Racing

Red Bull KTM takes on Erzberg

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Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jonny Walker, Taddy Blazusiak, Josep Garcia and Nathan Watson are fully prepared and ready to race round three of the World Enduro Super Series – the iconic Erzbergrodeo.

The four-rider team will be joined in Austria by Laia Sanz as she attempts to become the first female rider to complete the world’s toughest one-day enduro and Cody Webb who is aiming to be the first American to top the Erzberg podium.

Now celebrating its 25th year, Erzbergrodeo is one of the best known, and toughest, extreme enduro events in the world. 500 riders will take on the daunting ‘Iron Giant’ on Sunday June 2, and with only four hours to complete the course just a handful will make the finish.

The terrain of Erzberg is legendary. Held in one of Europe’s largest open-cast mines, riders will face near-vertical climbs right from the start, followed by treacherous descents, huge boulder gardens and technical forest tracks.

Three-time winner of the event, Jonny Walker comes to round three with the aim of claiming his fourth victory. Finishing as runner-up in 2018, Walker was just 41-seconds shy of the top step of the podium following over two hours of racing. Now one of the most experienced competitors in the event, the British rider knows what is needed to succeed.

“I’m happy with how the first two rounds of WESS have gone. My wrist has held up well and that gives me confidence for round three,” said Walker. “Obviously Erzberg is a seriously tough race, but it’s also shorter than what we have been riding recently so I’m hoping I should be able to stay strong to the finish. The key to success is to have a solid race – make no mistakes, keep to a good pace and not burn yourself out by riding too fast. All being well, I’m confident of a strong result.”

The most successful rider at Erzberg – five-time winner Taddy Blazusiak – returns in 2019 also aiming to top the podium. Despite showing incredible pace at last year’s race, Taddy suffered a number of crashes that put him down the order, ultimately finishing eighth. Fully fit and motivated for 2019, the Polish star is looking forward to taking on the challenges of the Iron Giant once again.

“With so many different types of races in WESS, it’s difficult to concentrate on one thing,” said Blazusiak. “My extreme riding has been going really well though recently and I’m feeling good, too. So much has to come together to get the win at Erzberg – a good start, saving energy, saving the bike – but if the weather is in our favour, I know I am capable of standing on the top step again.”

Erzbergrodeo – WESS round three – commences May 30 in Austria.

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