High fives Taddy! Factory rider Taddy Blazusiak writes Erzberg history with his fifth victory. Difficult conditions means only nine riders make it to the finish, including seven KTMs. Stefan Everts was the best KTM rider among the 1500-strong Prologue starters on the Iron Mountain.
It was the 17th storming on the mighty Iron Mountain in the heart of the Austrian province of Styria. And it was the fifth year of the Blazusiak Extreme-Enduro era. The 28 year-old Polish rider has again underlined just what he is good at in this latest win in the Red bull Hare Scramble, the hardest one day Enduro race in the world, both loved by the fans and hated by the riders in roughly the same dimensions.
But for this and every other win in the past, Taddy had to fight hard in the saddle of his 250 EXC – to be exact, for 2 hours 12 minutes and 3 seconds long. No other rider, also in 2011, was faster through all the checkpoints on the ultra-selective course in the middle of this legendary mining area.
Taddy Blazusiak following his fifth consecutive win: “I’m certainly very happy that I could win again today. First because it seems like the course is more difficult every year and second because we also had to fight with the weather. I made a few mistakes at Carl’s Diner where I lost a lot of time and gave up the lead to Jarvis when I took a bad line. When I finally got out of there I just thought “push, push, push”. Then at the next checkpoint I wondered why I was the first one there. From that point on, I just tried to get through without making any mistakes. I really want to thank all of the team for doing such a great job. Naturally I’m here on the bike every year but without my fantastic KTM team, this series of wins just wouldn’t be possible – many thanks! “
Behind the second placed Trial specialist Dougie Lampkin (GB) it was Jonny Walker in place three that was a sensation. It was the first every appearance in Erzberg for the 20-year-old Briton. Brothers Ben and Dan Hemingway at fourth and sixth meant they also joined the elite group of extreme Endurists. And if that wasn’t enough Orange, Japan’s bester Endurist Taichi Tanaka, who was last year 13th, this year moved up to seventh place on his 300 EXC. Right behind him was KTM professional Chris Birch of New Zealand.
The world elite extract from the start list of 1500 riders in 2011 was made up of seven nations from three continents and once again showed what an international format this event in Austria now has. Apropos Austria – the best national hero landed on place nine, is called Lars Enöckel rides a KTM. Cyril Despres, rally professional, ex-Hare Scramble champ and a returnee to Erzberg was evaluated at 14th on the finishing list, even though he didn’t make it up the mountain in the required four hour limit.
Again one of the most important events of this hard as iron race was the Erzberg Prologue held over two days, after which the 500 fastest riders qualify for the Hare Scramble. And just like every year there are a lot of newcomers in the field. The most well known ‘rookie’ came form Belgium, no less that the 10-times motocross world champion Stefan Everts, who is now responsible for the factory team from Mattighofen who tackled the mountain in a 500 EXC. With his overall third fastest time of all the participating KTM riders, Everts once again left no doubt about his speed in 2011!
While other leading riders, like for example the former MotoGP-Pilot Jürgen van der Gorbergh from the Netherlands who finished in 81st place on his 300 EXC, for many of the other riders, the prologue was the end of their race weekend but the beginning of the party on Erzberg. And Austria at least had something to celebrate after the prologue: the MX-Star Ossi Reisinger won the race and the pole position for the Red Bull Hare Scramble.
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Official result Red Bull Hare Scramble 2011:
1. Taddy Blazusiak (POL, KTM 250 EXC), 2:12,03 Stunden
2. Dougie Lampkin (UK, Gas Gas EC300E), 2:18,41
3. Jonny Walker (UK, KTM 300 EXC), 2:39,27
4. Ben Hemingway (UK, KTM 300 EXC), 2:49,10
5. Xavier Galindo (ESP, Husaberg), 3:02,45
6. Dan Hemingway (UK, KTM 300 EXC), 3:03,20
7. Taichi Tanaka (JPN, KTM 300 EXC), 3:14,48
8. Chris Birch (NZL, KTM 300 EXC), 3:22,23
9. Lars Enöckl (AUT, KTM 250 EXC), 3:52,10
Images by KTM images/Jonty Edmonds/Platzer Philip