June 7, 2015 – Eisenerz (AUT) – KTM Factory rider Andreas „Letti“ Lettenbichler claims a – shared – 1st place in a most memorable Red Bull Hare Scramble at the 21st edition of the legendary Erzbergrodeo.
It was the first time ever in the history of what is perceived by many as the worlds toughest single day off-road event that a group of the leading four riders crossed the finish line together. Only 5 out of 500 riders finished the 21st Red Bull Hare Scramble in Eisenerz (Austria) during the official four hours race duration.
It was Letti’s 10th time at the “Iron Giant” and in the previous years Letti scored an astonishing record of 6 podium positions. As always he came with the clear ambition add another podium result in 2015. And his dream to add the 1st place – although shared – came true. It was that one section called “Downtown” that made up for a race that you couldn’t finish by yourself, so Letti teamed up with his teammate Jonny Walker (KTM), Graham Jarvis (UK) and Alfredo Gomez (SP). Showing incredible sportsmanship they mastered “Downtown” together and crossed the finish line in exactly that same group.
It all started with a good qualification securing the 9th position (of 1,500 starters) in the “Iron Road Prolog”:
The Prolog qualification was a challenge given the dry and dusty conditions. My goal obviously was to qualify in the top 50 for the first starting row. Even though the track had some new passages compared to the last years it still is a track that requires motocross skills and the top speed on the straights and much more in the turns. I had a fast but secure first run on Friday which put me in the position to not risk too much in the second run on Saturday. I sacked the 9th position overall which is a great result to tackle the main event, the Red Bull Hare Scramble on Sunday.
Letti started from the first starting row in the main event, the Red Bull Hare Scramble on Sunday. Bad luck right in the first uphill after the start:
While the weather was great for the spectators it was a true challenge for the riders. The track dried out completely and as a result there was a lot of dust and zero visibility right when the Karl started the race. I got a good start but someone lost his bike right in front of me in the first uphill and I couldn’t avoid crashing. So I turned around for a second attempt and crashed again. The third worked out fine but having lost that much time led me into the traffic with dust all over the place and no visibility.
But Letti’s never give up mentality pushed him ahead:
I passed about 20 riders between the start and the checkpoint 2 „Wasserleitung“ where I was in position 6. Right before the „machine“ section I passed Wade Young and found myself in third position. Alfredo Gomez applied some pressure in „Carl’s Dinner“ and I decided to let him go to preserve some energy for the following passages – which was the right decision looking back!
The “Downtown” was the killer – even for the top guns in Extreme Enduro:
In the „Downtown“ section I ran into Walker, Jarvis and Gomez who got stuck because this section simply wasn’t ridable. Prior to the race I had been under the impression that this would be a downhill section but we had to do it the other way around. It was a no-help-zone, Wade Young (KTM) also arrived and didn’t hesitate to join and help and it took us about 90 minutes to pull and push our 5 bikes up, one by one. Considering the 45 remaining minutes until the four hours limit to finish the race and the sections still waiting for us we decided it wouldn’t be possible to finish with all those sections.
Four top riders sharing the same remarkable spirit:
The organizer had pulled out the „Lazy Noon“ section and eased the „Dynamite“ section a bit so we made it to the finish right before the four hours were over. I believe that four of the world’s best riders showed good sportsmanship by first helping each other where you would be lost by yourself and then riding to the finish line together. I’m really pleased and proud that I was part of that special group. My KTM 300 EXC once again was faultless during the Prolog and the Red Bull Hare Scramble. Now I’ll get ready for Red Bull Romaniacs in the middle of July – a race I won in 2009 and I’m certainly looking forward to!
Photo credit: Future7Media / KTM Images
Top 5 Results – Erzbergrodeo
Red Bull Hare Scramble
June 7, 2015 – Eisenerz (AUT)
1. Jonny Walker (UK, KTM) – 3 hours 58 minutes 25 seconds
1. Graham Jarvis, 3:58:25
1. Alfredo Gomez, 3:58:25
1. Andreas Lettenbichler (GER, KTM), 12 laps
5. Mario Roman Serrano (SP, KTM), 3:58:58