The Erzberg rodeo: 1 mountain. 500 riders.
And 1 exciting stamp!
On May 29th 2014 Austria Post remembered the largest and toughest enduro event in the world, the Red Bull Erzberg Rodeo, with a stamp. In 20 years the event, once started with a handful of riders, developped into the world famous race that it is nowadays. The race is held on a 1446 meters high mountain, the Erzberg in the Eisenerz mountains, excavated for iron ore winning in 30 terraces, each around 25 meters high.
The event starts on Thursday with the Kärcher Rocket Ride, a Hillclimb of 100 meters with a rising of 98% (almost 45 degrees). At 12 o'clock 500 riders start, in couples of 6, on motorcycles in the category "anything you bring", in an attempt to reach the top as one of the 3 fastests. These 3 proceed to the next round. At 8 o'clock the finales are ridden.
The Friday and Saturday are used for the qualifying rounds for the main event: the Generali Iron Road Prologue. Each of the 1960 participants starts on both days, with the aim to place themselves with a good average time amongst the best 500 riders, who may start in the Red Bull Hare Scramble on Sunday. For this race are the following rule holds: Everyone is allowed to participate on any motorcycle-like vehicle, as long as it has brakes. This led to the result that bakers and butchers are riding in the same race as famous riders, and you can see drivers on quads, trikes, cross motorcycles with sidecar and solo machines, but also on scooters and fat American V-twins.
The race starts at a height of 700 m and bridges a height difference of 745 m, over a distance of 12 kilometers. The race itself is 25 kilometers long, and the riders may take at most 4 hours to come from the start upwards to the top. Winners need just less than 2 hours. The winner of the Scramble does not receive a large amount of money, but a lump of iron ore as a trophy. Nice to tell is that BMW stunt rider Chris Pfeiffer, from who we once had a (replica) stunt motorcycle to show in the MFN booth on the Postex stamp show, already has 4 of those lumps at his mantelpiece at home.
In the mean time the rodeo has grown to a huge event with parades, races, jetski-demo's, hot air balloons and on Friday night the "Sturm auf Eisenerz", the largest off-road rally in the world from the mountain to the village Eisenerz, with more than 2000 participants.
On the stamp from Austria we see on the background the Erzberg, with in front the (since 2014) 2-times winner Jonny Walker (England) on a KTM 300 EXC of Team Kinigadner, with which he participated and won the scramble in 2012.
The stamp is also available in a hanging envelop, containing 4 stamps and on the envelop itself also an image of the stamp.
Hans de Kloet
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