10 pictures that prove the Erzbergrodeo is the world's toughest enduro race

Caution: these images will make you feel like you don't know how to ride.

10 pictures that prove the Erzbergrodeo is the world's toughest enduro race

By Adam Simpson

THE Erzbergrodeo returned for 2017 and proved to be as gruelling as ever for the brave competitors that lined up to do battle with the Iron Giant.

Renowned for being the world's toughest Hard Enduro event, the Erzbergrodeo has a huge variety of extremely challenging terrain, impossibly steep hill climbs, tight time limits and more rock than an AC/DC concert.

As is always the case, of the 1,800 competitors that started only a handful completed the full event. 

A heap of determination keeps hundreds of riders returning to Austria year after year in an attempt to complete this notoriously punishing event and claim their bragging rights for the beer tent on the final night. This gallery shows just how demanding the Erzberg rodeo can be.

1. Yep, that's a near sheer drop. And a motorcycle. And a man. Both going up the near sheer drop. The Erzbergrodeo makes the moon-landing seem unimpressive - and most of us have more chance of walking on the moon than ever managing this.

2. Although, looking at this shot, we're wondering if the Erzbergrodeo actually takes place on the moon. America's Coltan Haaker sets off around quarry in the rain during the Prolog of the Red Bull Hare Scrambles.

3. Graham Jarvis of Great Britain tackles the rocks on the Iron Giant.

4. The rocks get the better of a competitor during the Red Bull Hare Scramble.

5. Hare Scrambles winner Alfredo Gomez of Spain negotiates the treacherous rocks of the Iron Giant.

6. Great Britain's Jonny Walker makes his way through the unforgiving Erzberg rock field.

7. A brave spectator lends a hand to a struggling competitor.

8. Alfredo Gomez descends the Iron Giant on day two.

9. Cody Webb from the USA uses all his bike skills to get through a steep and technical stage on the Red Bull Hare Scrambles.

10. A rider attempts to climb the Iron Giant in a hail of dirt.