong field. At the beginning of the almost 32 km long course the title holder let several other riders take the advantage before he moved into the lead between checkpoints nine and ten.

On his way through the 20 checkpoints of the extreme course, Blazusiak displayed his superb riding skills but also the seemingly invincibility of his KTM EXC 250 machine.

After he had mastered the almost impassable key ‘Carl’s Diner’ passage and other difficult sections like the rocky ‘Dynamite’, considered by many experienced Endurists as almost impossible to negotiate, the way was clear for him to secure victory in a time of one hour 45 minutes 43 seconds.

Blazusiak’s 2010 title follows his others in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and he did it in the scorching summer temperatures of almost 30 degrees celsius.

But the race was not all plain sailing for the Polish rider. He got a good start and was in the lead at the first climb. After that he made a small mistake, hit a tree stump and slid back down the hill again.

He approached the next check point on the wrong side and race officials made him come into it correctly and in the process he dropped back to about sixth place. Then he really had to go all out to get back in the race. Blazusiak also benefitted from the fact that the race leader, Sherco rider Graham Jarvis was disqualified after missing a checkpoint.

“I just can’t get my head around the idea that I’ve won here four times,” Blazusiak said. “’Carls Diner’ was physically tougher than anything I have ever tackled before. After I managed that, I was able to control the advantage I had and conserve my energy so I could get to the finish. Thanks to the entire KTM team, without their background support this ride certainly would not have been possible“.

It was almost 10 minutes after Blazusiak’s arrival at the summit before the German rider Andreas Lettenbichler came through the chequered flag in second place, registering a time of 1:56.26. Former World Trials Champion Dougie Lampkin (UK) finished the course in 2:02:26 to take third place.

Just 16 riders from a total of 500 starters were able to finish the course in the prescribed four hour limit in the 16th Red Bull Hare Scramble proving once again that it really is the world’s toughest one day extreme Enduro event. Seven of the 15 finishers rode KTMs.

With 1795 entrants from 35 nations and all continents, as well as a total of 30,000 spectators, the 2010 Erzberg Rodeo was the biggest ever.

1. Taddy Blazusiak, Poland, KTM
2. Andreas Lettenbichler, Germany, BMW
3. Dougue Lampkin, Britain, Beta
4. Paul Bolton, Britain, KTM
5. Ben Hemingway, Britain, KTM
6. Cory Graffunder, Canada, Husqvarna
7. Jade Gutzeir, South Africa, Yamaha
8. Kurt Caselli, USA, KTM
9. Gerhard Forster, Germany, BMW
10. Darryl Curtis, South Africa, KTM
11. Andrew Cripps, Britain, Kawasaki
12. Lee Simpson, Britain, Gas Gas
13. Taichi Tanaka, Japan, KTM
14. Piero Sembenini, Italy, Gas Gas
15. Andrew Reeves, Ireland, KTM