As round two of the World Enduro Super Series approaches, Cody Webb is aiming to become the first American to top the podium at the Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble.
During the last couple of seasons, the FMF KTM Factory Racing rider has established himself as a formidable force in the Enduro world. Indoors he’s won titles on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean in EnduroCross and SuperEnduro, while outdoors he’s had podium results at Brazil’s Red Bull Minas Riders, Italy’s Hell’s Gate and twice at the Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble. Aiming to win the most prestigious race in Enduro, Webb only has thoughts of victory on his mind as the 24th edition of the event approaches.
“The Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble is huge for me,” tells Webb. “It is the most famous Enduro race in the world — everyone knows how gnarly the Iron Giant is — so to become the first American rider to actually win it would have to rank as a career highlight for me.”
First arriving at the Iron Giant back in 2014 with Beta Factory Racing, Webb claimed a top 10 result in his debut ride. Returning for more in 2016 with KTM, he came better prepared and with a greater understanding of what to expect. Catching many of the favourites by surprise, Cody charged his way to an emphatic runner-up result behind winner Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna – GB).
“In 2016 I finished as runner-up to Graham Jarvis,” continues Webb. “It was my first podium there and also the first for an American, too. The result took me by surprise a little, but I guess I had done my homework and was ready.”
Now established as one of the heavy hitters of the Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble, the question was raised in 2017 as to whether or not he could go one place better. With the world watching live on Red Bull TV, Webb battled with Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) for the lead during the first half of the race. Things were looking good, but then suddenly everything ‘imploded from the inside out’ as Cody puts it…
“I’m not sure what happened, I guess I just wimped out,” he recalls. “I got so pumped up that I couldn’t pull the brake lever — it was like I imploded from the inside out. I let Graham by on one section and then let Wade Young by on a fire road section. I got to my mechanic at Carl’s Dinner and stopped. I had to take a time-out with him to try and destress because I knew I’d get hurt if I carried on the way I was.”
Despite the mid-race slump, he regrouped and came back strongly for third, but ultimately his shot at winning was lost. However, mistakes are there to be learned from and come this Sunday, June 3, he’s determined to right the wrongs of 12 months ago.
“I was happy with third because it’s such an exclusive podium to be on. But I’m a racer and a competitive person, so at the same time I was frustrated because I knew I’d let it slip away during the middle section of the race. This year the focus is on riding a mistake-free race — I don’t want to be upset knowing I could have done more.”
The World Enduro Super Series continues with round two at the Erzbergrodeo in Eisenerz, Austria from May 31-June 3.
2018 Erzbergrodeo Schedule
May 31: Mitas Rocket Ride
June 1: Blakläder Iron Road Prolog — from 08.00hrs
June 2: Blakläder Iron Road Prolog — from 08.00hrs
June 3: Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble — 14.30-18.30hrs
2017 Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble Podium
1. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 2. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 3. Cody Webb (KTM)
Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble Past Winners
2017: Alfredo Gomez (KTM)
2016: Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna)
2015: Jonny Walker (KTM), Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna), Andreas Lettenbichler (KTM), Alfredo Gomez (KTM)
2014: Jonny Walker (KTM)
2013: Graham Jarvis (Husaberg)
2012: Jonny Walker (KTM)
2011: Taddy Blazusiak (KTM)
2010: Taddy Blazusiak (KTM)
2009: Taddy Blazusiak (KTM)
2008: Taddy Blazusiak (KTM)
2007: Taddy Blazusiak (KTM)
2006: David Knight (KTM)
2005: David Knight (KTM)
2004: Chris Pfeiffer (Gas Gas)
2003: Cyril Despres (KTM)
2002: Cyril Despres (KTM)
2001: Juha Salminen (KTM)
2000: Chris Pfeiffer (Gas Gas)
1999: Stefano Passeri (KTM)
1998: Giovanni Sala (KTM)
1997: Chris Pfeiffer (Gas Gas)
1996: Chris Pfeiffer (Gas Gas)
1995: Alfie Cox (KTM)