KTM’s Jonny Walker ended the 2015 ErzbergRodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble as one of four winners!
This year’s event, which will go down in history as one of the toughest ever, officially saw four riders share victory – Jonny, Graham Jarvis, Alfredo Gomez and Andreas Lettenbichler.
As the defending champion, Walker got his participation in this year’s ErzbergRodeo off to a perfect start by securing a commanding win in the Iron Road Prologue.
With Sunday’s main race taking place under scorching heat, the KTM rider knew it would be a long, and tougher than ever, race. Exiting the first hill climb with the race lead, Walker set about opening up an advantage over the chasing pack.
Pushing hard he managed to break away, opening up a five-minute race lead. Damaging a radiator saw that gap reduced but he still held a two-minute margin over second place Graham Jarvis as they exited Carl’s Dinner.
Stopping to replenish his radiator allowed Jarvis to take the lead as they approached Downtown – a new and never before ridden section, which ultimately turned the race on its head. Proving impassable, it required Walker to team up with Jarvis, Gomez, Lettenbichler in order to complete it.
Then riding together as a group to the finishing arena, the quartet of Walker, Jarvis, Gomez and Lettenbichler were all declared winners.
Walker’s next race is Red Bull Romaniacs on July 14-18, where he starts as defending champion.
Jonny Walker: “Four winners is a bit of a weird one but without us teaming up there’s no way anyone would have got to the end. It’s a win of sorts but obviously not what I had hoped for. From the outset my race was going perfect. I won the prologue for the very first time and had the best pick of the start. My reaction off the line was good and I got out of the first quarry climb with the lead. I pushed on as I enjoy those sections and built up about a five-minute gap. Carl’s Dinner was so hard this year but I rode without mistakes and was happy to see the end. Getting into Carl’s Dinner I had two minutes on Graham so it was a close race. But in one of the forestry section I lost the lead when I smashed my radiator. I had to stop and fill it up with the water from my USWE hydration system. At that point Graham and Alfredo came past. I pushed on and came to this new section, Downtown. I dropped into it thinking we’ve not walked or seen this before. We came to the decision that it wasn’t rideable and the only way out was to help each other. We must have been there for over an hour pulling bikes up hills – it was crazy. At that stage I knew the racing was pretty much over so we rode together and came into the finishing arena together. The result’s a strange one. Yes, it’s great to win alongside those guys, but it sort of sucks too. The race was awesome until that Downtown section and that’s really where it ended for all of us.”