From moped madness and historical recreations in the Alps to enduro racing in the Andes and big rig trucks in America, we chronicle six events that make the most of mountain ranges...
Red Bull Alpenbrevet
Red Bull pays tribute to the humble moped with Red Bull Alpenbrevet on September 4. Lovers of scooters past and present have been invited to haul their machines across the legendary Alpenbrevet course. The 132km route starts in Meiringen, Switzerland and takes in passes in Grimsel, Furka and Susten before heading back to Meiringen and is traditionally reserved for cyclists. The event is open to two categories of scooter – automatic and 2-speed – and the winner of each will share the CHF 5,000 prize fund and ride off with a brand new TOMOS moped.
Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Dating back to 1916, Pikes Peak is the second oldest motor sports race in America and a staple on the Colorado calendar. Also referred to as the ‘Race to the Clouds’ the race is run on a 12.42 mile course with 156 turns that begins at 9,390 feet and ends at the foot of the summit of Pikes Peak, a massive 14,110 feet up. The high altitude both saps the energy of the driver and robs the engine of 30% power. The race attracts 11 classes of vehicle ranging in size from 250cc motors, to big rig trucks.
Red Bull Los Andes
On November 28 2009 over one hundred of the best motocross enduro riders raced across the Andes mountain range, passing checkpoints in four of Chile’s best ski resorts. Starting at 2,600m above sea level, the race was contested over two 30km laps featuring steep climbs, sharp drops, loose gravel, mud and river crossings, as well as the unforgiving granite of the Andes. The race was won by world enduro champion Cyril Despres ahead of local favourites Nicolas Urrutia and Fransisco ‘Chaleco’ Lopez.
Red Bull Jungfrau-Stafette
2010 saw the third running of Red Bull Jungfrau-Stafette, a reincarnation of a historic race across Switzerland. Teams consisting of cyclists, pilots, skiers, glacier runners, paragliders, downhill mountain bike riders, motorcyclists, kayakers, racing drivers and cross-country runners compete to complete the 533km course in the fastest time. Professional sportsman including Sébastien Buemi, Michael Albasini and René Wildhaber took part this year.
Hannibal – the crossing of the Alps
Every year the town of Sölden, Austria plays host to a re-enactment of Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps. In 218 BC the commander led his troops over the Alps towards Rome in less than 10 days, accompanied by a huge army of 60,000 warriors, thousands of horses and 37 elephants. In the modern-day retelling of their journey, snow ploughs take on the role of the elephants while skiers, dancers, actors, pilots, parachutists and hang-gliders all play their part. Impressive stuff.
Red Bull X-Alps
The brainchild of Red Bull Air Race pilot Hannes Arch, the adventure race from Salzburg, Austria to Monaco was first held in 2003. Participants race non-stop through the Alps to the Mediterranean sea with just a pair of hiking boots and a paraglider to help them. For 2011 the course has been lengthened slightly to 864km with eight turnpoints in Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France which force the competitors through treacherous mountain terrain. The race goes on day and night, sun or snow until the first competitor reaches the finish line.