Sandra Gomez finishes Red Bull Erzberg Rodeo in 85th position at check-point 17 – incredible performance out of 500 riders

Sandra Gomez finishes Red Bull Erzberg Rodeo in 85th position at check-point 17 – incredible performance out of 500 riders

Sandra Gomez finished Red Bull Erzberg Rodeo in 85th position at check-point 17, an incredible performance out of 500 rider’s. Starting on 3rd row with #101 on front plate, Sandra completed sections with sheer nerve in Round 3 of FIM Hard Enduro Championship, covering the ‘toughest ever Erzberg’ as the first female finisher.

Sandra Gomez 2022 Red Bull Erzberg Image: @leti_ce

Dust, rocky/boulder sections, and pile-up of groups of rider’s waiting to race up-hill passes pushed Sandra to remain calm in adversity, even turning tables on how racing was to proceed. Yes, like the Dakar, helping other rider’s was a gift from one athlete to another, and Sandra has that gift: to give without expecting anything in return.

Still, the Spanish Trials GP/National Enduro Champion/Dakar Rally rider had goals to fulfill, namely to improve Prologue result and to reach Carl’s Diner- a notorious rocky/boulder section at around check-point 21.

Tick, Sandra hit 3rd row after finishing 101st in Prologue’s combined Heats 1 and 2, a marked increase in start position from previous 5th row in 2019. Tick, finishing 85th from 500 rider’s at over half way mark of race was huge achievement given at previous check-point 16 – 400 rider’s had already been eliminated for exceeding the 4 hour time limit.

Sandra Gomez Red Bull Romaniacs Gold Class finisher 2021 Image: Red Bull

Which begs the question, why tackle a race which pushes a rider to race under extreme pressure to complete a near impossible route within tight time frame? Or, more to the point, how does a rider feel after enduring such obstacles as racing off the start line, only to stop and wait while rider’s find a line up the steep rocky inclines, then run out of time at next check-point?

Sandra shared her thoughts post race: ‘Crazy day, maybe harder than ever from past years, for sure. My big goal was to reach Carl’s Diner, but this year it was crazy to arrive there. I stopped just before Carl’s Diner at the top of the mine. It had been a big uphill, rocky, and there were a lot of riders pushing – like one by one – 30 riders, it was crazy situation. That’s Erzberg!

Very dusty, very rocky, bit disappointed with the track with difficult places to go with only one line. So, we needed to wait and help each other. Quite strange, as when you watch it on TV it is different to what we are experiencing on the ground. I think honestly, not many riders were happy with the track, not because it was difficult, but because there was only one line.

Sandra Gomez Red Bull Erzberg Image: @leti_ce

85th is good. I’m happy with my Prologue as last time I was on 5th row and this time I was first rider on 3rd row. So, yeah, I did good I think. Racing Dakar really helped to do it. Now, I have a rest’.

And I bet, it will not be long before Sandra swings leg over bike and heads for the tracks in her home country, Spain. Why, as always, Sandra eyes the next step to be taken along her racing career pathway, while at the same time providing inspiration for female riders to set goals and then put them into action.

Header photo: Sandra Gomez Red Bull Erzberg Image: @leti_ce

Words: Sharon Cox.

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