Known as the world's toughest enduro motorcycle race, the Erzberg Rodeo takes place in Austria in the small town of Eisenerz. This 23-kilometre race will take place from May 29th to June 2nd for this 2014 edition. A French competitor, Marie…, will be followed in her performance at the Erzberg Rodeo by a team of young French reporters from the school of Audiovisual 3IS for their project year-end. On the way to Austria!

The Erzberg Rodeo, a mythical enduro race in the heart of Europe

The off-road Erzberg Rodeo race has existed since 1995 and usually takes place between May and July of each year, still on Austrian soil and in the commune of Eisenerz. This race is an exception in its kind because of its size, its difficulty and its magnitude:

The Erzberg Rodeo: the Erzberg Mountain in Austria
The Erzberg Rodeo: the Erzberg Mountain in Austria

The ErzbergRodeo in figures:

  • 23 km of race
  • 1500 participants at the start
  • 1% of participants pass the finish line
  • A level of danger that has never been equalled since its creation
  • 40 countries and 5 continents represented
  • 20 Years of existence

The creation of the race

In 1994, the race was thought and reflected by two influencers of the time, Andreas Werth and Karl Katoch. Both from the traditional and web media, they create the Erdzberg Rodeo to reinvigorate the world of Enduro and the media coverage that it is given. By reducing the rules of the game to the maximum they impose this ordeal as the craziest and biggest enduro race in the world.

The two creators invent a race leading the competitors at the end of their limits. As soon as the whistle blows, the pilots begin to look for the perfect trajectory to face rocks and steep slopes, not to mention the mud! So it's handle in the corner but very concentrated that the riders throw themselves into the arena of the 23 km of race.

The most difficult race in the world

Erzberg Rodeo 2008
100 meters after the starting line… The first abandonments!

The mission was clear: in order to satisfy the constant hunger for novelty of the world enduro scene, Andreas Werth and Karl Katoch had to design the most difficult race in the world. Not only something unachievable, but also friendly, technical and never seen by mankind. With the ErzbergRodeo, they have somehow created a kind of rite of passage between adolescence and adulthood of the Enduro rider. To recap, this rite of passage consists of three tests:

Two events on the list of participants:

The Erzberg is now divided into several races. The two major events are:

  • The Iron Road Prolog: This is the infernal ascent of the Erzberg Mountain, 1500 participants on any type of vehicle confused. 30 meters steep climb, very steep… The first 500 arrived will be the only ones selected for the next race.
  • The Red Bull Hare Scramble: brings together the best 500 of the Iron Road Prolog. The test takes place for 23 km, 4 hours. On the menu: forests, mud, rock… and of course the inevitable infernal ascent of the Erzberg Mountain.

A French couple participates in the Erzberg Rodeo 2014

of the 1500 registered, this year at the Erzberg Rodeo 2014, two French are in the running: Romain Gioffre and Marie-Pierre Martinez. He finished in the TOP 50 last year and she will tackle the rise of the Erzberg for the first time in her life. They have been in a relationship for several years and Marie decided in 2012 to tackle the enduro. She has already participated in the Roses des Sables rally in 2013 and will be the only French woman vying for the Erzberg Rodeo 2014.

Marie-Pierre Martinez and Romain-Gioffre
Marie-Pierre Martinez and Romain-Gioffre

Romain Gioffre: A recognized pilot

Romain Gioffre is a French BETA pilot. He has been driving since the age of five and has been running the Enduro races in France and Europe. His charts do not yet list the Erzberg Rodeo. He arrived in the first 50 of the Erzberg Rodeo 2013 and aimed at the top of the table for his participation 2014.

Marie-Pierre Martinez: A woman of pilot… and much more!

Marie is a mother, a pilot's wife, an assistant on the races, a good communication manager for her husband… but above all a pilot. She climbs in the saddle in 2012 while she has never made an enduro and dominates the Rally Roses of the Sands Morocco 2013 until a fall that forces her to give up. By participating in this event, she is committed to solidarity with local people and respect for the environment.

Let's wish them courage, control and a good share of luck!

Follow the French riders on the Erzberg Rodeo

Thanks to Julien and Camille, two young students from the 3IS Audiovisual school, all Enduro fans will be able to follow the adventures of Mary and Romain. In fact, from May 29th to June 5th, they will be shooting with the couple of pilots in Austria.

Both reporters have this filming project to validate their last year of study and thus become audiovisual journalists out of the norm!

Support the report project at the Erzberg Rodeo

French journalists need the support of all Enduro fans from France and Navarre to cover travel expenses between France and Austria. The project is on ulule.fr, a participatory funding platform. This allows everyone to participate in their funding. To learn more see here:

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The images of this article have been graciously shared on the Internet by many authors and are free to use under conditions. The works are available here.

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