On the eve of the Red Bull Hare Scramble at the 2008 Erzberg Rodeo, experts predicted that no rider would master the Iron Mountain in less than two hours. KTM factory rider Taddy Blazusiak charged through the checkered flag in 1:20.132.
The Polish rider who won the event and a factory ride in extreme Enduro events for the Austrian sports motorcycle manufacturer in 2007, left no doubt about his shooting star role. Not only did Blazusiak win the event; he won with seemingly effortless style and passed through the victory arch on the top of the mountain almost 15 minutes in front of his nearest rival, German rider Andreas Lettenbichler.
Blazusiak’s victory through the sixteen control points of the massive mountain slope was enthusiastically celebrated by the thousands of fans who came to Austria for the event. Particularly vocal were the large number of fans from his home in Poland who traveled south to watch him master what is considered to be the toughest one day competition on the extreme Enduro racing calendar.
Taddy warmed up for the challenge on Saturday with a victory in the super final of the Rodeo-X Supercross event. On Sunday, 500 enthusiasts from 32 different countries were on the starting line for the Hare Scramble. They ranged from fully fledged factory riders to enthusiastic amateurs. It was the German, Lettenbichler, who won the start and held onto the lead for the first 20 minutes before he was overtaken by the 25-year-old Pole. From that point on it was never in doubt that Blazusiak would capture the glory.
Dakar winner and KTM factory rider Cyril Despres of France was 4th this year while two other KTM riders from the USA, Kyle Redmond and Geoff Aaron finished 5th and 6th. The results list continued to underline the supremacy and tenaciousness of the orange machines from KTM.
On another note, KTM ATV rider Tim Farr participated in the Erzberg Iron Road Prologue event. He managed to put his KTM 525 XC Sport ATV in second place just in front of multi-time Enduro World Champion Juha Salminen, Dakar winner Cyril Despres and two-time winner of Erzberg’s Red Bull Hare Scramble Taddy Blazusiak.
Results Red Bull Hare Scramble
1. Taddy Blazusiak, Poland, KTM 1:20:13
2. Andreas Lettenbichler, Germany, BMW, 1:35:58
3. Paul Bolton, UK, Honda, 1:38:03
4. Cyril Despres, France, KTM, 1:38:22
5. Kyle Redmond, USA, KTM, 1:42:19
6. Geoff Aaron USA, KTM, 1:45:32
7. Gerhard Forster, Germany, BMW, 1:46:15
8. Chris Birch, New Zealand, KTM, 1:47:35
9. Juha Salminen, Finland, KTM, 1:51:19
10. Mark Jackson, UK, KTM, 2:04:45