Erzberg 2016 - Billy Bolt Race Report
The 22nd Edition of The Erzberg Hare Scramble proved to be as big a challenge as ever, 500 starters and just 9 riders completing the coarse in the allowed 4 hours.
Misfortune and lack of experience would mean that Billy would start from row 2 after only qualifying 51st for the main event, missing out on a front row start by a fraction of a second.
Undeterred by giving the front row favourites a 2 minute advantage Billy put on an epic charge to systematically pick off each of the riders, within several check points he joined the top 10 and started his assault on the pro's of this sport.
By the exit of the first run across Karl’s Diner Billy had reached 4th place and was showing no signs of slowing, in fact he managed to close right up to Cody Webb in 3rd place, however the bike was overheating badly at the zone they call “Downtown” and lost all its water. The problem was so severe that some engine breather pipes melted and power was drastically reduced, Billy thoughts his race was over, but after taking water from spectators he was able to get the bike cooled down and running normal again.
Really after this section it should be a plain ride home but again disaster would strike when the chain derailed and jammed around the front sprocket, only the removal of the swing arm would allow its release and more time and positions were lost and he would now find himself back in 7th .
One final heroic charge would see him make light work of Dynamite and arrive at the final extreme zone “Lazy Noon” with both Wade Young and Taddy Blazusiak in his sights. Both these riders had several failed attempts and were stuck, Billy had 3 aggressive attempts with the final one proving very successful as he rocketed past his rivals to put him back to 5th and then he could just cruise to the finish line to make an impressive first time result at Erzberg.
Billy: “Wow what can I say, what a crazy week it has been. Despite being bumped back to the second row for the start I remained confident a good result was still possible but to be pushing so high up so early on was a pleasant surprise. The start was mayhem bikes and riders everywhere but I just tried to keep it steady pass where a could and get through with the bike in one piece. I left Karls Diner in 4th place knowing I was gaining time up on 2nd and 3rd. Heading towards machine through a pretty tricky rock garden they were almost in sight. Then disaster struck. My chain derailed and had wrapped around the front sprocket. Brute force wasn't working so it became apparent the swinging arm would need to be removed, over 30 minutes stationary and 4 riders passing you without being able to do anything doesn't half fire you up and once the bike was reassembled I set of like a mad man. I caught Bolts at the bottom of Dynamite and once I reached the top Julian said the others were struggling at lazy noon so I still had chance to improve. I arrived there pleased to see Taddy and Wade were still there not making great progress so I knew to get straight to the top was a must as my arms were cramping so bad when pushing, 3rd attempt at it and shutting off wasn't on the cards and to get out the top felt so good. I frantically dashed to the finish line as fast as I could and to come over the line in 5th in my first Erzberg , it felt incredible.”
Julian Stevens: “In my opinion and many others the stand out performance of the day, very few riders are able these days to move forward in such a race and recover from issues , Billy showed with great effort what is possible when you have desire and a lot of skill.“