On the Pegs - December 2023

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ds | Brembo Hydraulics | Selle Seat | Coolant Expansion Tank | Radiator Fan Kit | and much more!

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HEEL CLICK TO VICTORY Finishing the 2023 EnduroCross season with four first-place finishes, David Kamo earned enough points throughout the season to take home the #1 AMA plate in the Veteran class. He ended the season in style with this heel clicker as he got the checkers. PHOTO BY JACK JAXSON

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WHEN LIFE GETS YOU DOWN... Russell Phlegar with the reminder that when you fall down, smile and pick yourself back up. Phlegar competed in the A class of round 4 of the US Hard Enduro Fall Series, the River Monster Hard Enduro, at the Kairos Wilderness Resort. He finished 15th out of 36 riders. PHOTO BY STEPH VETTERLY

VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 9


ROAD TO VICTORY

Team USA made waves in this year's running of the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE), bringing home top honors in the World Trophy, Women's World Trophy, and Club team categories. PHOTO BY PATSY DAVIS

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CONTENTS FEATURED ARTICLES

PG 58 - ISDE

PG 74 - GETZENRODEO

PG 84 - X-TRIAL MADRID/VENDÉE

PG 96 - ENDUROCROSS REDMOND

PG 128 - USHE FALL RD 3 - KXCR

PG 152 - ISDE VINTAGE TROPHY


ON THE COVER -

Team USA takes the podium in the World Trophy and Women's World Trophy at the 2023 ISDE. photo by Art Pepin

DEPARTMENTS World News 18 Local News 22 10x12 Challenge 48 Seat Time 50 ZeroBS Trials School 54 EnduroCross Reno 104 Interview: Dominik Olszowy 120 USHE Fall Rd 4 - Kairos 142


Observing the Trials and Enduro community with a single-track mind.

PUBLISHER/EDITOR Steph Vetterly

ADVERTISING

Steph Vetterly stephanie@onthepegsmagazine.com

CONTRIBUTORS Jack Jaxson

Art Pepin

Patsy Davis

Future7Media

Abigail Buzzelli // 10x12

Shan Moore

Brian Pierce // Seat Time

Adam Miszta

Bernie Schreiber

Suzy Moody

Adam Blumhorst

PH24

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE! IT’S FREE



WORLD NEWS

KTM EXTENDS CONTRACT WITH LETTENBICHLER courtesy of KTM

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing are pleased to announce the signing of a multi-year contract extension with Manuel Lettenbichler. The agreement will see the recently crowned FIM Hard Enduro World Champion remain with the team for the coming years.

iconic events on the calendar. The 25-year-old has won the intensely challenging Red Bull Romaniacs four times over the past five years, only missing out on victory in 2022 when a two-hour penalty put him on the back foot early on. He still fought back to place sixth.

After delivering incredible performances as a KTM-mounted privateer, Lettenbichler first signed to the factory team in 2019. Since then, the young German has enjoyed season after season of exceptional results in the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship – not least, his backto-back titles in 2022 and 2023.

Lettenbichler holds the record as the youngest rider ever to win the infamous Red Bull ErzbergRodeo, a feat he completed in 2022 at just 24 years old. Mani then went on to take victory at the Iron Giant again in 2023, on his way to securing a historic clean sweep of the Hard Enduro World Championship where the KTM 300 EXC racer topped every single round.

Not only has Mani claimed the hard enduro crown over the past two seasons, but he has also been victorious at some of the most ON THE PEGS // PAGE 18

Looking ahead to the 2024 season, Lettenbichler and the


clean sweep this year is unbelievable – I couldn’t have done it without the whole team behind me. Overall, I’m really happy to stay with KTM for the years to come, I have a strong family behind me in the crew so I hope we can keep on doing exactly what we’re doing right now!”

team will initially focus on the FIM SuperEnduro World Championship, where Mani will return to the series for the first time in two years. Following that, attention will switch to the Hard Enduro World Championship where he will be aiming to secure back-to-back titles and continue the dominance that has already ensured his place among the all-time legends of the sport.

photo credit Future7Media

Manuel Lettenbichler: “It’s pretty epic for sure! I think the team is doing a great job, so I definitely want to stick with them and stay in orange. My journey with KTM has already been amazing, especially the past two hard enduro seasons. To win in 2022 after injury and missing a round was incredible, but to do the

Fabio Farioli – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Enduro Team Manager: “I am very happy to continue working with Mani now and into the future. Mani is one of the best riders, so we are happy to have him, and we love working with him. It’s a pleasure both from the racing side and the working side. I’m really happy for Mani, for the team, and for the company. Hopefully we can bring home a few more titles together!”

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WORLD NEWS

GASGAS THANKS TADDY BLAZUSIAK courtesy of GASGAS GASGAS would like to thank Taddy Blazusiak for all his achievements – both as a factory racer and brand ambassador – and wish him all the best in his future endeavors. Good luck, Taddy! Joining GASGAS midway through the 2020 season, Taddy played a huge role in helping reshape GASGAS and spearheading our factory enduro efforts. His top-six hard enduro finishes in the 2021 season and the spirited battle for the 2022 SuperEnduro championship, including several podium finishes, were just a few highlights of his

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impressive time racing for GASGAS. Despite challenges, including an injury-hit 2023 SuperEnduro season, Taddy's drive and commitment never wavered as he battled through to clinch third overall in the final championship standings that year. As a rider ambassador for GASGAS, Taddy was instrumental in pushing the GASGAS identity, and played a key role in helping to shape GASGAS into the leading force it is today. Everyone at GASGAS wishes Taddy all the best for his future.


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LOCAL NEWS

RED LINE OIL - NEPG TITLE SPONSOR courtesy of NATIONAL ENDURO Red Line Oil has been part a partner of the AMA National Enduro Series and the NEPG since 2022. David & Lisa have operated the Red Line Oil promotional display vehicle since that time, educating the racing community of the benefits of the Red LIne Oil brand. For the 2024 and 2025 seasons, Red Line Oil has stepped up into the Title Sponsorship role of the now Red Line Oil AMA National Enduro Series. They will continue to have a display at all of the rounds, and product can be purchased at the trackside support vendor (also Kenda Tires). Be sure to stop by and check out what Red Line Oil has to offer, as they have products to fit every racers needs.

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WHY RED LINE Red Line has a reputation with racers and enthusiasts alike for creating products that perform and protect better than any on the market. No compromises. In 1979, Red Line Synthetic Oil began creating lubricants for the racing industry. Today, we manufacture more than 100 quality products, including motor oils, gear oils, assembly lubes, fuel additives and our popular WaterWetter cooling additive for the automotive, motorcycle, marine and industrial markets. Using cutting edge technology, Red Line responds to the technical


challenges of today’s performance industry. We are enthusiasts that stay on top of each market niche, ensuring product recommendations that result in serious performance gains. We use this knowledge of racing to create highperformance products for track cars and street vehicles. Red Line products perform and protect better than any on the market. No compromises. PHOTO BY MACK FAINT

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LOCAL NEWS

2024 NATIONAL ENDURO SCHEDULE

PHOTO BY SHAN MOORE

courtesy of NATIONAL ENDURO

2024 SCHEDULE Round 1 - Sumter National -

February 11

South Carolina

Round 2 - Cajun Classic National -

April 7

Louisiana

Round 3 - Black Buffalo National -

May 5

Arkansas

Round 4 - Cherokee National -

June 9

Georgia

Round 5 - Little Raccoon National -

June 30

Ohio

Round 6 - Rattlesnake National -

July 28

Pennsylvania

Round 7 - Grassman National -

August 11

Ohio

Round 8 - Flying W Ranch National -

September 8

Missouri

Round 9 - Zink Ranch National -

September 22

Oklahoma

Round 10 - Gobbler Getter National -

November 3

Alabama

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CANNING SIGNED AS BETA SUPPORT RIDER Beta USA has signed Chris Canning as a support team rider. Canning will compete in the J-Day Series, as well as select Outdoor MX Nationals Races for Beta Racing. Chris has been riding since 3 years old and professionally now for 11 years. This year at Southwick Outdoor National, Canning rode to a seventh-place finish.

"We are very excited to have Chris Canning join the Beta team. Chris has had a very solid 2023 season in JDAY Off-Road and we look forward to replicating that in 2024 alongside him." said Carlen Gardner, Race Team Manager. "Super excited to be racing for Beta this season, to be part of such a prestigious brand is an honor and I cant wait to get to the races!" said Canning.

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LOCAL NEWS

BILL ANDERSON JOINS SHERCO USA courtesy of SHERCO USA Sherco USA, a leading name in the off-road motorcycle industry, is thrilled to announce the appointment of Bill Anderson as Western Sales Manager. With a wealth of experience in the powersports industry, Anderson brings a strategic and customerfocused approach to further strengthen Sherco's position in the competitive market. In his role as Western Sales Manager, Bill Anderson will play a pivotal role in expanding Sherco's presence across the western region of the United States. Anderson's extensive background in the powersports industry includes previously owning a Sherco - Beta dealership called Sprocket Sport Moto Tech in Spokane, Washington as well as his role as a dealer development manager with a major OEM, making him a valuable addition to the Sherco USA team. "We are excited to welcome Bill Anderson to the Sherco family as our Western Sales Manager,” said Sherco USA President Ron Sallman. “With his proven track record and deep understanding of the powersports industry, we are confident that Bill will take our efforts out west to new heights. His ON THE PEGS // PAGE 26

passion for off-road motorcycles aligns perfectly with Sherco's commitment to delivering topquality products and exceptional customer experiences," concluded Sallman. Bill Anderson is known for building quality customer relationships that provided double digit growth with his previous OEM in his region. His expertise will be instrumental in driving Sherco's growth and market share in the western region. As the Western Sales Manager, Anderson will oversee sales strategies, dealer relationships, and market development to ensure Sherco's continued success in the highly dynamic powersports landscape. “I am very excited to be joining Sherco USA,” said Bill Anderson. “I was already very familiar with the brand having been a Sherco dealer when I owned Sprocket Sports Moto Tech in Spokane, Washington. After selling the dealership I became a dealer development manager with another OEM that was also part of my dealership. I want to thank Ron and Rhonda (Sallman) for the opportunity to be able to help with the current growth of the Sherco brand in the United States,” concluded Anderson.


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LOCAL NEWS

2024 FMF KTM FACTORY TEAM courtesy of KTM With a seasoned lineup for 2024, the FMF KTM Factory Racing Team heads into the new season with five returning riders to once again contest the nation’s top offroad championships in the premier division. For the first time ever, KTM will extend its factory efforts to include the FMF KTM Factory Racing Team Landers, which will focus on GNCC’s XC2 250 Pro and WXC classes to provide a steppingstone for young riders into the premier XC1 class. Representing FMF KTM Factory Racing on the west coast is the dynamic duo of Dante Oliveira and Mateo Oliveira, both competing

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in the AMA National Grand Prix Championship (NGPC) and AMA West Hare Scrambles Series (WHS), while Ben Kelley and Johnny Girroir will lead the charge in the Grand National Cross Country Championship (GNCC) on the east coast. Additionally, Kelley will enter the AMA National Enduro Series and Girroir in the AMA U.S. Sprint Enduro Series. In addition, Trystan Hart will wear his number one plates across the AMA U.S. Hard Enduro and AMA EnduroCross Championships in search of a two-peat in 2024. Tim Weigand, FMF KTM Factory Racing Team Manager: "We're thrilled to announce the return of


Trystan Hart, Ben Kelley, Johnny Girroir, Dante Oliveira, and Mateo Oliveira to the FMF KTM Factory Racing Team for 2024. These five exceptional riders epitomize the champion's mindset, showcasing unwavering dedication and unparalleled work ethic. Their commitment to excellence,

leaving no stone unturned in their pursuit of greatness, defines the essence of our team. As we continue this journey together, we eagerly anticipate achieving new milestones and clinching numerous championships in the upcoming season."

Dante & Mateo Oliveira Fresh from leading Team USA to the World Trophy victory and claiming an individual podium result at the FIM International Six Days Enduro (ISDE), Dante Oliveira is in the form of his career and will defend his NGPC and WHS titles, to be teamed on the west coast with ISDE Junior World Trophy individual winner Mateo Oliveira – both to be equipped with the 2024 KTM 450 XC-F.

Dante Oliveira: "For 2024 I am feeling strong and ready to go racing! I’m going to work on being the best I can be to finish on top." Mateo Oliveira: "It's a new year coming up and we maintain the same goals, to win races after learning a lot in 2023. I’m excited to keep working and make 2024 a good one!"

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After finishing third this season with two victories to his credit, Kelley will be aiming to reclaim the GNCC Championship that he won in 2021, while also contesting the NEPG Series. In GNCC he will partner with Girroir, who will also defend his U.S. Sprint Enduro Series title, and they will be on board the 2024 KTM 350 XC-F on the east coast once again.

ben kelley Ben Kelley: "I'm excited for the 2024 season, sticking with KTM and I'm super-proud of that. It will be our second year with this current bike and that will be positive for us, so I think we will be in a much better spot coming into the new year. Hopefully I can come in healthy, we still have a few months to get prepared, and I really want to get the GNCC title back, as well as to get back competition in the Enduros. I'm focused and want to give it my all."

johnny girroir Johnny Girroir: "I’m excited to get the 2024 season started! I am feeling healthy, am in a good position, and am ready to go!"

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This past season was a remarkable one for Canadian international Hart, picking up a third-straight U.S. Hard Enduro title, as well as delivering a first career EnduroCross crown. As part of his recent multi-year extension with FMF KTM Factory Racing, he will ride a 2024 KTM 300 XC-W in Hard Enduro, before transitioning across to the razor-sharp 2024 KTM 350 XC-F when he heads into the tight confines of EnduroCross competition.

trystan hart Trystan Hart: "2023 was a great year for us and it's going to be hard to top those results that we achieved. The team and I are definitely going to give it our all and work hard together to hopefully hold onto our championships."

Newly-introduced for 2024 is the FMF KTM Factory Racing Team Landers squad under the management of Chris Landers, which will be based on the east coast and features an exciting three-rider roster that includes the youthful combination of Angus Riordan – who was runner-up in GNCC XC2 this past season – and Grant Davis, alongside reigning ISDE Women's World Trophy Champion Brandy Richards. All three riders will be on the 2024 KTM 250 XC-F throughout the season, with Riordan entering GNCC XC2 in addition to his U.S. Sprint Enduro Series Pro 2 title defense, while Davis will also contest GNCC alongside the NEPG Series in NE Pro2. Richards, meanwhile, is setting her sights on success in GNCC and the AMA U.S. Sprint Enduro Series within the WXC and Pro Women categories.

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Chris Landers, FMF KTM Factory Racing Team Landers Manager: "We're headed into 2024 with a new look, a new plan, and the new FMF KTM Factory Racing Team Landers. It's going to be really good to have Gus, Grant, and Brandy on the team, as well as our elite amateur program with Chase Landers and Cooper Jones. We're really looking forward to getting things going and are excited for the opportunity to work with KTM."

Antti Kallonen, Director of Offroad Racing: "KTM is the leading manufacturer in offroad racing and it is our goal to keep it that way, and to keep progressing every year. With that, we are very pleased to see the current FMF KTM Factory Racing Team managed by Tim Weigand remain the same with the championship caliber riders, ON THE PEGS // PAGE 32

aiming to win the major offroad championships in the States and on the world stage. Something new for this year to progress within our programs, we are expanding our factory efforts in GNCC to include XC2 250 Pro riders and a WXC rider to represent FMF KTM Factory Racing. It will be managed and overseen by Chris Landers, who we are looking forward to working with on this new partnership. It is to make sure we have a pathway to success for young riders in their career, all the way from youth to amateurs, and the highest level of GNCC. Overall, with the entire FMF KTM Factory Racing Team consisting of west coast and east coast riders, we are looking forward to a strong and successful 2024 season."


grant davis

angus riordan

Grant Davis: "I am pumped for the 2024 season to get started! I am feeling better than I’ve ever felt on the bike and am ready to go."

Angus Riordan: "I'm feeling good and am excited to get the show on the road with this new team at FMF KTM Factory Racing Team Landers. We have some new goals in place and are ready to get after it in 2024!"

brandy richards Brandy Richards: "Super-excited for 2024, riding for FMF KTM Factory Racing Team Landers. To go back east will be quite the change from what I am used to, so I am excited to get out there and to get in the mix."

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KISKA.COM Photo: R. Schedl

SINGLE-TRACK 2024 KTM 300 XC Maximum power at the least possible weight, amplified by an all-new closed cartridge spring fork and cross-country specific suspension settings, the 2024 KTM 300 XC is a power-packed frieght train equipped to dominate on race weekend.

SEE MORE AT KTM.COM Please make no attempt to imitate the illustrated riding scenes, always wear protective clothing and observe the applicable provisions of the road traffic regulations! ON THE PEGSvehicles // may PAGE 34 details from the production models and some illustrations feature optional equipment available at additional cost. The illustrated vary in selected


VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 35


LOCAL NEWS

2024 ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA TEAMS courtesy of HUSQVARNA A class roster of seven riders will make up the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team in offroad competition heading into the 2024 season, spread throughout the sport's leading series within the United States and with the common goal of challenging for race victories and championship glory. The Husqvarna Motorcycles program has re-signed returning

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riders Craig DeLong, Trevor Bollinger, Austin Walton, Dalton Shirey, Colton Haaker, and Ryder LeBlond, in addition to welcoming Korie Steede within the factory organization. Anthony DiBasilio, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team Manager: "This past year was great for us and we had a lot of success, winning the GNCC XC1 Pro Championship with Craig


DeLong, as well as the Hare and Hound Championship with Dalton Shirey picking up his third Pro Class title there. We're really excited to continue the partnership with Craig after signing him to a new, long-term deal. Now, we're looking for 2024 to be even better, and to hopefully add some more championships underneath the tent with our exciting list of returning riders. We have also added a new rider, Korie Steede, to the roster and we're really excited about that, to see what we can do to help her continue the success that she has achieved in her career. Together, with the riders and crew within the Rockstar Energy

Husqvarna Factory Racing Team, we look forward to the upcoming season." New Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Champion DeLong will defend his XC1 Open Pro crown, as well as enter the AMA U.S. Sprint Enduro Series next season as part of a multi-year contract extension, while alongside him in GNCC, Bollinger will be eager to make his mark onboard the 2024 Husqvarna Motorcycles FX 350, while also contesting the AMA National Enduro Series. Both DeLong and Bollinger will be joined in GNCC by WXC front-runner

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Steede, who was runner-up in the 2023 standings with two round wins, and she will also enter the Sprint Enduro Series. Steede formed part of the U.S. team's winning FIM

International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) Women's World Trophy squad in Argentina last month, capping off a convincing season altogether.

craig delong

trevor bollinger

Craig DeLong: "I am really looking forward to another few years together with Husqvarna and getting a chance to defend my championship in the GNCC series. The bike is working great and I'm already ready to get racing again!"

Trevor Bollinger: "I'm eager to kick off my sixth season with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna. There's been a few changes to my program for this year coming, but that doesn’t change the goal to win races and fight for championships."

korie steede Korie Steede: "I’m super-stoked to start my first year with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing and I can’t thank the team enough for the amazing opportunity! I’m ready to get dialed on the new bike and to chase these championships – we have what it takes!"

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Preparing for battle on the west coast with the 2024 Husqvarna Motorcycles FX 450, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing will field Walton and Shirey in the AMA National Grand Prix

Championship (NGPC) and National Hare and Hound (NHHA) Championship, where Shirey is set to challenge for his fourth-career Pro class title.

austin walton

dalton shirey

Austin Walton: "The 2024 season is coming up and I'm super-excited for it. Some updates to the bike have made me really happy, so I'm feeling at home, feeling comfortable, and am looking forward to kicking things off again. Last season didn't play out exactly how I wanted it to, but we will keep working hard and I think we will be able to put in results, see if we can get ourselves on the top step of the podium. I'm excited to further my time with the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team."

Dalton Shirey: "It was really good to win another NHHA Championship this season and my goal is to carry my form over to defend that title again, while also aiming to make gains in the NGPC Series."

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A quality AMA U.S. Hard Enduro Championship and AMA EnduroCross Championship combination continues in the form of five-time EX Pro number one

Haaker and LeBlond. The duo will be equipped with the 2024 Husqvarna Motorcycles TE 300 in Hard Enduro, before transferring across to the 2024 FX 350 in EnduroCross.

colton haaker

ryder leblond

Colton Haaker: "I am excited for my ninth season with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team. It’s been amazing to have captured eight major titles in as many years with the team and I’d love to keep the score even at nine with another championship in 2024. As a team, we are focused on the goal and are ready for the challenge."

Ryder LeBlond: "Looking forward to year two with the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team! This year was the most fun I’ve had on my dirt bike and I’m ready to keep that rolling into 2024 to chase those wins and championships."

Antti Kallonen, Director of Offroad Racing: “Husqvarna Motorcycles has strengthened its position in offroad racing and it shows in the 2024 rider lineup. The team has riders capable of winning championships in each series that they participate in, and with Anthony’s lead, we look forward to a championship-winning season. It was already proven last year when

Craig DeLong brought the first GNCC overall championship to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, and continued Husqvarna’s winning ways in the series following Jordan Ashburn’s success in 2022. This shows that brand’s capabilities and commitment to winning, and being a front-runner in offroad racing."

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Please make no attempt to imitate the illustrated riding scenes, always wear protective clothing and observe the applicable provisions of the road traffic regulations! The illustrated vehicles may vary in selected details from the production models and some illustrations feature optional equipment available at additional cost.

Photos: R. Schedl

Open up new possibilities.

a new era of enduro has begun. featuring revolutionary new fuel injection technology, the 2024 te 300 is primed to take you places you have never gone before.

VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 41

husqvarna-motorcycles.com


LOCAL NEWS

2024 GASGAS FACTORY RACING TEAMS courtesy of GASGAS The word is finally out! The 2024 GASGAS competition lineup is ON THE GAS in a bid to take home championship trophies across multiple disciplines with our biggest-ever U.S. offroad racing effort for the upcoming season. The Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing Team, under the management of AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Barry Hawk, has signed 2022 Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) XC1 Open Pro Champion Jordan Ashburn to ride alongside teammate Ryder Lafferty in the GNCC Series

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aboard the extremely versatile 2024 GASGAS EX 350F. Lafferty is also set to race the AMA National Enduro Series. Ashburn won the historic John Penton GNCC on his way to fourth position in the final GNCC standings this year, while Lafferty went on to claim fifth overall in the NEPG Series NE Pro1 division, now graduating to the XC1 Open Pro Class in GNCC. They're both in line to compete for victory when the 2024 season opens and we're excited to see what the pair can produce in the woods!


jordan ashburn

ryder lafferty

Jordan Ashburn: "I'm pretty excited about 2024 with the Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing Team, which is a fresh start for me. I'm excited to see what we can accomplish and am looking forward to when the season starts."

Ryder Lafferty: "We have the new bike for 2024 and I'm looking forward to my move up to XC1 on the EX 350F full-time. I think that's going to help me a lot, both in GNCC and the National Enduro Series. I've been good at the National Enduros for a while now, so the next goal is to get that championship and that's what we've set out to do!"

Barry Hawk, Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing Team Manager: "I enjoy this time of the year and look forward to 2024. I can tell that Ryder is already motivated, he's excited and we are too, to work with him for another year. He will be in XC1 Pro and NE Pro1 full-time and we

know that he will be competitive in the class. Jordan, he knows what he wants in the bike and he's happy already – you can always count on him being up-front and he's motivated to get results next year. I know he's going to be right there and that's exciting."

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Furthermore, we’re stoked to announce our brand-new GASGAS Factory Racing effort for 2024! With Tanner Tremaine taking on the new role of Team Manager, the single-rider GASGAS Factory Racing team will be debuting in the AMA U.S. Hard Enduro Championship and AMA EnduroCross Championship Series with Australian rider Will Riordan. Riordan will be armed with the 2024 GASGAS EC 300 in Hard Enduro and a 2024 GASGAS EX 350F in EnduroCross, eager to make the most of the opportunity in both series.

will riordan Will Riordan: "I'm stoked to be with the GASGAS Factory Racing Team with fresh colors, gear, and the team around me. It's not long until we have our first race together, so I'm excited for that and seeing what we can achieve in 2024."

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The GASGAS USA Factory Trials Team will also be overseen by Tremaine in 2024. Last season saw Josh Roper claim the runner-up result in the 2023 AMA/NATC MotoTrials Championship, while Maddie Hoover was exceptional on her way to successfully defending her Women’s Pro Championship. They'll be in action riding the 2024 GASGAS TXT GP 300 model, in search of more title success.

josh roper

maddie hoover

Josh Roper: "Super-excited for this upcoming season, 2024. Our team and bike are looking good, so I will put in the training and try to fight for the championship this year. I'm really looking forward to it, it should be a good year! Winning some events last year was good, so we will aim for more of those and look to keep it going!"

Maddie Hoover: "It's exciting to be back with GASGAS for another year, it's super-cool to be part of the team again! We have another championship to go out and win this year, so hopefully we can get those results and reach our goal for 2024."

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Tanner Tremaine, GASGAS Factory Racing Team Manager: "I'm really excited for this role, it will be different for me, but I am excited to be GASGAS Factory Racing Team Manager and I am confident that we will have a really strong year ahead. We will be trying to get the best results possible and I am looking forward to this opportunity to grow the team, the GASGAS brand, and our sport." Antti Kallonen, Director of Offroad Racing: "It is my pleasure to welcome Tanner Tremaine as the new GASGAS offroad Team Manager. Tanner has been in the company for several years, working in a few different positions, and now it is my pleasure to have him lead multiple teams in our GASGAS program to a successful race season ahead. We ON THE PEGS // PAGE 46

will continue with Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing, which is managed by Barry Hawk with great success on the east coast, so we are looking forward to another year with Barry and his team. We are also now able to better support our first in-house GASGAS Factory Racing offroad rider with Will Riordan, who will be representing GASGAS in Hard Enduro and EnduroCross – this will enhance the brand’s presence on the west coast and across the country. In addition, our Trials team will be strong and has the goal to succeed, to be on the top step in both the Men and Women’s divisions, in which Tanner will also be a great asset. We are excited to increase the GASGAS presence and success on the track in 2024!"


TRIALS TRAINING CENTER www.trialstrainingcenter.com 423-942-8688 • Train With A Pro! Expert instruction by top national riders • Riding Park Train on our 650 acre Mountain Resort Beautiful trails, streams and vistas • Lodging, Cabin Rentals, RV sites and Tent sites • Full Service Motorcycle Headquarters We sell Gas Gas, Sherco, Beta, Montesa & Scorpa

2024 SCHEDULE March 1-3: Downhill Southeast Mountain Bike Race March 16-17: Trials Training Days June 22-23: NATC Mototrials National Rd 3 & 4 June 24-27: Family Camp June 28-30: AMA/NextGen Mototrials Youth & Women's Regional Championship August 2-25: TKO: 14th Annual Red Bull Kenda Tennessee Knock Out Extreme Enduro October 12-13: 32st Annual 58K Fall Trial (STRA) December 7: Toy Trial * All dates are subject to change VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 47


vem

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#10X12Challenge

Earlier this year, we introduced a new initiative from Abigail Buzzelli called the 10x12 Challenge, designed to get more people on the pegs, riding motorcycles. We're back to celebrate everyone who completed their second month's challenge - riding at least 10 days in the month of October

Congratulations to the following riders: Beth Ali Chris Bankston Tyler Bankston Keith Bell Kevin Bobal Heidi Brenner Nick Bryant Lara Burnett Abigail Buzzelli Chris Buzzelli Michael Chrisman Beckett Dandignac Emmy Dandignac Kyler Dandignac Ellis Daw Max Dracha Brad Evans Karl Faruzel

Norman Foley Rob Fox Bradd Fox John French Zackary Guelde Kenny Gwyn Ash Harrison Cheyenne Hawkins Brittney Hoy Tommy Justice Caroline Kent Roman Lomaya Kayla Lovejoy Mike Mazak Don Mealor John Montoya Terry Ottinger Annsley Owens

Will Owens Wyatt Owens Becky Owens Josh Owens Al Paradis JR Hank Paradis Stevie Paradis Adam Partin Toni Profer Roach Jason Robb Nicole Robinson Michelle Robinson Jimmy Sharpe Martin Sturla Tom Trantow Seth Vorseth CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

If you don't see your name on the list, visit www.10x12challenge.com to see the challenge rules and get your September swag. ON THE PEGS // PAGE 48


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EP 23.11 | Skyler Howes Joining Team HRC, the Growth of Rally & Mustache Tips

Skyler Howes recently announced that he has joined the Monster Energy Honda Rally Team (Rally Team HRC). His rally contract with Husqvarna Motorcycles ended early, with both sides deciding to go separate directions. This new opportunity with Honda allows Howes to keep growing in rally, while also looking for four wheel racing and adventures. The rally season didn’t start off as planned for Skyler Howes though. He had a massive get off at the Rally ON THE PEGS // PAGE 50

of Morocco during the prologue. The airbag recorded that his head hit the dirt at 25g’s, which is a CRAZY amount of g-forces. The extent of his injuries weren’t as bad as they could have been. Howes is already back to light training, expecting to start rally training again soon. The idea of doing what Howes did, racing Rally as a privateer, is a dream for many. We discuss the costs it would take to make that dream a reality. The Malle Moto class sounds fun, but you’d need to


be ready to beat yourself up while spending a huge chunk of change. I’ll say it now though, I’m in! Nutrition and hydration are also an important part of being at the top of your game for rally racing. The amount of calories they consume, and the fact that they use condom catheters, was a lot to take in. I eat a ton of calories now, but for a race like the Dakar Rally, I’d have to really step my game! New video idea, test out different condom catheters (maybe not).

CLICK HERE TO VISIT WWW.SEATTIME.CO

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

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BRP Threaded Bar End Insert Kit

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words BRIAN PIERCE // SEAT TIME The bar end wedge bolts I’ve been using have failed me for the last ride! The time for threaded bar end inserts in my Astra handlebars has arrived. I chose the BRP threaded bar end insert kit for this adventure in cutting metal. There are a few different kits, some that come with a tap, and some without. I didn’t think I had a 5/8-11 tap lying around, so I got the entire kit. Turns out I did have a tap lying around. That must have been from back in the day when I threaded my handlebars on one of my KTM’s. The process of tapping threads in the handlebar turned out to be simple. I used WD-40 as a tapping lube and I went slow. I would thread in the tap in a little, back it out, blow out the shavings, and add a tad more lube. The BRP bar end inserts are two different lengths. The one for the throttle side is the longer of the two inserts. Once you have enough threads for the plug to seat just inside the edge of the handlebar, then clean everything up. Use red loctite on the insert, but not on the bolt for the bar end or barkbuster. Make sure you bottom out the insert so it can’t vibrate it’s way loose.

using them in 2022 and I really like the bar end protection they have been giving me. Especially since I crash so much. You can use this bar end insert kits for barkbuster/ handguards as well. I believe this method, over the wedge bolts, will be more secure in the long run. Hopefully I was able to educate y’all just a little. If not, maybe I entertained you. Leave comments and ask questions, but most importantly, enjoy #GettingSeattime!

CLICK HERE TO VISIT WWW.SEATTIME.CO

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

As I mentioned in the video, I’m using the G-RIP bar ends. I started VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 53


PHOTO BY ERIC KITCHEN, 1982

World Champion Bernie Schreiber to support Next Gen Mototrials in 2024 AMERICA’S only World Trials Champion and Scottish Six Days Trial winner Bernie Schreiber will return once again to the USA to conduct a two-day Masterclass on June 1st & 2nd, 2024 near Columbus, Ohio. The event will be hosted by Next Gen MotoTrials ON THE PEGS // PAGE 54

Corporation founded by Adam Blumhorst and Steph Vetterly to support, foster and secure the next generation of American youth riders. The 2023 Masterclass was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma by Schreiber’s long-time friend, Kirk Mayfield who competed in the 1973 Scottish


Six Days Trial. During the Tulsa weekend, Duane Tope of Indiana who attended Schreiber’s 1988 school in Mantua, Ohio discussed returning to Ohio in 2024. Tope put Schreiber in contact with Adam Blumhorst and the idea of supporting next generation youth riders motivated the World Champion.

Gen MotoTrials Corporation a 501c3 Charity organization.

The Masterclass is open to all skill levels from novice to expert and vintage. The weekend is designed for adult riders, but youth riders will receive an exclusive session by Schreiber at the end of Saturday’s class. A large portion of the weekend proceeds will be donated to Next

Schreiber said, “I’m thrilled and honored to host a trials school in Ohio that supports and secures the next generation of American trials riders through training and competition. I still remember the impact that Sammy Miller and Mick Andrews schools had on me nearly

PHOTO BY STEPH VETTERLY

Blumhorst and Schreiber agreed on the Hangers Trials Facility in Newark, Ohio as the 2024 venue. The Masterclass will be supported by Trials Inc, a 50-year-old Trials club founded in 1973 and wellknown across the USA.

VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 55


50 years ago. Teaching them from a young age to set goals and create a plan to reach those goals will pay off for many years to come. Colombus, Ohio is the home of the American Motorcycle Association and Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, so I’m also excited to make a first visit since my Hall of Fame induction in 2000.” Blumhorst, co-founder of Next Gen MotoTrials Corporation and organizer of the AMA/Next Gen Youth and Women’s Regional Championship said, “We have hosted many prestigious events here and around the country, but it is such a privilege to host the USA’s only World Trials Champion here in Ohio. Everyone in Ohio

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and nearby States are looking forward to this unique opportunity. Schreiber’s wealth of knowledge and experience overseas is priceless for our club members and youth riders. Schreiber’s accomplishments globally recognized him as a FIM Trial Legend and his insights on how he became the only American world champion is a mental instruction that all in the sport need to experience.” For more information about the 2024 Schreiber Masterclass Experience on June 1st & 2nd, please contact: Adam Blumhorst at: adam@nextgenmototrials.com Note: Limited Spaces Available


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VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 57


USA O

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ON TOP

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words STEPH VETTERLY photos ART PEPIN, PATSY DAVIS It was universally agreed that the 97th NOCO FIM International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) was one of the most, if not the most, physically demanding edition of the event. Day after day, the Argentinian weather tested the best of the best, and by the end of the six days, the USA stood tall on top of the podium in both the World Trophy and Women’s World Trophy categories. WORLD TROPHY Right out of the gate, Team USA, comprised of Taylor Robert, Johnny Girroir, Dante Oliveira, and Cole Martinez, took to the top of the leaderboard. Despite none of the riders taking an overall on the day, the combined final placement of a 3-4-5-8 finish was more than enough to see the team take a 1:55 minute lead over Team Great Britain (2), and Team France (3). Day two was more of the same, as riders repeated the Blue Loop course; due to the extreme heat, the organizers shortened the sections to help with rider fatigue, as no race organization wants to see reports of riders being hospitalized over something that could’ve been helped or avoided. Moving through the six days, Team USA kept a solid hold on the lead, extending to more than eight minutes by the halfway point. By the start of the final moto, day six, Team ON THE PEGS // PAGE 60

JOHNNY GIRROIR

PHOTO BY ART PEPIN


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JOSH TOTH

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PHOTO BY PATSY DAVIS


USA had a 14-minute lead over Team France, who had swapped positions with Team Great Britain throughout the week. And with a 1-3-4-15 finish with Dante Oliveira taking the overall win on the day, it would be the red, white, and blue atop the final ISDE podium, with a team overall lead of 17 minutes! “It’s been a dream week for us,” told an emotional Robert; the ISDE marked his final professional competition. “We did everything right each day and always tried to have our four riders inside the top ten as much as possible. It’s been an incredible journey for me. I helped the USA win our first ISDE in 2016 and now this will be my last. I’m sad for this chapter to end, but I’m so happy to go out on a high. The ISDE is an incredible race!” JUNIOR TROPHY Team USA (Mateo Oliveira, Kai Aiello, Grant Davis) took a solid start to the Junior World Trophy, finishing in fourth just 3:05 minutes back behind Team Sweden (Albin Norrbin, Axel Semb, Max Ahlin), with Team Italy and Team France rounding out the podium. By the mid-way point, Team Sweden was found to be keeping an almost 12 minute lead, while Team USA had moved up into podium contention when Team Italy’s rider, Manolo Morettini, had to exit the race early on day two.

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Coming into the final moto, the podium positions hadn’t changed, with Team Sweden, Team France, and Team USA sitting in position. The final moto proved to be Team USA’s specialty, with the stars and stripes coming out in first place, 1:36 minutes ahead of Team France, with Team Sweden finishing seventh. Out of the 11 teams entered into this category, Team Italy, Team Great Britain, Team Colombia, and Team Chile all had one or more of their three riders drop out. The lead that Team USA was able to get over Team Sweden was enough to upset the final podium finish for the ISDE, with Team France moving to the top step, followed by Team USA a mere 5:20 minutes behind in second. Team Sweden dropped to third place. WOMENS WORLD TROPHY The Women’s World Trophy team, made of Brandy Richards, Korie Steede, and Rachel Gutish, was back with a vengeance, set on duplicating their 2022 efforts and bringing the trophy back to USA soil. Team Australia (Jessica Gardiner, Tayla Jones, Danielle McDonald) weren’t about to let the trophy go easily, and despite taking an early lead, being ahead by two seconds was not a number to make anyone comfortable. Day 2 saw Team USA put a 5+ minute lead on Team Australia, and as the days went ON THE PEGS // PAGE 64


GRANT DAVIS

PHOTO BY ART PEPIN

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RACHEL GUTISH

PHOTO BY ART PEPIN


on, the lead extended. On Day 3, Tayla Jones had a gnarly crash, dislocating her shoulder. Despite lining up on Day 4, she decided to call it and drop out of the race rather than risk more injury. Rachel Gutish and Brandy Richards suffered injuries of their own (separated shoulder, broken rib, and a broken collarbone, collectively), but pushed forward, with both women placing extremely well overall each day; Rachel would finish ninth on day 4 and fifth on day 5, with Brandy finishing in first on day 4 and second on day 5. Come Day 6, Team USA was the only team with all three riders remaining. With the conclusion of the final moto, Team USA would stand on the top step of the podium once again, joined by Team Australia in second, and Team FIM LA in third. “My team (was) relying on me,” Gutish said. “That’s really all there is to it. I knew that if we wanted to win, I needed to finish.” “It’s been quite the week,” said Richards. “All week the focus was on keeping our bikes and bodies going. We raced hard, but always focused on finishing with all three riders together. I’m super proud of what we achieved this week and will remember this ISDE for a long time to come.”

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CLUB Out of 77 teams in the Club category, day 1 started off with a 1-2-3 USA team finish. In first place was Team XC Gear (Josh Toth, Ryan Surratt, Austin Serpa), with Team braaptastic.com (Preston Campbell, Zachary Toth, Axel Pearson) 14.7 seconds behind in second, and Team GTBN (Thorn Devlin, Jaden Dahners, Nathan Ferderer) in third, 22.36 seconds back. By day 3, Team XC Gear still dominated the podium, with a 12:14 minute lead over Team GTBN. Team braaptastic. com had dropped back to 19th place as Zachary Toth dropped out of the race, and Team Argentina (Nicholas Giustozzi, Fernando Max Hierrezuelo, Carlo Luciano Bellone) stepped up into third place. Coming into the final moto on day 6, the podium positions remained the same, and with a 1-2-3 AMA team finish on day 6, it would be Team XC Gear taking the top step, with an almost 21-minute lead over Team GTBN in second place, and a 42+ minute lead over Team Argentina in third. “It’s been an epic week,” told Toth. “The team rode amazing and gave our best each day. It’s an incredible feeling to stand on top of the podium.”

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JACKSON DAVIS

PHOTO BY PATSY DAVIS


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BEHIND THE

SCENES photos PATSY DAVIS

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WINS

LETTENBICHLER SEASON FINALE

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words FIM HEWC photos FUTURE7MEDIA History has been made as Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) has completed the first ever FIM Hard Enduro World Championship perfect season with victory at the 24MX GetzenRodeo. Already crowned FIM Hard Enduro World Champion at round five in Spain, the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing capped off an incredible year by remaining undefeated in 2023. In the FIM Hard Enduro Junior World Championship supported by KLIM, TTR Squadra Corse’s Mitch Brightmore claimed the world title. With six wins from six starts in the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler has unquestionably confirmed himself as the rider to beat in 2023. Having clinched the world title with a round to spare at the 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro, the German arrived at his home race with the goal of becoming the first rider to ever complete the perfect HEWC season. Off to a perfect start by topping the Friday prologue, Lettenbichler backed it up by finishing on the top step in the Saturday morning GetzenRace. Sherco Factory Racing’s Mario Roman was feeling good in the technical terrain and placed four minutes behind in second, with Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt third. BILLY BOLT

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MARIO ROMAN

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However, the all-important 80 minute plus one lap GetzenChamp race quickly followed, and all eyes were once again on the German. With the traditional 24MX GetzenRodeo canon blast at the start, the race was soon underway, and it was time to battle in the woods. Lettenbichler, Bolt, and Roman were joined by GASGAS’ Michael Walkner and ECONT Bulgaria’s Teo Kabakchiev as everyone fought to gain track position on the tight and narrow woodside course. At the halfway marker, most of the front runners had completed the mandatory Joker Loop, and as the classification balanced out, it was Lettenbichler in the lead. With 27 minutes to go, Bolt was on the move and began to quickly reel the German in. With 13 minutes to go, Bolt pounced and took over the race lead. Suddenly, Lettenbichler’s hopes of a perfect season began to fade as the Brit pulled a small but critical advantage. With nine minutes remaining, Bolt became stuck on a rocky climb. With Lettenbichler sailing passed, the German didn’t put a foot wrong for the remainder of the race. Scaling the final water fall section, he crossed the finish line of the 24MX GetzenRodeo to make it six wins from six in 2023.

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Despite his best efforts, Bolt had no answer to the charging German and had to settle for second. Roman put in a strong ride and raced his way onto the podium for third. Behind the leading trio, Kabakchiev brought his KTM home in fourth, while Walkner completed the top five. In the FIM Hard Enduro Junior World Championship supported by KLIM the battle for this year’s title went down to the wire between TTR Squadra Corse’s Mitch Brightmore and Rigo Racing’s Matthew Green. With his round five win, Brightmore arrived at the season finale as the championship leader by one point over Green. He then increased that to three points by topping the Friday night prologue. With both riders qualifying through to the GetzenChamp the fight for championship honours was on. Early on, the duo battled back and forth, with little to separate them. As the clock passed the halfway mark, Brightmore showed he had a little more in the tank and was able to put his Trials skills to use on the rocky climbs. Edging away from Green, the young Brit held a virtual grasp on the title and as the clock finally wound down, Brightmore topped the Junior classification, and was crowned FIM Hard Enduro Junior World Champion. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM): “It feels incredible to make the perfect season of wins here in Germany. It’s ON THE PEGS // PAGE 80


MITCH BRIGHTMORE

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been a hard race, but this race is unbelievable. I really had to dig deep in the final. Billy was pushing hard and when he passed me, I thought I might not get him back. Somehow, I found a second wind and came back to win. I’m so happy as the 2023 World Champion with a perfect season too. It’s been an amazing year!” Billy Bolt (Husqvarna): “I gave it my best shot, but I just missed the win. After a tough morning, things were better for the final and I upped my riding. We were battling hard and with about 20 minutes to go I started to get onto Mani’s back wheel. I got into the lead but then missed a climb and he got me back. It was a good fight, I enjoyed it!”

Mario Roman (Sherco): “Man it was pretty crazy out there. I enjoyed it a lot, the track was super tough, but really nice. I was fighting hard for the lead, but the Joker loop wasn’t kind to me and I lost time to Mani and Billy. In the end I finished third and I’m happy with that.” Mitch Brightmore (GASGAS): “I’m speechless. There was a lot of pressure coming into this race to take the title. Leading by one point meant it was super close and could have gone either way. Winning the prologue gave me a slight cushion but I knew today anything could happen. I kept chipping away at things and got the job done. I’m so happy, I can’t thank my team enough for their help and support in getting me here.”

ALFREDO GOMEZ

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EVENT RESULTS 1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 2. Billy Bolt (HSQ) 3. Mario Roman (SHR) 4. Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM) 5. Michael Walkner (GG) OVERALL STANDINGS 1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) - 130pts 2. Billy Bolt (HSQ) - 99pts 3. Trystan Hart (KTM) - 73pts 4. Mario Roman (SHR) - 71pts 5. Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM) - 70pts

CLICK HERE TO VISIT WWW.IRIDEHARDENDURO.COM

VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 83


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Toni Bou World Champion VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 85


words and photos X-TRIAL ROUND 6 - MADRID Toni Bou claimed his latest FIM X-Trial World crown in the style of all great Champions, with a superb victory. X-Trial Madrid provided one of the most exciting finals of 2023 so far, as Bou duelled to the very last with his teammate Gabriel Marcelli, with only two marks separating them at the end of the night. Bou had to dig deep and come back from five marks down after a rare error in Section Two, while Marcelli started the night with a hat-trick of cleans to take control. Then it was Bou’s turn to hit back, stringing together three cleans of his own and pulling level when Marcelli suffered his first fiasco in Section Four. On this second visit to the Madrid Arena, after the event’s re-launch in the capital last year, the stage was set for a dramatic finish and the sport’s stars didn’t disappoint, providing a Final only decided in the last half metre of the final section. Bou was first through, only just home with a three-mark score. Marcelli, needing at least to match him to keep alive his hopes of a first career victory, dropped an early mark and then failed at the final hurdle. ADAM RAGA, TRRS

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GABRIEL MARCELLI, REPSOL HONDA

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Thus it was a near-perfect night for the Repsol Honda Trial Team, with this 1-2 finish and a first maximum of the season for Toni Bou, who also settled his 17th world title as his only remaining rival Jaime Busto failed to make the podium for the first time this season. It was Great Britain’s Toby Martyn who claimed Busto’s scalp for only his second trip to the rostrum, and one which completed an all-Montesa top trio in Madrid. A disastrous first lap for Adam Raga (TRRS) with three failed sections meant that even though he tied with Toni Bou for top spot in Round Two he could only recover enough marks to claim fifth. Aniol Gelabert (Beta) sat five clear of Raga at the half way mark in qualifying, but with the veteran’s outstanding second run Gelabert was forced to settle for sixth. Meanwhile Benoit Bincaz (Sherco) beat Matteo Grattarola (Beta) and Sondre Haga (GasGas) in the final three places. Toni Bou (1st): “It has been a fantastic night because along with Gabri we have made it a spectacular Final, and for me because of winning all three Rounds tonight and winning another X-Trial World Championship title in the best possible way. I am a very competitive person and I was really keen to make sure I won on the night, and even more so when it got tough because of my mistake in the second Section. That result and a superb performance from my VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 89


teammate meant we were fighting right to the finish.” Gabriel Marcelli (2nd): “I had the chance to win right to the final metre of the last Section, so it was a great Final. And it has been a perfect night for the team, with a 1-2 finish and Toni’s world title. For me, being consistently on the podium, with three second places now, shows the step forward I have made this season.” Toby Martyn (3rd): “I am really happy and almost speechless. I have been very consistent throughout the night and my reward is a second X-Trial podium. Of course I have worked hard and we also made some changes on the bike that have worked well. A great night for me.” ROUND 7 - VENDÉE Toni Bou (Repsol Honda Trial Team) closed the 2023 season with his sixth victory of a season in which he has claimed a seventeenth world title. But his win at X-Trial Vendée was the most challenging yet, as he was pushed all the way to a tiebreak. Just as at X-Trial Madrid a week ago, Toni Bou’s teammate Gabriel Marcelli was his biggest rival for the win, and this time he managed to match Bou’s score through the six Grand Final sections. In a tense end to the night, the pair were tied from TONI BOU, REPSOL HONDA

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ANIOL GELABERT, BETA

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the end of section four onwards, both failing Section Five and making it through Section Six with a single mark apiece. In the run-off itself, Marcelli tallied three marks and Bou just one. And Bou, who had already topped the leaderboard in each of the opening two Rounds, took home a maximum score. Jaime Busto (GasGas) also led the final at one stage, a clean in the opening Section giving him a single-mark advantage over Bou and Marcelli who each dropped one. But from there, Busto suffered five fiascos and was forced to settle for third. Aniol Gelabert (Beta) took fourth position ahead of Adam Raga thanks to finishing third-best scorer in Round Two, enough to take fifth in the Championship overall. Adam Raga (TRRS) missed out on a podium place for the third consecutive X-Trial since our return from the summer break. Benoit Bincaz (Sherco) claimed sixth place on a tie-break against Toby Martyn (Montesa) with the better Section Four performance in Round Two. Debutant Hugo Dufrese (GasGas) did well to beat Luca Petrella (GasGas) for eighth place. At the end of the podium ceremony, Bou received the 2023 FIM X-Trial World Champion trophy. VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 93


Toni Bou (1st): “A win is the best way to finish the season. It has been a strange event for me, because there was no real pressure on my shoulders after settling the title last week in Madrid. I rode well in the first two Rounds but in the final I rode a little nervous and the big mistake I made in Section Five could easily have cost me the win Thankfully I was able to win the run-off against Gabriel Marcelli who has again made my life very difficult tonight.” Gabriel Marcelli (2nd): “I arrived here with the chance of taking second in the Championship and the first step for that was to make it in to the Final. I think I rode at a high level, so I am satisfied with that. Toni and I were tied right to the end and I had a chance to win, which I am also happy about. Although I didn’t get silver, I have to be pleased to have been close right to the finish and to make it on to the World Championship podium which was the target. In other words, I have been very consistent this season.” Jaime Busto (3rd): “I started well in the first and second Round, but in the second Section of the Final I scored a five and from there I got nervous which stopped me from reaching any higher than third. Anyway, I am satisfied with what has been a positive season in which I have been consistent, which was my target. So I have made a good step forward.” JAIME BUSTO, GASGAS

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Haaker Tops Redmond


words SHAN MOORE photos JACK JAXSON Round five of the IRC Tire EnduroCross Series in Redmond, Oregon, produced the third different overall winner in five rounds, as Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Colton Haaker went 1-3-1 for the overall win, allowing himself and FMF/KTM’s Trystan Hart to cut into factory Beta rider Jonny Walker’s series points lead heading into the final round in Reno, Nevada. Haaker took the lead early in all three motos and threatened to sweep the night, however, on the final lap of moto two, Haaker tangled with a lapper a few turns from the finish and relinquished the top spot to Hart, with Walker taking second, and Haaker third. Hart held the night’s overall point lead over Haaker heading into the third and final moto with a second and a first in the first two motos; however, a holeshot by Haaker in the final moto of the evening sealed the deal for Haaker, as the Husqvarna rider rode an inspired race to take a flag-to-flag win ahead of Walker, with Hart in third. “That should have been three moto wins, but in the second moto, I just had an error there where I followed a lapper when I shouldn’t have, but I still got the overall, and that’s the important thing—my first overall of the season,” said Haaker. “I think I led every lap except the last lap in the second moto, tonight.” Haaker was on point with his starts, grabbing the holeshot in all three motos. ON THE PEGS // PAGE 98


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“We’ve been riding all well, but it’s been a whole year since I have found the mental part of the equation again,” admitted Haaker. “All last year was a big backward year for me, but I feel like I’m in control of all aspects of my riding at this point, including the starts.” Hart was disappointed with second overall for the night but happy to have drawn closer to Walker in the championship chase with his 2-1-3 finish, now sitting just seven points behind, setting up a down-to-thewire final round in Reno to settle the championship. “It’s coming down to the wire again like last year,” said Hart. “There are seven points between us, but I’m going to need Haaker’s help, and he’s riding well, so it’s doable. It was super-tight racing between me and Colton with a winner-take-all in the final race. I didn’t get the jump in moto three, and that was important on this track, as it was hard to pass. We made up a lot of points today in the championship – now we’ll look ahead to Reno!” Walker felt he never meshed with the track and was pleased he was able to escape the evening with a sevenpoint lead in the championship after finishing third with a 3-2-2 moto tally. “I just felt tense in the first moto,” said Walker, who set the fastest Hot Lap time earlier in the evening. ON THE PEGS // PAGE 100

TRYSTAN HART (#84), CODY WEBB (#2)


“I just got into the race and just wasn’t getting the triple I wanted to get and just losing bits of time here and there. I felt I had the pace in the second moto and Colton went down on the last lap, so I got second behind Trystan. It was tight racing and I had a chance for the overall going into the last moto, but I ended up going down when Colton crossjumped me, dropping me to second.” FactoryONE Sherco’s Cody Webb had trouble with the faster, less technical track and came away with fourth for the night after posting 5-4-4 moto finishes. “Not a good night,” said Webb. “To be fair, I think it just came down to a mental thing. I looked at the track yesterday and thought, ‘I really don’t like the track.’ And it showed. I just rode tight. I would try to charge, and then I’d get arm-pump. Just not a good night.” Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Ryder LeBlond went 4-5-6 for fifth overall. “I started off pretty slow,” said LeBlond. “I thought I put in good laps in practice, but then my times were like ninth or tenth, and I thought, ‘holy smoke, it might be a long night.’ When the motos came around I turned it around a little bit, especially with a fourth in the first moto, but I really wasn’t just clashing tonight.” RPM Racing/KTM’s Will Riordan was sixth with a moto score of 7-6-5, VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 101


edging out FactoryOne Sherco’s Cooper Abbott’s 6-8-8. Meanwhile, Arizona GasGas rider Max Gerston went 10-7-7 for eighth. Factory Rieju rider Dominik Olszowsky, of Poland, has been hovering around ninth and tenth for the entire series. In Redmond, he went 8-10-9 for ninth. Idaho’s Anthony Johnson (KTM) wrapped up the top 10 with a 9-9-11 finish. In the EX Women’s Pro division, Montana’s Hallie Marks (Shr) won the main event after battling with runner-up Kylee Sweeten (GG) of Oregon. Sweeten was able to wrestle ON THE PEGS // PAGE 102

the lead away from Marks for a short time, but Marks was able to retaliate and take the win. “It feels amazing,” said Marks. “This is the first race that I’ve led almost the entire race. I almost had a heart attack when Kylee passed me but I was able to get back in the lead.” Mellisa Harten (Bet) was third. The IRC Tire EnduroCross Series presented by Progressive series wraps up in Reno, Nevada, on November 18th with its sixth and final round in Reno-Sparks Livestock Event Center.


EVENT RESULTS

EVENT RESULTS

1. Colton Haaker, Hsq, 1-3-1 2. Trystan Hart, KTM, 2-1-3 3. Jonny Walker, Beta, 3-2-2 4. Cody Webb, Sherco, 5-4-4 5. Ryder LeBlond, Hsq, 4-5-6 6. Will Riordan, KTM, 7-6-5 7. Cooper Abbott, Sherco, 6-8-8 8. Max Gerston, GG, 10-7-7 9. Dominik Olszowsky, Rieju, 8-10-9 10. Anthony Johnson, KTM, 9-9-11

1. Hallie Marks, SHR, 4-1 2. Kylee Sweeten, GG, 2-2 3. Melissa Harten, BET, 1-3 4. Bailey Lerwill, GG, 3-4 5. Maiah Hamocon, KTM, 5-5 6. Erin Foley, KTM, 6-6

CLICK HERE TO VISIT WWW.ENDUROCROSS.COM

OVERALL STANDINGS 1. Jonny Walker, 124 points 2. Trystan Hart, 117 points 3. Colton Haaker, 112 points VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 103


HART WINS FIRST ENDUROCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP

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JONNY WALKER (#22)

words by SHAN MOORE photos by JACK JAXSON FMF/KTM Factory rider Trystan Hart entered the sixth and final round of the IRC Tire EnduroCross Series presented by Progressive in Reno, Nevada’s Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center, sitting in second place in the series standings, seven points behind defending champion factory Beta rider Jonny Walker of Great Britain. However, the odds were against him. Even if Hart won all three motos, he would need help to top Walker for the title. Another rider would have to finish between Hart and Walker for Hart to cash in enough points to chips to win the championship. That was just the start. The math got even more complicated as the evening progressed. To kick off the evening, Walker posted the fastest time during the Hot Lap qualifying session. Hart, who had won rounds 3 and 4, was fourth-fastest. Walker came into the finale holding a seven-point lead over Hart, with Haaker another five points behind, making for a similar situation as last year, where the championship came down to the final round. ON THE PEGS // PAGE 106


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To win the title, Hart needed to win the round and get help from another rider, who needed to get between Hart and Walker. When the first moto kicked off, it was Haaker who quickly moved to the front and comfortably held the position to the finish. After a top-five start, Hart was able to work his way into second behind Haaker by the finish, although a lapper kept him from a chance at the lead. Walker, who wasn’t as lucky on the start, rode a brilliant race from midpack to finish third. Moto two, which uses an inverted start, where the top finishers in moto one get the last gate picks, saw RPM Racing’s Angus Riordan get the start. FactoryONE Sherco’s Cody Webb quickly moved through the pack to take the lead, with Hart and Haaker in tow. Haaker got around Hart in the matrix section and set out after Webb, taking over second when Webb bobbled. Hart settled into third, but a crash sent him to the back of the pack, although he still managed to work back up into third. The moto finished with Haaker taking another win, followed by Webb, Hart and Angus Riordan. Meanwhile, after some bad luck, Walker could only muster a seventh, setting up a winner-take-all scenario in the final moto. FactoryONE Sherco’s Cooper Abbott squeezed through the first turn ON THE PEGS // PAGE 108

CODY WEBB (#2)


in the final moto to grab the early lead, followed by the rest of the contenders, Hart, Haaker and Walker. At the finish, only 20 seconds separated the top four riders: Hart in first, Abbott in second, Webb in third, and Walker in fourth. In the end, Hart went 2-3-1 to claim the overall for the weekend and clinch his first AMA Endurocross title – adding to his 2023 AMA U.S. Hard Enduro Championship he earned in June. “I needed a little help as far as points to win the title,” said Hart. “But after the first two motos it got a little complicated and I was trying to figure in my head.” After a slow start to the season, Hart felt almost certain he was out of contention for the title. “Honestly, at the start of the year, I got two fifths, and winning a championship wasn’t even really in the equation,” said Hart. “Then I really picked my socks up and got two wins and a second. Then coming here, it was still not easy because I needed someone in between me and Jonny. So, it was not going to be easy. But the whole night didn’t go the way I thought. I thought I was going to do a little more winning. The first one I lost on the last lap because of a lapper. Then the second one, I went into third on the first lap from the second row, crashed, and went back to last. VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 109


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WILL RIORDAN (#39), TRYSTAN HART (#84)


In that last one, I didn’t know. The math was so confusing. I just knew that I had to be near the front and Jonny couldn’t be close to me, and there was a chance I was going to win. I honestly didn’t even know I won. My mechanic was cheering and I just started doing a burnout. I’m like, surely I won. The gods wouldn’t have done this to me.” The Reno round was a wicked twist of fate for Walker, who came into last year’s finale trailing Hart in the title chase and wound up winning it all; a juxtaposition to this year. “I came in with a seven-point lead,” said Walker. “I knew I had to finish third to win the championship. The first race was good, I finished third. In the second race, just had a bit of a nightmare. A few things went wrong, and I ended up seventh. That’s what kind of threw it away. I got a good start and I was like, oh sweet, we’re on for it now. I knew I just had to beat Cooper Abbott and Cody, and I was in front of them. Then I went into the pipes and went over the handlebars, which was the worst thing I could have done. Jumped straight in, straight over the handlebars. I was like, oh no. But it’s racing. We’ve done what we could. It’s difficult to come over here. Obviously, I’m not happy with second. You don’t want to be second. But it’s racing. I did exactly the same to Trystan last year. I came in, points down, managed VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 111


to beat him on the night and take the championship. So, it’s the same again.” Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Colton Haaker was second on the night and until late in the final moto, appeared to be on his way to a sweep of the program after winning the first two motos. “I won the second moto despite screwing up in the pipes; we all got super tangled up in there. It was pretty chaotic,” said Haaker. “I didn’t go down, but I was stuck behind Trystan and Jonny and everybody else. It was pretty crazy. The last moto, we were just training out there. It was just five guys all together. It was a good night, but I would have liked to have won, but it is what it is. But the last moto, I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time a couple too many times. So, I think I was actually making good moves and doing my thing, but just at the wrong place, wrong time.” FactoryONE Sherco’s Cooper Abbott turned in his best performance of the season, with a third overall for the night after a 5-5-2 performance and leading half of the final moto. “I felt like I got definitely better each moto,” said Abbott. “In that third moto, I think I got around Trystan on lap two or three and then I led until a lap to go. I made a little mistake and he got around me. He was riding really well. That’s how I was riding coming into the year and how I felt practicing, and I just wasn’t able to translate it to the race. ON THE PEGS // PAGE 112

COOPER ABBOTT (#12)


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RYDER LEBLOND (#513)

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Better late than never at least with that last moto. Hopefully, next year we’ll bring that intensity and speed into next season.” FactoryONE Sherco’s Cody Webb pulled away from the pack in moto two and appeared to be on his way to an easy moto win until just before the white flag lap. “I made a really bad lap two laps from the finish,” said Webb. “I dug a big hole that first moto and just ghost-rode my bike to the sky. I felt like Ricky Bobby throwing around. I don’t know where I was. So I had to come back from dead last and just pick them off. Then I finished second and third and almost won the second moto. Almost got Cooper at the end of that last moto, but I was happy for him to get a podium and end out of the season.” Webb was 8-2-3 for fourth, just ahead of Walker’s 3-7-4. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Ryder LeBlond was 4-8-5 for sixth overall. “There were a couple guys who could win the championship, and I wasn’t one of them, unfortunately,” joked LeBlond. “But it was cool. I was in the battle. I tried to not really screw anyone over too bad and just be smart about everything. I was in position where I felt like I could have passed some guys that last moto, but I was like, they’re fighting for a championship. I didn’t really know what to do. I probably should have just tried passing some of them and let it go, but it was good. It was cool.” VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 115


RPM Racing’s Will Riordan went 6-9-7 for seventh overall, while German Dominik Olszowy (Rieju) posted a 9-6-9 score for eighth. A 7-11-8 moto tally put Arizona GasGas rider Max Gerston into ninth, ahead of RPM Racing’s Angus Riordan who finished fourth in the second moto. He added a 13th and an 11th to round out the top 10. The final championship standings went Hart in first with 147 points; Walker second with 140, and Haaker third with 137 points. Over and Out Racing/GasGas’ Rachel Gutish was tops in the EX Women’s Pro division, winning the main event and the Women’s Championship. Gutish was also part of the US team that won the Women’s Trophy division at the ISDE in Argentina. “It’s just been an amazing season all the way around for me,” said Gutish. “My first endurocross win was ten years ago and it took me this long to finally get my title. It’s something I’ve worked for off and on for years and years and years now. So to finally reach the moment I’ve dreamed of, feels pretty damn good.” Second place went to Mellisa Harten (Bet), who led at one point in the race, while third was Hallie Marks (Sherco). RACHEL GUTISH (#417), MELISSA HARTEN (#53)

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EVENT RESULTS 1. Trystan Hart, KTM, 2-3-1 2. Colton Haaker, Hsq, 1-1-6 3. Cooper Abbott, Sherco, 5-5-2 4. Cody Webb, Sherco, 8-2-3 5. Jonny Walker, Beta, 3-7-4 6. Ryder LeBlond, Hsq, 4-8-5 7. Will Riordan, KTM, 6-9-7 8. Dominik Olszowy, Rieju, 9-6-9 9. Max Gerston, GasGas, 7-11-8 10. Angus Riordan, KTM, 13-4-11

CLICK HERE TO VISIT WWW.ENDUROCROSS.COM ON THE PEGS // PAGE 118

OVERALL STANDINGS 1. Trystan Hart (KTM) - 147 pts 2. Jonny Walker (BET) - 140 pts 3. Colton Haaker (HSQ) - 137 pts 4. Cody Webb (SHR) - 128 pts 5. Ryder LeBlond (HSQ) - 98 pts 6. Cooper Abbott (SHR) - 91 pts 7. Max Gerston (GG) - 82 pts 8. Will Riordan (KTM) - 79 pts 9. Taddy Blazusiak (GG) - 61 pts 10. Dominik Olszowy (RIE) - 59 pts


LOCAL NEWS

The T-18 Dragonfly is directdrive from the motor to the rear wheel

An easy-pull diaphragm clutch for maximum control and traction

New M4 39mm Aluminum AIR FORKS are the lightest on the market

Linkless Ohlins shock direct to the swing arm

5 hour+ quick change and fast charge battery

new 6.5-hour interchangeable battery also available

Weight 132 pounds • Seat can be added for trail riding comfort

The second shipment of Mecatecno Dragonflies has recently arrived with two very helpful features added to the bike’s controller to assist in the performance of the rider: An “Anti-Roll back” feature, which prevents the back wheel from rolling backwards as soon as backward movement is detected by the controller

and an “Inertia” feature, which is similar to the flywheel action on a gas powered trials bike. These new features can also be downloaded by the factory to all previous customer’s bikes to bring them up to date with the present models. This is a tremendous advantage of this controller in that any new changes or upgrades can easily be done with a connection to the factory electronics team. Now your Dragonfly will always be as up to date with the newest revisions as you desire. There will be more exciting additions to come in the new year, such as an extended range battery with a 6.5 hour running time, interchangeable with the present 5 hour battery. Retail price $11,299.00, not including shipping cost to your destination.

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VOL.VOL. 8 ISSUE 8 ISSUE 12 - 10 DECEMBER - OCTOBER 2023 2023 // // PAGE PAGE 119 1


501 TALKING WITH RIEJU'S

Dominik Olszowy words by SHAN MOORE photos by JACK JAXSON

What made you decide to come to the United States for this series?

I love this series. This is like all my favorite things. Some jumps, tricky sections, racing elbow-to-elbow. I love to follow that. Finally we got here. I’m super happy and thankful to Rieju USA to bring me in. I want to say thank you to having me. Is there a series similar to this in Poland? It’s pretty similar, but I see some difference in the rules and everything. It’s a little bit different, so it’s a little bit tricky for me for the beginning. But I’m learning fast and I understand a little bit about the series, the rules and the format. We have less time ON THE PEGS // PAGE 120

to practice and we go straight to the motos in the night. The breaks between the motos are pretty much closer than in Europe. That makes it more difficult. Also for me, for the first time I need to pass through expert, so it’s a little bit more tricky. But I’m learning a new team, new bike. Every lap on the track is going to be good for me. Looking to have good preparation coming to the series to have a good feeling on the super world championship in Europe. Do you ride super enduro? Yeah. I ride super enduro. I think we continue the series to the end and then we have one week break and we jump to the France SuperEnduro. So this is perfect preparation.


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ON THE PEGS // PAGE 122


How much difference is there between SuperEnduro and EnduroCross? Are the tracks different? The tracks, these ones are pretty gnarly. They didn’t use an arena at all, so we ride almost three sections. It’s really tricky, but overall the tracks are pretty good in a let’s say different way. Big sends, big impacts, wild a little bit. They use arena pretty good all the time. So, I like it. That’s why I come here. Have you raced any outdoor series? I raced in outdoors. My best finish is top ten in the world championship hard enduro. I don’t like where hard enduro is going now. The level is growing and growing, so I’m focusing on the things that I like now. This is EnduroCross and I like to be focused on that. Of course, I will do some events and I would like to come to America to race some series in hard enduro, but to choose the best events. You need to come ride the Tennessee Knockout. I’ve been two years ago. That was the world championship. Next year we come to TKO, for sure. Maybe Canada. We will see with the team where we can go. We try to show up here in America and show our best.

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You said hard enduro in Europe is changing. How is it changing? Looking for some years, I’ve been riding the hard enduro like five years now, so I can see what happened in this time. We all understand the bikes are better. The tires are better. The tire, the mousses, everything is improving. So, they give us such tricky terrain and long hours on the bike. They let us go all the time in the tricky bits. So, I didn’t see racing anymore like have some speed, intense. I remember when Erzberg was one hour twenty minutes for the best one. Now the best one is three hours thirty minutes. We cross the Carl’s Diner four times. So that shows all where the sport is going. I enjoy all. I have good skills on the extreme riding and I can survive and finish in the time limit on Erzberg. I come from motocross. I did 15 years in motocross. I was not top guys, but I ran 15th, 10th position in the world championship in Europe. I like racing elbow to elbow, use the bike, and all that stuff. Do you have any trials background? No, I didn’t. I started with trials four years ago and I do a lot of trials to get this movement on the bike and make clutch control and brake control and everything. This is all-new for me. I need to practice that more than motocross. It's the best advantage what you can get in the young years. I was missing that, but overall I’m already learning a good technique on Olszowy (#501), Colton Haaker (#10)

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ON THE PEGS // PAGE 126


the trial bike, so I will keep that way. Let’s see where we can be. Do you like the more technical tracks or the faster tracks like Prescott? I prefer faster track, a little bit more jumpy, a little bit bigger corners. I’m feeling now like a monkey in the jail. I cannot use my bike at all. It’s a little bit weird. I’m assuming that you set your suspension up a little stuffer for endurocross as opposed to extreme or hard enduro? It’s way stiffer and slower. All the settings different. So we just started with the company. I’m glad to be here and thankful they brought me into America to race my favorite series. Is there any American food that you like? I like really the steaks with the mashed potatoes and some broccoli. This is my favorite meal so far. It’s healthy and I see the level of making steaks here in America. It’s pretty good. I enjoy that. What do you think you would be doing now if you had never discovered motorcycles?

Probably business. No other sport? Maybe cycling. Everything that has two wheels and is challenging, it makes me excited. So probably cycling. VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 127


ASHBURN

TAKES KXCR

HARD ENDURO ON THE PEGS // PAGE 128


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QUINN WENTZEL (#5)

words and photos STEPH VETTERLY content support ADAM MISZTA ROUND 3 CLAY CITY, KY Round three of the 2023 US Hard Enduro Fall Series saw Jordan Ashburn take the checkers, with an 11-minute lead over Rieju USA’s Quinn Wentzel and Mason George. Hosted at the Holler Training Facility in Clay City, KY, the KXCR group worked out an approximate 10-mile course full of single-track mixed with some gnarly hill climbs and a lengthy creek section. As the trees were mostly bare, the ground was covered in about six inches of fall leaves, adding another layer of difficulty to the course. Off the start line, riders were met with a few miles of single-track to get warmed up before the big stuff. Climbing almost 700 feet in altitude, the first Pro/A split took the higherclass riders to the very top of the surrounding ridge full of beautiful rocks and ledges, before plunging back down into the ravine for several more miles before subjecting all ON THE PEGS // PAGE 130


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riders to the creek, which quickly filled with mud and bottlenecks. Ashburn, not new to hard enduro riding, quickly took the lead, coming in a wheel’s distance ahead of Wentzel at the first two checks. His GNCC skills came in handy in the fast sections, but Wentzel was able to catch him in the technical sections. On the third lap, Wentzel jammed a shifter under his start cover halfway through and found himself stuck in third gear, causing him to lose time and drop a few minutes behind. After fixing his shifter, he ended up hitting a rock in the last lap and shearing his left foot peg clean off. He was able to limp the bike back to the finish, but hopes of taking the lead were lost. “It was a very flowy track, quite slippery in some spots, some spots were quite dusty and dry,” explained Ashburn. “The first couple miles, I thought it was going to be an easy day. It ramped up pretty quick; we got to some single-track up on this rocky ridge. From there, it got progressively harder, and then kinda went back and forth. I had a blast; I thought the track was fun and kind of suited my style. It wasn’t all super hard hard-enduro, but I had fun. In the easy stuff, the first few laps, I was pretty chill. It was really leafy the first lap, and I knew it was going to be pretty sketchy because there’s a lot of stuff under the leaves that you can’t see. I just had to feel it ON THE PEGS // PAGE 132

ASHBURN AND WENTZEL


out and learn the track. The second lap was really bad for lappers, but you’ve got to just pick your way through. After that, you can kind of breathe a little bit and actually get going. I’m pretty good at putting lines together and learning the track from what I do, so in the faster stuff I can really connect it. When I get to the hard sections, I really focus on getting through each section clean. The creek section was pretty tough just because it was really narrow and there were a lot of lappers in there every lap. For a few laps in a row there, Quinn would come up on me because I was just moving people out of the way, wiggle-waggling through people. He would come up behind me, but couldn’t get a shot around me because there wasn’t much room to go anywhere. There was a pretty good hillclimb, I think they named it Sledgehammer Hill. That thing got me the first two laps; I had to push up it the first lap. The second lap, I made it, and then somehow fell over and got my bike backwards facing down it, up above my head; I had to drag it off the cliff. When I got down and turned around, Quinn was coming up it. I got back off before him and got out of it before him. I pushed pretty hard after that to get that gap back and try to stay comfortable.” “Racing went good,” said Wentzel. “I got off with the holeshot. I held for a little bit, and then Jordan VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 133


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MASON GEORGE (#53)


[Ashburn] got around me. I honestly expected him to run away with it because the track today was just fast, third and fourth gear. There were a couple hard spots, but much to my surprise, I hung in there and gave him a run for his money; we were back and forth a couple times and were neck-and-neck for the first two hours. I was stoked on that. I’m happy with my riding, considering Jordan is really fast in the fast stuff. He’s a great technical rider, too, but I would catch up to him in the technical parts, and then he would pull me in the fast stuff. It was a bit of yoyo-ing out there, but I’m stoked on my riding and had fun out there. There was one really tough climb that I was surprised to see. It was like three miles of single track, one of the gnarliest sections of the year, and more single track. I launched my bike up [the hillclimb] a couple times. That’s where I passed Jordan lap one. It was basically a shelf you had to get up. Then I caught him there for lap two and almost passed him there again.” Third place, and finishing a few minutes behind was Mason George, his third podium finish. “It went really good,” said George. “I got off to a decent start. I stayed in third for most of the race; me and Hayden [Mosa] battled for most of the first lap. There were a couple hard spots; the one spot was hard because of all the bottlenecks, but it VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 135


was pretty fun. There was one uphill that was a little tricky, but other than that, the course was pretty good. The longer course was good; it was a little bit faster-paced, which I’m better at, but I still like the hard enduro stuff, too.” In the 40+ Expert class, it was American Hard Enduro’s Drew Kirby with the win, finishing three laps in the four-hour time limit. “[This race] kind of suited me perfectly,” explained Kirby. “I don’t want to say it was that hard, but if it was wet, I don’t think we would’ve made more than two laps. I ended up making three laps. There was a good mix of everything; the property was awesome. The first lap was so slick; it’s limestone rock, and when the mud gets on them, it’s like ice. There were lots of leaves. The first lap, the way we did the splits, when a lot of the Pro and A guys would meet back up with the B and C riders, they had already ridden the trail and cleared off a lot of the leaves, which was nice. But then we’d get to a hard section and have a bottleneck you’d have to deal with. It’s just part of the race. It’s very similar to what the SEER group did with their splits. Overall, it was awesome. It was a good mix of faster stuff. Some of the guys said it wasn’t a true hard enduro but more of a hard harescramble. The hard spots were hard, so if they just added more of ON THE PEGS // PAGE 136

DREW KIRBY


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those. But again, if it had been wet, we wouldn’t have made it up some of the stuff.” Chelsea and Tim Sizemore, of Hard Enduro Appalachia, tried their hand at their local track, with Tim taking 11th place in the B class (and 13th overall of the Amateur riders), and Chelsea taking first place in her firstever hard enduro. “It was really fresh,” said Tim. “All year long we ride here, but it’s usually XC racing; you can see all the connector trails, it’s all pretty ran-in. But all the fresh stuff caught me off guard. I think people look over Kentucky’s terrain, but I had a ball. I made two laps and a check; that last ravine, we’re pulling our bikes up. It’s not Battle of the Goats in terms of craziness right out of the gate, but I think they did a good job of stretching the track out, giving us some hard stuff throughout it. I had fun. I had a good day. We love the Holler. It’s our home field, so we got to sleep in our beds last night; that was the biggest part. We’re used to sleeping in the trailer, waking up cold, making breakfast in the morning and going out racing, but it was nice to be able to drive in and be ready to go.” “This was my first hard enduro, and I absolutely had a blast!” exclaimed Chelsea. “A couple of the hillclimbs were gnarly, but I made it up. To get to the second check was crazy; going over those three big logs ANDREW JANIK, C CLASS, YAMAHA TÉNÉRÉ 700

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in the creek was insane. I had 30 minutes left to get to the second check and had a bunch of people help me, so I was happy. It was absolutely amazing. It’s better than XC racing, honestly, because you’re going out there and everybody is friendlier, they’re helping and cheering you on. In an XC racing, you’re just going, non-stop. Hopefully, I get to do some more [of these]. The biggest challenge was the first split. I had a boy named Michael out there helping me. Whenever I got to it, I couldn’t get my bike up over it; I hit it two or three times. He helped me, I helped him, then after that, we were just helping each other out through the entire thing. There were

a few spots that I was able to get through by myself, and some that I just had to have help; there was no way I could pick my bike up. I wrecked a few times, but other than that, it was awesome. I think KXCR did an awesome job for amateur [riders] and people just starting to do it. I thought it was great, because when you first go out to go to the first check was perfect, a little bit of XC, a little bit of hillclimbs. Then the first to the second [check] was gnarly. I thought it was really good for beginners.”

^^ CLICK TO WATCH SOME OF THE ACTION WITH HARD ENDURO APPALACHIA ^^

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EVENT RESULTS (PRO/A) 1. Jordan Ashburn (HSQ) 2. Quinn Wentzel (RJU) 3. Mason George (RJU) 4. Mark Fortner (BET) 5. Hayden Mosa (RJU) 6. Jeremie Lanthier (HSQ) 7. Tobin Miller (KTM) 8. Drew Kirby (KTM) 9. QUinn Dickey (KTM) 10. John Kroll (HSQ)

EVENT RESULTS (AMATEUR) 1. Roberto Isales (KTM) 2. Armando Berreondo (SHR) 3. Braxton Bradford (GG) 4. Adam Miszta (KTM) 5. Ben Dannemiller (KTM) 6. Michael Gardner (KTM) 7. Stephen Taxton (KTM) 8. Devan Coleman (HSQ) 9. Nick Bryant (BET) 10. Taylor Pinto (KTM)

CLICK HERE TO VISIT

WWW.USHARDENDURO.COM VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 141


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WENTZEL ON TOP OF THE

RIVER

MONSTER

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ADAM MISZTA, COMPETING WITH BOTH FOOD POISONING, AND GETTING TURNED AROUND IN THE WHITE WHALE...


words and photos STEPH VETTERLY ROUND 4 GLEN LYN, VA The penultimate round of the 2023 US Hard Enduro Fall Series was hosted at the Kairos Wilderness Resort in Glen Lyn, VA and was the most well-attended round of the series so far. Taking a bit of a different approach to the race format as compared to previous rounds, it would be Rieju USA’s Quinn Wentzel on top of the podium after a 32-mile, single lap. Purchased back in 2016, the Kairos facility has built a network of trail systems on its 1,500 acres, ranging from beginner through experienced, providing wonderful terrain for riders of all skill level. Jared Spencer, one of the property’s owners, wanted to try his had at hard enduro and found the US Hard Enduro Fall Series the perfect place to jump in. Over 160 riders took to the course, and with the amateur (B class and lower) riders having a shortened 26-mile loop, all but a small few were able to make most of the seven checkpoints. Riders even got a VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 145


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HAYDEN MOSA


chance to experience “The White Whale,” a creek bed section that is well-known in the rock-crawling community. Despite getting a less-than-ideal start, Wentzel was able to work his way up to the lead by the first check point, where he was able to hold the position through the rest of the race. After seeing sixth place at the first checkpoint, Hayden Mosa was able to work his way up to battle Mark Fortner for second place, and by checkpoint 5, he was in second place, mere minutes behind Wentzel, crossing the finish line less than six minutes behind, with Fortner rounding out the podium. “I got kind of a crappy start but ended up getting into fourth place pretty quick,” explained Wentzel. “I made some quick passes into the lead, maybe five minutes in and pretty much just led from there. It was a pretty mellow track today. There were only a couple tough spots, so I just tried to be solid and minimize mistakes, because one good mistake out there and the guys were gonna catch up. I think I had a five- or six-minute lead by the end of it. It was good. Pretty solid all day, no troubles. I rode well and took home the win.” “It was fun,” said Mosa. “It was a pretty mellow course, but it was also really fun. It was marked really well and flowed good; I didn’t have any trouble figuring out where to go. It VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 147


could’ve been a little harder for a hard enduro. I’d say it was forty percent hard stuff, sixty percent single track, and I’d like to see it more around eighty percent hard and twenty percent transfer / single track. But I’m glad to get second and just glad to be out here racing my dirt bike. I really liked only having to do one lap. It keeps you on your toes, because there’s something new

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around every corner; you don’t get any time to learn the track. You’ve got to be good at reading the course and picking good lines. That’s another skill you have to learn in these types of races, but I like that part of it.” Taking the final spot in the top 10, and earning the win for 40+ Expert was Drew Kirby. The second half of the race was a battle between Jarrett Mohn (10th place Pro, 12th

DREW KIRBY


place overall) and Tim Baroni (A class winner, 11th place overall). Unfortunately, his win came with a price, as about a mile into the race, he hit an unexpected g-out which resulted in a complete tear of his rotator cuff. On the Pegs wishes him a speedy recovery.

Kobak (his fourth podium) rounding out the top three.

In the Youth Lites 12-15 class, it was Jacob Belcher taking the win, with Gage Hill in second (his third podium of the series) and Graham

“I think the length of the course was very beneficial in that there weren’t as many bottlenecks,” explained Spencer. It did increase the amount

Property owner, Jared Spencer, has his sights on building up the offroad riding at Kairos, and was very pleased with the turn-out and racer feedback he got on the course.

JACOB BELCHER WORKING HIS WAY UP THE WHITE WHALE VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 149


of work that you had to put into the course. Standing at the scoring tent for a few hours, I noticed that some of the [riders] were completely dead coming off the course but said they loved every second of it, and then you have guys like Quinn and Hayden who want harder stuff, but they’re a different breed. [laughs] The goal of this course was not to just completely annihilate everybody and just have impossible obstacle after impossible obstacle. The goal was to give riders a challenge, then give them a breather, then give them another challenge, so you had some flow in there to where they could recoup a little energy to get ready for the next obstacle. It is a very ON THE PEGS // PAGE 150

DEVON BELLIZIO, B-CLASS

fun course to ride, but challenging for sure. The lower-level A riders were just completely dead. On the shorter course for B and below, the B riders were completely exhausted coming across the finish line, and the C riders know what they need to work on to get to that higher level.” It's safe to say that the River Monster Hard Enduro will not be the last event at the property, and after talking in-depth with Jared, there will be some big changes for the next race!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE - KAIROS RESORT


EVENT RESULTS (PRO/A) 1. Quinn Wentzel (RJU) 2. Hayden Mosa (RJU) 3. Mark Fortner (BET) 4. Mike McGinnis (KTM) 5. Jeremie Lanthier (HSQ) 6. Adam Hartnagel (BET) 7. Quinn Dickey (KTM) 8. Bob Cornwell (KTM) 9. Brandon Blakely (HSQ) 10. Drew Kirby (KTM)

EVENT RESULTS (AMATEUR) 1. Armando Berreondo (KTM) 2. Leiber Ponce (HSQ) 3. Roberto Isales (KTM) 4. Kevin Gwyn (GG) 5. Justin Hawes (KTM) 6. Richie Cardillo (KTM) 7. Wyatt Holdgrafer (KTM) 8. Young Campbell (GG) 9. Joel Stolz (KTM) 10. Devon Bellizio (GG)

CLICK HERE TO VISIT

WWW.USHARDENDURO.COM

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FRED HOESS

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words by SUZY MOODY photos SUZY MOODY, FCM PHOTO GALLERY, PH24 In 2016, the FIM decided to add a vintage event category to the ISDE. It was established so seasoned veterans could compete in an ISDEstyle event, but on the vintage bikes (1983 or older) they have come to know and love. The legendary likes of Enrico Tortoli, Giorgio Grasso, Tullio Pellegrinelli are still very competitive and want to continue to represent their counties in a world class event. The rules are much like the ISDE with a Trophy and Silver Vase Teams along with individuals and club teams. Instead of riding six days, they ride four days. To compete on a Trophy Team, you must be 50 years old or older. To make it even more interesting, each team must be represented by at least one bike 1975 or older and the teams consist of only three riders. Keep in mind, these are all twin shock, air-cooled bikes with drum brakes. VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 153


Fred Hoess, a 28-time ISDE veteran, had been involved with the US AHRMA Vintage series for some time and thought it would be a great segue into a different type of international competition and as the lone US rider, he has overalled this event in 2016 in Spain and 2022 in Portugal. This year’s event was held in Puigcerda, Spain, the same region as the 1985 ISDE. Puigcerda is a quaint ski town, nestled next to the Pyrenees Mountains and on the border of France; it is a picturesque location with beautiful weather and beautiful scenery. Also this year, we fielded the first US Team. Mike Sheetz from Oregon stepped up to ride the “A” category bike sporting a 1975 CanAm 250 TNT. Lendon Smith from Idaho and co-owner of Seat Concepts would be riding a 1982 WR430 and Fred Hoess would be on a 1983 WR250. Opening ceremonies much like the Olympics were filled with lots of pomp and circumstance. Each country was introduced and escorted in behind their national flag. It was quite a humbling experience to stand on the stage with the team and hear our national anthem and soak in genuine cheers and appreciation from the crowd. During the week, the US Team and their support crew did a great job of learning the area, navigating to the tests and timed controls, and being at the right place at the right time to support our riders. MIKE SHEETZ

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FRED HOESS put in a stellar performance and captured the event overall again! He had very strong competition throughout the event with the likes of Italian rider Maurizio Casartelli and Spanish Trophy rider David Gomez. During the final moto he put on a glorious school. He made no mistakes, his lines and power use was a sight to behold as the rest of the crowd including his mom, Barbara, cheered him on. Fred pulled away from his fast competitors to clinch the fastest moto of the day and the event individual overall. Much hand shaking and back slapping went on at the end of that event as the other competitors and team managers knew he had won the overall. Fred also helped out both Mike and Lendon walking the tests, discussing strategy and explaining how things worked at this ISDE-style event. His leadership of our first US Trophy Team was invaluable. MIKE SHEETZ, bringing over a 1975 CanAm250 from the US did a great job of prepping his bike and absorbing all the complexities of this event. Riding a 50-year-old bike with four inches of travel is no easy task. Keeping the bike together and running with no mishaps on the trail is a feat within itself. His girlfriend, Crystal Bennett, was also instrumental in making his first Vintage Trophy a success. By the end of the week, Mike garnered seventh place in the A3 class, a performance well done. LENDON SMITH, riding a 1982 Husky WR430 came to this event having never VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 157


ridden this particular bike. He was undeterred and continued to improve his scores throughout the event. He ended up in eleventh place in the very competitive C3 class with a lot of heavy hitters. As you look at his scores, by the second day, his times came down and he was in the hunt with the top riders as seconds separated the top 15 slots. His wife, Amy, a veteran of many of Lendon’s races, was super helpful in the pits and man, can she drive a rental like a pro! We had some fun pit crew chases to get to the check controls up and down the Pyrenees. Team USA ended up fourth overall! This is an extremely respectable outcome for all we had to overcome. Our riders were consistent, rode strong and continued to improve throughout the week. The US Team was very popular and we had many other riders come to our pits to congratulate our team. We all made new friends and met up with old ones. The Italian team even came over and there was a fun and jovial jersey swap. Closing ceremonies were a sight to behold: lots of camaraderie, kindness and true appreciation for all the competitors and their crew. LOGISTICS: I guess that is the name of this game. Unlike the European riders who just throw their gear and bikes in the van and can bring FRED HOESS, OVERALL LEADER

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LENDON SMITH

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a lot of support crew, the US riders have to ship a bike, rent cars, and normally have a crew of one. Riders also have to ship multiple sets of gear and tools and some liquids. And when I say shipping, that means paperwork and import duties, and import paperwork, and dealing with customs. I highly suggest you start working on bike transportation now if you are entertaining going to this event to race. Use a carrier that is familiar with the importing country customs, and ship your bike early. In addition to shipping, there are flights and rental cars and lodging, the list goes on. Once you arrive, you have to find the right place to buy things you didn’t get into your crate but need, like pop-up tents,

chairs, tables, gas cans etc…. And no, at this time, AMA is not involved other than providing proper FIM License and Permission to Compete documents. IN CLOSING This was a super fun event. It was great having other US riders attend. Team USA did a great job; we overcame a lot of adversity. We learned how to communicate and navigate in a foreign country and we became good friends and made a lot of good friends within the international community. We should all be proud of Team USA’s outcome and our representation at this prestigious event.

Check out the video above to see some of the vintage action! VOL. 8 ISSUE 12 - DECEMBER 2023 // PAGE 161


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