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"I'm under no illusion just how tough it is" – Laia Sanz taking on Erzberg

The 2019 Erzbergrodeo sees Laia Sanz make her first serious attack on the infamous extreme enduro – under no illusion about the event, Sanz says her CV needs this event on it.


Despite her countless Trials and Enduro World Championship medals, plus her world-renowned success in the Dakar Rally, an Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble finisher’s medal is missing from Laia Sanz’s CV. 

After a taste of the event last year on her rally bike, Sanz is back in 2019 for a proper attempt at the main event. Under no illusion of just how daunting a task it is, Spain’s queen of Enduro joins 33 other female riders giving it everything on the Iron Road Prologue during Friday and Saturday and is certainly ready to stake her claim in Iron Giant folklore…

Laia Sanz Erzbergrodeo 2019 interview prologue rear 560

Laia Sanz on…

…The atmosphere of Erzbergrodeo is amazing, it’s bigger than you can imagine

 “I’m excited for this one, I came last year with the Rally bike just to experience and enjoy the event for the first time and I was surprised by how big of an event it was - the atmosphere was amazing. It’s hard to imagine what it’s like until you come and stand in this quarry and look up at the mountain. Naturally, it motivated me to return in 2019 to compete properly.”

…An Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble finishers medal is missing on my CV

“Although I’ve done many different things in my career from Trials to Enduro and of course the Dakar, a finishers medal from this race is something I’m missing. I know it’s only a small thing, but to get one is a huge achievement and I’d really love one. Also, no woman rider has ever finished the Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble - I’d like to try and be the first.”

Laia Sanz Erzbergrodeo 2019 interview prologue 560

…I'm under no illusion just how tough it is

“Last year I went to watch the top guys in Carls Dinner and when I saw the look on their faces, I realised then just how difficult this race is. It’s the toughest Enduro in the world for sure. They were some of the best Enduro riders and yet, in the middle of the race, they looked exhausted. You’ve got to give the Iron Giant everything.”

…Riding a two-stroke for the first time

“Riding the two-stroke is very new for me - actually it’s the first time I rode one for Enduro. I last rode a two-stroke in 2004 for trials, so it’s almost impossible to compare. Regards the speed element for the prologue I don’t feel as comfortable as I would on the four-stroke, but otherwise it’s very impressive to see what is capable in Hard Enduro riding. I’m very surprised by where you can go with them with the right tyre and suspension set-up.”

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…Breaking the race down will help me

“Everything about the race on Sunday is so hard, so I’m trying to break it down into small parts. Right now, I want to try and qualify on the front row - I think that will be a big help. Next is to get a good start and stay out of trouble on the early climbs. If you can do that it will save energy and gain positions. When you arrive to the harder technical sections you are able to have energy to get through them. If I can break the race down into small blocks and achieve those individually that will help for sure.”

…It would be cool to race some more WESS if my schedule allowed

“For sure I would like to compete in some more WESS races if my schedule allowed, but the goal is always to do a good Dakar Rally. It’s a long process to prepare for that race - after this weekend we start to do some races with the Rally bike and then test full gas until January. It’s nice to see Spain host two rounds of WESS and I know the area of the BR2 Enduro Solsona well, so maybe at the least, I can get there to watch the race.”


Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble – Fast Facts:

1762: Competitors who competed in 2018

500: Qualifying positions available for Red Bull Hare Scramble

180: Red Bull Media House crew producing the Erzbergrodeo Live TV shows

125: Time in minutes it took winner Graham Jarvis to complete the 2018 Red Bull Hare Scramble

116: Kilograms of starting number decals provided to riders

41: Time in seconds of Graham Jarvis’ 2018 winning margin

23: Competitors who finished in 2018

5: Taddy Blazusiak holds the most wins

4: Allocated time in hours to finish the Red Bull Hare Scramble course

1: There is only one Iron Giant! 


2019 Erzbergrodeo schedule:

May 30: Mitas Rocket Ride Superfinals - 20.00hrs

May 31: Blakläder Iron Road Prolog - from 08.00hrs

June 1: Blakläder Iron Road Prolog - from 08.00hrs

June 2: Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble - 14.30-18.30hrs


More information on WESS: iRideWESS.com



Photo Credit: Future7Media
Byline jp ISDE 2018 Enduro21
Jon Pearson
Enduro21 Editor and Bike Tester