The Erzberg Hare Scramble is perhaps the most celebrated event on the Hard Enduro Series. Held in a iron mining quarry outside of Eisenerz, Austria, the Erzberg Hare Scramble starts with two days of high-speed qualifying, which whittles the initial field of 1,800-plus down to the final 500 that will face the Iron Giant in rows of 50. The winner of the Erzberg Hare Scramble is often credited as being the best extreme off-road racer in the world.

Erzbergrodeo World Xtreme Enduro
A competitor picks his way through a rock garden at perhaps the granddaddy of all extreme events, Erzberg.Courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool

Erzberg Hare Scramble

May 31–June 3, 2018
Eisenerz, Austria
(Graham Jarvis' favorite Hard Enduro)

Graham Jarvis:
Erzberg is intense. The difference is there are 50 guys on a row so you're battling with the other riders, whereas the other events you're more on your own, so that adds a new element to it. Which is the mistake I made this year [2017]. If you do make a mistake and you get behind riders, you're fighting with them. That makes it harder. All the rocks and stuff, it's pretty intense. There's no rest at that event.

Erzberg is probably the most intense of all the Hard Enduros. Once you get to Carl’s Diner, that’s the point where it just gets relentless and you’re pushing your body perhaps harder than any other event.

Cody Webb:
The atmosphere at Erzberg is crazy. There's a ton of people who show up in that little town just to watch. It's basically a three-day event plus the prologue on the first day, which is only critical for the start. That's how you get on the front row. You've got to be first through 50th to make the front row, and it's basically a flat-out race to the top of the mountain to see who qualifies. So the prologue is nothing like the actual race. Obviously being on the front row is important. I think the hardest thing about Erzberg is just [that] the intensity of the race is insane. Everyone wants to win that race because it's the biggest one. You basically have four hours to finish. They want to set it up so that only one person makes it to the finish in four hours, but every year it's different depending on the conditions, and how much rain they get.

For me the hardest part about Erzberg is just trying to get through everything as fast as you can. It just typically destroys you physically, and mentally it defeats you. The hardest thing for me at Erzberg is just being able to push through the obstacles.

Mario Roman:
I think everything is harder at Erzberg. It's a 30-kilometer course, more or less. You need about four hours to make it, so you can imagine how difficult it is. It's pretty much one continuous trials sections. In between them you have some rest time on the road, but Erzberg is a pretty hard race.