In a struggle to survive the Red Bull Hare Scramble, the first four competitors assisted each other on the final climbs to share in the win.
The 2015 Red Bull Hare Scramble pushed the fastest 500 competitors to their limits in Erzberg, Austria, Sunday, with only five riders completing the course within the 4-hour time limit and with the top four sharing in an historic tie for first place.
This year’s edition of the event was decided at the new “Downtown” section shortly before the finish line. The top six riders to that point were forced to help each other drag their bikes through a seemingly unpassable forest. After more than an hour of backbreaking teamwork, four of the six emerged on the other side and engaged in a mad scramble to the finish. The leaders included Jonny Walker of Great Brtitain, Alfredo Gómez Spain, Andreas Lettenbichler of Germany and Graham Jarvis of Great Britain. In a carefully calculated move, the four riders crossed the finish line side by side after precisely four hours of racing and were welcomed with a huge round of applause by the crowd in the finish area. In recognition of the exceptional riding and determination shown by all of the athletes, organizer Karl Katoch declared the first ever four-way tie for first place in the history of the event.
“Red Bull Hare Scramble was totally different this year than last year,” Jonny Walker said. “Without all the guys pulling together it would have been almost impossible to finish.”
The first section of the course was a steep gravel climb that claimed several riders, including a number of favorites who had started on the front row. Walker mastered the tricky ascent and built a small lead. Among the high-profile names whose race day came to an early end was five-time Erzberg winner Taddy Blazusiak of Poland, who crashed early and was unable to continue.
Walker’s countryman and and 2013 winner Jarvis was able to move into second, behind Walker, while Gomez and Lettenbichler battled for the final spot on the podium place. When it was all over, all four riders took to the podium in a fitting end to the brutal event.
2015 Red Bull Hare Scramble
Results: June 7, 2015
1. Jonny Walker-KTM
5. Mario Roman Serrano