The result of the 2018 Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble boiled down to one mean, green hill: ‘Grüne Hölle’ or ‘Green Hell’. Scaling it to reach checkpoint 21 at its summit proved to be the decisive point in the race. Here's how one hill decided the outcome of extreme enduro's hardest race.

 

‘Green Hell’ will go down in history as the point in the 2018 Red Bull Hare Scramble where the two runaway leaders, Manuel Lettenbichler and Billy Bolt, literally hit a wall. A wall that Graham Jarvis and Jonny Walker scaled in an extreme enduro game of chess and took over the lead.

We were going to put together a story behind the story, a report on where the race unfolded but these pictures from Enduro21's own Robert Lynn tell a thousand stories…

 

Words can’t do justice to the severity of the ‘Grüne Hölle’. Arriving at the bottom through a jumble of rocks, riders headed under a bridge and immediately into the steep face of the hill. 

 

billy.bolt ErzbergRodeo 2018 5120 Enduro21 560

 Photo Credit: Robert Lynn/Future7Media

 

Unlike much of the Erzberg course around the ‘Iron Giant,’ ‘Green Hell’ isn’t dry and dusty. It remains wet under the trees for much of the year, hence the name. The soil is dark loamier, the rocks more slippery and tree roots emerged as wheels dug in. 

It’s always a debate about whether lines are better earlier when no-one has ridden the track or later when 200 have. No question, this hill wasn’t easy for anyone who got that far. 

 

manni billy ErzbergRodeo 2018 5320 Enduro21 560

 Photo Credit: Robert Lynn/Future7Media

 

It is written all over the faces of the riders. After so much hard riding already behind them at this point in the race, the physical effort to get up the hill is immense.

Ultimately this (above) is where the game changed. Billy Bolt and Manuel Lettenbichler, were the runaway leaders until this point. Teaming up to pull each other’s bikes in turn, they both blew time and energy. When they turn to see Graham Jarvis looming below they know their lead is gone and the only thing missing was the Jaws movie music. 

 

graham jonny ErzbergRodeo 2018 5311 Enduro21 560

 Photo Credit: Robert Lynn/Future7Media

 

Jarvis, who had come from 17thand almost 10 minutes down on the leaders early in the race, opted to go it alone and scale the hill by himself. With Jonny Walker on his back wheel they passed Billy’s parked bike and, when Letti went back to return the favour, Graham and Jonny clicked through checkpoint 21 at the top of the hill and were away. 

 

jonny.walker ErzbergRodeo 2018 5216 Enduro21 560

 Photo Credit: Robert Lynn/Future7Media

 

The rest, as they say, is history. Jarvis went on to claim his fourth Erzbergrodeo Hare Scramble victory and claim round two of the WESS championship. Perhaps this was the grand master of hard enduro's sweetest at the ripe, but wise, age of 43. 

 

podium ErzbergRodeo 2018 4220 Enduro21 560

Photo Credit: Robert Lynn/Future7Media

 

 

 

jon.pearson enduro21 april 2017

Jon Pearson
Enduro21 Editor and Bike Tester
jon.pearson@enduro21.com