In an incredible race, perhaps one to never be repeated, the top 4 hard enduro riders in the world have been declared joint winners of the 2015 Erzberg Redbull Hare Scramble; Graham Jarvis, Alfredo Gomez, Jonny Walker, Andreas Lettenbichler
Jonny Walker got the early lead at the 2015 Redbull Hare Scramble. At the 2 hour mark Graham Jarvis had taken over in front when he arrived at the section named “Downtown”. It was soon clear that he was at a complete stop and appeared unable to continue on his own. Two minutes behind arrived Alfredo Gomez, then Johnny Walker, Andreas Lettenbichler and finally Wade Young.
All of the riders decided in pow wow to help each other up the near vertical virgin ravine. The exhaustion level for the riders was quite obvious. It took well over an hour for the group of five to clear the section. At this point it was clear that none would arrive at the finish in the four hour time limit.
But the organizers chose to eliminate one section. Even once beyond Downtown the riders had yet to climb Dynamite and a few other choice sections. From Dynamite,the five rode in group parade to make it to the finish line with only two minutes left on the clock. Due to the log matrix at the finish line, it was impossible for all the riders to actually arrive at the finish at the exact same moment.
Tense moments followed as it was unclear how the organizers would choose to call the race. Clearly the riders hoped to be declared joint winners after showing an incredible amount of teamwork and sportsmanship. Fortunately for all, that was in fact the final result.
In a cruel turn, Wade Young was disqualified for having missed a check prior to Downtown. One video clip of a check showed it completely hidden in a clump of trees, missing one would be easy.
A huge round of applause should also go to the only other rider to finish. Mario Roman arrived at Downtown nearly an hour behind the rest of the group. He was too far behind to benefit from the group effort to get all the bikes up. He was able to get assistance from another rider who was already out of the race. This was a “no help” section. Only other riders could help pull the bikes. Much work had been done already to clear the line by the lead riders and spectators, so his ascent was slightly easier. Mario caught the lead group and arrived at the finish in parade behind the winners, just as the clock expired.
Taddy Blazusiak went out of the race right at the start. It appeared that he pushed Jonny Walker quite wide to take the holeshot. He and Jonny collided in the air on the first short step up climb. Taddy got the worst of it and tumbled to the bottom in a pile with his bike. He took a good hit from the bike, enough for him to call it a day.
All in all it was an incredible turn of events. It would have been nice to see the riders slog it out to the finish. Graham and Gomez had the best shot at a win. But to see how all chose to work together and show a never-say-die attitude was a great display sportsmanship too.
2015 Erzberg Redbull Hare Scramble Result
Graham Jarvis, Alfredo Gomez, Jonny Walker, Adreas Lettenbichler