Red Bull Erzbergrodeo race promotor Karl Katoch is happy to see a massive run of top riders on the 27th issue of the worldwide renowned Hard Enduro event – while defending champion Manuel Lettenbichler (DE, KTM) has to face tough competition from all continents!
The Red Bull Erzbergrodeo’s 2023 starting grid looks like the Who-is-Who of the international Extreme Enduro scene. The world’s best motorcycle offroad athletes are taking on the challenge to fight the “Iron Giant” and fight for important points at the second stop of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship. 6 factory teams are eager to win the prestigious Erzberg rock trophy this year, but they will get strong competition from top privateers. Until today 1300 riders from 50 nations and all continents have registered for the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo 2023.
The Red Bull KTM Factory Team puts defending champion Manuel Lettenbichler (DE) as the clear favourite at the start. The 25-years old Bajuvarian earned the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship title in 2022 an is widely regarded as the “moste complete” rider in Extreme Enduro. But Lettenbichler faces massive competition within hos own team: 26-years old Canadian Trystan Hart and 33-years old US offroad superstar Kailub Russell will also line up under the orange marquee. Hart placed an amazing third in last years race, while Russell collected important experiences at his first ever attempt at Erzberg in 2022. 20-years old Australian supertalent Will Riordan will round up KTMs factory efforts at the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo 2023.
At Husqvarna Factory Racing Team all eyes are on Billy Bolt (UK). The 25-years old Brit dominated the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship in 2021 and was recently crowned FIM Superenduro World Champion for the third consecutive time. After placing fourth at Erzberg last year, Billy had to call it quits for the rest of the season due to injuries – but now the extremely talented Youngster is back at full power to challenge his good friend Lettenbichler.
Billys teammate is no other than Colton Haaker (USA), the offroad superstar from California. Colton has another three Superenduro world titles under his belt and already finished the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo two times. The third Husqvarna factory rider is 21-years old Ryder LeBlond (USA), who is ranked amongst the most successful Hard Enduro talents in the United States.
For GasGas Factory Racing, none other than Taddy Blazusiak (POL) is entering the race. As a 5-times Red Bull Erzbergrodeo winner, 6-times Superenduro World Champion and 5-times AMA Endurocross Champion, Taddy is respected as THE role model of modern Extreme Enduro sports. Looking back on a more than impressive carreer, Blazusiak still has the fire inside and is regarded as one of the clear top contenders at Erzberg.
Taddys teammate is Austrias hottest gun in the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship: in 2022 Michael Walkner celebrated his first ever Red Bull Erzbergrodeo finish as well as an amazing performance in the World Championship, placing 6th overall at the end of the season. The 25-years old is definitely on the rise and could be Austrias first ever podium finisher at Red Bull Erzbergrodeo.
Sherco Factory Racing is also showing a strong appearance by throwing two definite top favourites in the game. Mario Roman (ESP) placed second in last years race very close to Lettenbichler, while Wade Young (RSA) celebrated his 7th finish at the Iron Giant. Cody Webb (USA) and youngster Cooper Abbott (USA) will strengthen Shercos efforts for the podium. Cody Webb has already secured two podium finishes at Red Bull Erzbergrodeo, a FIM Superenduro World Championship title and several AMA Endurocross titles – so the 35-years old Californian is definitely a man to watch.
25-years old Cooper Abbott is a newcomer at Erzberg, but he’s regarded as one of the most promising offroad riders in the USA so far.
Beta Factory Racing and the Rieju Factory Team will each put one toprider at the starting line. Jonny Walker (UK, Beta), a 3-times Red Bull Erzbergrodeo winner, had to take a break last year due to injuries but is returning back after a very successful Superenduro season. The 35-years old Brit is a definite podium contender at Red Bull Erzbergrodeo and will surely fight for the win in 2023. Spaniard Alfredo Gomez (Rieju) is holding 2 wins at Red Bull Erzbergrodeo as well and ended his 2022 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship season on fifth place. The sympathic and extremely talented guy from Madrid is one of the world’s elite offroad riders and will fight for another podium finish at the “Iron Giant”.
The presumably most successful „privateer” of Extreme Enduro racing will be back at Erzberg: Graham Jarvis (UK, Husqvarna) adds another run for the crown of Red Bull Erzbergrodeo. At a remarkable 48-years of age, Graham could win for the sixth time (!), which would definitely secure his status as the GOAT of Hard Enduro – the Greatest Of All Times. Placing third overall in the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship 2022 shows that his determination and fitness are still above average, so all eyes will be on Graham at Red Bull Erzbergrodeo 2023. His performance in last years race is unforgettable as well: after struggeling with technical problems at the start, Graham took on the race just under an hour after the last competitor had left the starting area. Jarvis then plowed through the grid like an ice breaker… event though he had to be disqualified because of getting help from a non-competitor, Graham Jarvis left a massive impression on all fellow riders and fans!
Change of generations at Erzberg: the young guns are storming to the top
Matthew Green (RSA, KTM), Mitch Brightmore (UK, GasGas), Teodor Kabakchiev (BG, KTM), Donimik Olszowy (POL, GasGas), Suff Sella (ISR, KTM), David Cyprian (CZ, KTM) and Will Hoare (UK, GasGas)… if these names sound unfamiliar, you’re definitely not well informed! These guys are the phalanx of a new generation of extremely talented Extreme Enduro riders, which are eager to throw the accomplished top riders from their thrones.
With the newly formed FIM Hard Enduro Junior World Cup, the “young guns” are finally getting their very own World Championship in 2023. At Red Bull Erzbergrodeo these youngsters will face the biggest challenges fully motivated on their way to the top.
From Pol Tarres to Lyndon Poskitt: Red Bull Erzbergrodeos most spectacular appearances
Red Bull Erzbergrodeo is well known for specatcular suprises at the starting grid and the 2023 edition is no exception. Spaniard Pol Tarres is entering the fight with the “Iron Giant” for the second time - riding a twin-cylinder adventure bike in all race formats! The 3-times Red Bull Erzbergrodeo finisher and his Yamaha Tenere 700 have already turned heads last year, in 2023 Pol is celebrating the 40-years anniversary of the legendary Tenere model at Erzberg together with Yamaha. Motorex and Husqvarna brand ambassador, Malle Moto winner at the infamous Dakar Rallye, Offroad-Globetrotter… Lyndon Poskitt first discovered Red Bull Erzbergrodeo on his Races-to-Places motorcycle world tour and immediately got infected with the Erzberg spirit. The Brit will once again start for Husqvarna in 2023 and will entertain his huge fan community with one of his legendary racing diaries.
Equally impressive is the Erzberg project of Czech offroad motorcycle legend Jiri Hejnik. The 67-years old plans to attack the Blakläder Iron Road Prolog with an unique KTM-build: a KTM SX-250F motocross bike with the 120-hp twin-cylinder engine of a KTM 890R Adventure! Jiris sensational custom build offroad racer will be one of the top contenders in the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo Twin-Cylinder Class.
Red Bull Driving School: the world’s toughest driving safety instruction at Red Bull Erzbergrodeo
Another highlight for the young generation: the Red Bull Driving School will bring the world’s toughest driving safety instruction to Red Bull Erzbergrodeo from June 10th to 11th. This driving academy is definitely from another kind, as driving license novices will learn stuff that wasn’t teached at their average driving school: drifting, contact parking, changing tyres with a sledgehammer and full-blown burnouts! None less than the Red Bull Driftbrothers will function as instructors and make sure that the contenders learn these skills in no time. The vehicles used at the Red Bull Driving School are one of a kind as well – and would never pass the examination for street-legality. These cars my have their fair share of dents, scratches and rough edges, but they have been prepared by Drift-professionals for the pure fun of getting through corners fast and easy.
The Red Bull Driving School is available for all novices who hold their driving license class B until June 9th 2023 and have successfully passed the “online exam” at redbull.com/driving school. Out of all registrations, 10 contenders will be selected to finally join the spectacular driving school at Erzberg!
Registrations are open until May 10th, 11:59 p.m at redbull.com/drivingschool
Red Bull Erzbergrodeo online press/media registration
To witness the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo live on site is truly a one of a kind experience. The event offers a worldwide unique press/media service for registered journalists and media representants featuring shuttle transportation to the most spectacular parts of the racetrack, interviews with top-riders and amateurs and exclusive backstage views on the world’s biggest and most renowned Extreme Enduro race event. Our press/media crew is taking care of all your needs to create your story at Erzberg.
Please find the press/media online registration at redbullerzbergrodeo.com