08. 06. 12. - 18:37
Rodeo starts with injury for Enduro star Knight
The Erzberg Rodeo got underway this weekend for the 18th time with 1,800 riders from 39 countries hoping to emerge as the final victor.
The event taking place over the long weekend that includes the bank holiday on Thursday started badly for Manx Enduro star David Knight who ended up being airlifted to hospital after an accident.
The four-time World Enduro champion was taking part in the Iron Road Prologue at the Rodeo when he crashed heavily in the closing stages. The KTM rider is currently fourth in the Enduro World Championship.
But the accident did little to dampen the huge enthusiasm for the annual spectacle that this year has attracted 40,000 visitors. It is regarded as the hardest Enduro-competition in the world.
The riders have to travel up astronomically steep slopes before plunging back down steep drops on the other side needing iron nerves and tremendous skill.
All of the possible free beds in the region have been completely booked up for weeks and Claudia Flatscher who is in charge of tourism for the region said: "This is a major boost to us – the bookings are simply unbelievable. Not only is Eisenerz completely full but the take-up on rooms has extended as far as Leoben, Bruck, and the Palten-Liesing-Erlebnistäler into Gesäuse and Gaishorn.
That includes more than 250 media organisations from 20 different countries that are reporting on the event including the American TV network NBC that broadcasts into 110 million homes in America.