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June 29th, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 26
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Ryan Legroux Enduro Races overseas
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Herald contributor photo
Ryan Legroux after his impressive finish at the Erzbergrodeo
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
From May 26 to 29, more than 1,500 off-road motorcyclists made the pilgrimage to the quiet village of Eisenerz in the heart of Austria to go tire-to-tire against the worlds best.

Among the thousands of amateurs from about 40 countries who made the trip for the Erzbergrodeo 2016 Red Bull Hare Scramble was Crowsnest rider Ryan Legroulx.

The final event – the Red Bull Hare Scramble – bills itself as the world’s toughest one-day hard endure race.

Of the 500 entrants who qualify for the scramble, only a handful manage to cross the finish line in the four-hour time limit.

Why did Legroulx make the trip to take a shot at a race that he had virtually no chance of finishing, let alone winning?

“I get that question all the time,” he said. “I guess I have a competitive nature. There’s something inside me that wants to tackle the biggest, most challenging things.”

When he was younger, Legroulx was a professional dirt-bike racer. Then a few years ago the 37-year old took a hiatus from the track to start a family.

The father of two is now the owner of Impact Automotive Services in Blairmore. But parenthood and business ownership couldn’t quench a need-for-speed so Legroulx took a chance on the Erzbergrodeo.

“There are not too many races where you can just sign up and compete against the world’s best,” he said.
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The Red Bull Hare Scramble is run through 30 kilometres of one of the world’s largest active iron ore mines. The race includes 30 checkpoints and 14 no-help zones.

The race is run with 10 rows of 50 riders leaving at ten-minute intervals and time trials are run to decide who gets pole position.

On the first day of time trials, Legroulx placed 144th out of over 1,500. He had a less successful second qualifier the second day and ended up 203rd.

The course is notoriously unforgiving and Legroulx was riding along after the sixth checkpoint when he lost control of his machine, crashed and hurt his left hand. It was almost enough to make him quit.

“It made running the clutch pretty much impossible,” he said. “I ended up sitting out for about half an hour and quit the race, mentally. I took my helmet off, sat on the side of the road and let about 20 guys go by but after a while I couldn’t handle it anymore and got back on my bike.”

Legroulx ran his hand under cold water and made another three checkpoints.
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Despite starting in the middle of the pack and suffering a bad crash, Legroulx was in 120th place when time ran out. Only nine people finished the race.

It was his third running of the Erzbergrodeo. Competing in the race was “originally a bucket list thing,” said Legroulx but one trip turned into two and now three attempts. He said he’d like to try it again next year.

Legroulx would like to thank sponsors Gibson Tyre, FXR Racing, Cycleworks Foothills, Top Gun Automotive and Impact Automotive for helping to gear him up for the event.
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June 29th ~ Vol. 85 No. 26
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