Conquering the World’s Wildest Race: Erzbergrodeo [VIDEO]

“To become a champion here, you have to be as tough as the surrounding stone.”

It’s the race that’s been described as “ferocious,” “treacherous,” “gnarly,” and “grueling.” The Red Bull Erzbergrodeo.

@redbull the last bike had other ideas 😏 #redbull #givesyouwiiings #erzbergrodeo #bike #hardenduro #dirtbike ♬ original sound – Red Bull


What is the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo?

Running since 1995, the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo is the most famous – and toughest – off-road motorcycle event in the world, taking place in a working iron quarry over every piece of terrain you can think of.

Every year, up to 1,800 riders – along with 40,000 spectators and event organizers – descend on the usually-quiet mining town of Eisenerz, Austria (population less than 4,000) for two days of enduro and hard enduro racing.

The Erzbergrodeo is open to all skill levels, from professionals to hobby drivers, but only 500 will qualify for the final and most notorious race of the Rodeo: The Red Bull Hare Scramble.

If you’ve ever ridden a dirt bike, you know they require more than just hitting the gas and the brake. It takes an incredible amount of physical strength and technical skills. Those who compete in the Hare Scramble must show massive endurance and physical fitness, and 90% of riders won’t even finish the race.

@redbullmotorsports Pretty accurate 🤯😍 June 19th – live on Red Bull TV [LINK IN BIO] #RedBull #redbullerzbergrodeo #hardenduro #enduro #crazyrace #mx ♬ original sound – Red Bull Motorsports

They have four hours to complete a 22-25 mile course (the course changes every year since it’s in a working quarry), around the Iron Giant, a mountain that peaks at 2,500 feet (more than twice the height of the Empire State Building).

A dump truck travels across one of the giant layers of the Erzberg Mine’s mountain. It looks extremely small compared to the mountain.

A dump truck travels across the Iron Giant on the Erzberg Mine.

A course map of the 2019 Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble, with a picture of the Erzberg Iron Giant mountain next to the map.

A course map of the 2019 Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble, which takes place on the Iron Giant mountain in the Erzberg mine. Original course map from Red Bull.

Some of the most notorious Erzberg obstacles include:

Carl’s Dinner


Wasserleitung (Waterpipe)




Green Hell


What Kinds of Dirt Bikes Do Erzbergrodeo Riders Use?

Here’s an Erzbergrodeo rider explaining the special features on his bike that get him through the course:


What Is Enduro Racing?

Enduro racing is long-distance, off-road dirt bike racing. It’s under the same umbrella as motocross (MX) racing, but it requires much different skills and equipment.

Think of MX as running track and enduro as running cross country. MX riders race on a track (sometimes in an arena) for short distances and do tricks and jumps over placed barriers. Enduro riders race for longer distances over more natural, steep terrain – often in the forest – and face random obstacles.

MX is much more aggressive and fast-paced than enduro, and it involves more muscle power from riders. Enduro calls for more endurance and technical riding.

Racing over jagged terrain for hours obviously demands different equipment than racing on a closed course for short spurts. MX bikes are more lightweight than enduro bikes, and they have a faster acceleration. However, unlike an MX bike, an enduro bike has:

  • Protective equipment (e.g., handguards, skid plates, disc protection)
  • A wide-ratio gearbox to accommodate both fast and slow riding
  • A heavy flywheel so revs build slower, power delivery is smoother, and riders have good traction
  • Stiff suspension
  • A more precise clutch

What Is Hard Enduro Racing?

As Red Bull puts it, “Hard Enduro combines the most extreme elements of the major disciplines of off-road motorbike racing: the high speed and long distances of Endurance, the technical skills and obstacles of Trials and the jumps and fast lines of Motocross and the navigation challenges of Cross-Country…A great Hard Enduro rider is a synthesis of the low-speed mastery of a trials rider, the pure speed of a motocross racer and the stamina of an endurance competitor.”

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Kelly Obbie

Social Media Coordinator at CADENAS PARTsolutions | A 2018 graduate of The Media School at Indiana University, Kelly studied journalism, public relations, English and Spanish and has experience in news writing and editing as well as social media writing and management. She also has professional and personal experience in videography and photography. She currently lives in Ohio but has lived in four states, and in her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, learning languages, and watching Disney movies.