Webb Goes Back-To-Back With Win In Denver
FMF KTM’s Cody Webb came in to Denver with serious momentum. After a hard-fought win at round two in Reno, Webb rolled into Denver—the city that witnessed his career’s first main event qualification and victory—and he used confidence and some crafty strategy to take an exciting win to stay in front of a charging Colton Haaker on his Rockstar Energy Husqvarna. Maxxis RPM KTM’s Ty Tremaine raced smart and smooth to finish third—his first podium of the season.
The night’s main event came after a stack of qualifying races entertained the crowd inside the National Western Complex. The top thirteen Super EnduroCross racers made their way into a gate pick qualifier where Webb began his winning run. He took the win over Haaker and SRT’s Trystan Hart—who grabbed the podium spot after a last-lap pass over teammate Kyle Redmond.
That qualifier race not only awards Super EnduroCross riders their gate pick order, but it also seeds the racers into the exciting Bracket Races—one-lap sprints that put the top 12 riders in head-to-head battles until the final two riders face off. Once again, Webb and Haaker advanced to the Bracket finals where Haaker gritted his teeth for a clean win.
Haaker came into the event questionable to race, at best. An infection in his elbow has kept him under medical care for the week, and it wasn’t until Friday that he knew he’d make the trip to Denver’s race. While his pace seemed strong, it was clear the injury was affecting him.
When the gate dropped for the main event, SRT’s Redmond took the Holeshot for the second week in a row with Webb, Tremaine, and Haaker tightly in tow. The top four quickly pulled a gap to fifth and by the end of lap one Webb had moved by Redmond in the turn between the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Rock Garden. Webb almost immediately pulled a gap that would be hard to close.
Behind Redmond in second, Haaker made a move into third past Tremaine and in lap two the top five were Webb, Redmond, Haaker, Tremaine and Purvines Racing DA8’s Cooper Abbot out to a great start sitting in fifth.
By the third lap, Haaker had moved into second position after a Matrix bobble by Redmond, but the defending champion was nearly 11 seconds behind race leader Webb. Redmond and Tremaine stayed tight in third and fourth with Hart charging from a few mistakes to keep the top three in sight.
Lap four saw the race settle into its own as Tremaine moved by Redmond and stayed in third the entire race. Redmond’s teammate Hart moved into fifth on the same lap. From here, there were no changes in the top three until lap 10.
The first No Joke Lane move by the top racers came on lap seven when Tremaine made it cleanly, and without loosing a position, through the challenging short lane that each rider in the main event must do once. Webb would take his turn on lap nine, allowing Haaker to catch up and latch on to the front-runner. Here, Haaker put on a charge and caught and passed Webb. Webb returned the favor on the same lap with a good move inside the rock turn. In the following straight, Haaker moved inside and Webb held up, deciding to let Haaker have the line instead of bumping through the sand turn. Webb continued to race behind Haaker for another two laps until Haaker had to take the No Joke Lane. The move allowed Webb to get by on the main track with a five second lead over Haaker—enough to keep him in the lead to the checkers.
Webb now holds a five point lead in the championship points over Haaker.
Haaker held on for second and Tremaine stayed in third. Fourth place went to Trystan Hart after he passed his teammate on lap 11. GasGas’ Noah Kepple rode a solid race from a poor start, going from 13th to sixth by the end. Another GasGas rider, Spain’s John Pau Segura charged from 10th to seventh and Geoff Aaron, on yet another GasGas, finished in eighth after racing as high as sixth. Cooper Abbott finished inside the top 10 in ninth after starting in 5th. SRT-backed Husqvarna pilot Cory Graffunder rounded out the top 10.
“It was a great race. The No Joke Lane finally paid off in a race. It took three races for it to make a difference in the final outcome. I had a good start and got into the lead quickly and built that gap. I was actually kind of gaping Colton but when I took the No Joke Lane, I could tell the fire lit up in him. I had a few issues with lappers and I got splashed in the water so bad I couldn’t see out of my left eye. Colton passed me and I had to just let him get by and do all the hard work. He was pushing really hard at the end. I gave him one block pass since I was there and checked up in the next corner because I knew he’d give it right back. A couple small mistakes I wish I could take away but overall, I’m really glad strategy worked out for me. That college degree finally paid off.”
“This is my third race and my third injury as I’ve come into each race this season with something. I was lucky and happy to be here as I didn’t 100% commit until even Friday morning before my flight. Today in practice I felt it out and adrenaline kicked in and I was alright for the most part. I’m glad we have a break before Everett so I can get a full recovery. I had a good result considering and I had to get a good ride in here. I’m looking forward to Everett.”
“It was a good race. I struggled the last couple weeks and had a practice crash that set me back so I’ve been kind of just throwing it back to basics and getting back to where I was riding at the end of last season. Tonight I got out front early and held the pace the whole time and it felt great to finally be up front with these guys and end up on the podium.”
In the Women’s class, Kacy Martinez took her FMF KTM to the top step of the podium after an intense battle with JCR Honda’s Tarah Geiger and defending champion Shelby Turner. Beta’s Morgan Tanke got into the mix as well during the main with the final podium rounding out with Geiger taking second and Turner finishing third. The entire field was mixed up at multiple points in the race making it an exciting race.
In the Vet class, Destry Abbott, took his third win in a row and was joined on the podium by David Stirm in second, for the second time in a row, and Derek Raycraft, from Colorado, taking third in his home-state race.
Kevin Dupius took the Open Amateur class win on his Husqvarna for the second race in a row. Josh Greco came in second and James Flynn grabbed third.
In the Amateur B class, Alec Peronnard took his first win in front of Tanner Killmer. Cole Wilton brought home third.
In Trialcross, the young guns stole the show with 14-year old Elliot Key, 14-year old Anthony Johnson and 16-year old Nigel Parker going 1-2-3.
Round five of the 2017 EnduroCross series will be in two weeks on October 14th, inside the Xfinity Arean in Everett, Washington presented by Cycle Barn.
The insane EnduroCross obstacles provide a great show and exciting racing for race fans. If you have never been to an AMA EnduroCross in person, you need to put one on your calendar for 2017.
Tickets are available here: http://www.endurocross.com/buy-tickets
If you want to tackle an EnduroCross course yourself, there are classes for Amateur, Vet, Women and TrialsCross riders. All of those support class main events run as part of the night show so it is your chance to compete in front of a large crowd. And there is nothing more challenging than tackling an EnduroCross course.
2017 AMA EnduroCross Championship Schedule
Date – Location – Arena
August 19, 2017 – Las Vegas, Nevada – Orleans Arena
September 23, 2017 – Reno, Nevada – Reno – Sparks Livestock Events Center
September 30, 2017 – Denver, Colorado – National Western Events Center
October 14, 2017 – Everett, Washington – XFINITY Arena
October 28, 2017 – Scottsdale, Arizona – WestWorld
November 4, 2017 – Boise, Idaho – Ford Idaho Center
November 18, 2017 – Ontario, California – Citizens Business Bank Arena
*Subject to Change
For more information, visit www.endurocross.com.
Photography: Tanner Yeager/Adam Booth