The 2023 Red Bull Erzbergrodeo hard enduro round regularly draws over a thousand would-be competitors to the Austrian town of Eisenerz. Although hard enduro as a riding discipline is fairly extreme, Erzbergrodeo could be viewed as the mountain on top of the mountain. To say that it’s intense is a ludicrous level of understatement. 

Despite (or maybe because of) that intensity, it’s also fascinating that both professionals and amateurs are invited to test their mettle in the qualifying events leading up to the Erzbergrodeo showcase itself. The entire event lasts for a few days, where would-be competitors and spectators are invited to camp out and enjoy the atmosphere. In 2023, the entire event ran four days, from June 8 through June 11. The first three days saw over 1,500 competitors duke it out for just 500 available spots on the starting line. 

We should also mention that it’s the second round in the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) Hard Enduro World Championship—so the professionals competing in that series are, of course, there in force every year. Although 500 competitors line up on the start line, the majority won’t make it to the end. It’s as fierce a test of rider and machine as you could possibly hope for. 

In 2023, out of the 500 racers that started Erzbergrodeo, a mere 17 completed the event under the four-hour time limit to be included in the official rankings. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler took the podium once again, making it two Erzbergrodeos in a row. Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt came in second and was Lettenbichler’s closest competition. FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Trystan Hart rounded out the podium in third at the end of the grueling event. 

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to compete at the Erzbergrodeo hare scramble, then you’ll want to get your headphones and check out this onboard footage from German hard enduro champ Kevin Gallas. A lot of times, videos we see from events like this are shot from the sidelines, not first-person action camera footage like this. Here, you get a complete sense of just how intense the event is when you’re running it.  

If you had the chance, would you want to try your hand (and every other part of you, really) at Erzbergrodeo? Let us know in the comments. 

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