With competitors travelling from far and wide, entries for the 18th edition of the Erzberg Rodeo sold out in hours and many more are entered on the waiting list - hopeful of a last minute placement. The ‘Iron Giant’ as it is affectionately known continues to attract riders from around the world with competitors this year coming from as far away as Argentina and Japan.
It seems many want to be part of the spectacle that is Erzberg, and witness both the excitement and madness of what has now become a week-long festival. Others simply want to pit their wits against the iconic qualifying prologue, and try and earn their place among the 500 riders that will exclusively take to the start of Sunday’s main event. Only a few realistically have their eye on completing one of the most brutal and physically demanding courses known to man. As always one thing is assured – no matter how difficult the event only one man can win it.
Following an incredible five consecutive victories around the Iron Giant, KTM’s Taddy Blazusiak will be a noticeable absentee from the event this year. Focused on racing commitments in the US, Blazusiak’s loss means one thing – a new rider will stand on top of the podium in 2012. Ready to take his place at the top of the results is Britain’s Graham Jarvis. One of the hottest properties in extreme enduro today, Jarvis will be keen to add an Erzberg title to his already bulging trophy cabinet. However, he’ll have plenty of competition in the form of fellow British riders Dougie Lampkin (Gas Gas) and Jonny Walker (KTM), among others. All three are experts in the field of extreme enduro and all are more than capable of winning.
Who will win remains to be seen but what we do know is that the little town of Eisenerz in Austria is once again promising to be the hottest place to be during the second weekend of June.