Story And Photos By Chris Green
If you’ve been following the 2012 EnduroCross season so far you are probably glad to see that the first two rounds each had a different winner. Unlike last year it was similar to how Ricky Carmichael swept the outdoors when he was in his prime. However, Taddy Blazusiak did come back for round two and made it look easy which could be a bit of foreshadowing into the rest of the season. The guy is on a different level than the rest of the field and the riders are going to have to work hard to beat him straight up. They might even have to work together! After letting the race dance around in our heads after a short night of sleep, here is what we came away with from round two of the GEICO AMA EnduroCross Championship in Sacramento.
Taddy Blazusiak #111
We have reason to believe that Taddy Blazusiak may be a little superstitious about the number one plate. At the opening round in Vegas, Taddy ran the big number one with a red background and he landed a third—he put in a great ride coming from the back, but it wasn’t his usual half a lap lead. Come round two he had his trusty old number 111 printed on his factory KTM 350 XC and it was back to the top of the box for the star KTM rider. During the hot laps, Taddy went third from last per his finish in Vegas with riders Justin Soule and Colton Haaker to go next. Taddy Blazusiak had an extremely hot line on his hot lap and jumped the entire matrix! It was a total of five logs and he skied the whole thing to get in the other riders heads, which he did.
Taylor Robert #33
Taylor looked strong all night long and was putting in consistent lap after lap. That’s a huge factor in EnduroCross with the many different variations and things that can go wrong. A rider’s main struggle is to keep it on two wheels and not get hung up in any of the tricky sections. This is where Taddy Blazusiak shines and it seems that Taylor has been picking up on that strategy. The number 33 got hung up on the start and quickly made short work of the field and found himself in second. All the little mistakes that can go wrong in EnduroCross can cost you, but Taylor kept his focus and road like a champion passing guys left and right all the way to the second step of the podium.
Kevin Rookstool #11
Kevin Rookstool is a hard charging EnduroCross racer with some motocross in his blood. Before coming into Sacramento EX, and obviously missing the Highpoint round of the outdoor motocross championship, he was 18th in points in the outdoor Motocross championship. He has speed, he has talent and he is aggressive. The guy is not the least bit afraid to push guys around on the track. Right off the start he pushed a bunch of guys wide and went straight to the outside line, balling everyone up as he rocketed off to the holeshot.
Destry Abbott #8
We only have good things to say about Mr. Destry Abbott. The guy is a beast who can ride through pain a lot better than most dudes out there. He still showed up to race EX with his backside black and blue from a good fling-off-the-bike at the 2013 Kawasaki KX250F intro. Check out this link to see exactly what happened to Destry—caught on tape by Dirt Rider tester Kris Keefer’s GoPro: http://www.dirtrider.com/features/destry-abbotts-kx250f-crash/. Destry got off to a solid second place start behind Rookstool and within a few laps he had Taddy hot on his tail. But, Taddy didn’t go right around like normal, he had to work to get around Destry for a few laps and finally moved into second. Props to Destry for holding off the most feared dude in EnduroCross!
Colton Haaker #10
It seems as if the red background is a bad omen in EnduroCross. Colton went from winning the opening round in Vegas to finishing tenth in Sacramento. A crash early on definitely didn’t help Haaker. During the main he was running good but stalled his bike and took a while to get started and got going in tenth. We aren’t sure how much Colton’s crash affected him during the night show but he wasn’t the same rider we saw take the checkers in Sin City. He knew everybody would be gunning for him as Taddy Blazusiak and Justin Soule were pounding at the door and wanted the win in Vegas. It could have been the pressure that got in his head and triggered the mistakes that contributed to his 10th place finish.
Justin Soule #3
Soule went for the leap that Taddy Blazusiak used to help him set a blistering hot lap and he came up very short and dislocated his shoulder—he popped it back in and rode his bike over the finish line to register a lap time but we didn’t see him for the rest of the night. Soule was putting in great laps all night but unfortunately he didn’t ride in the main. Justin is a super nice guy and hopefully this doesn’t hurt his chances at X Games.
Women’s Pro Race
The matrix played out as the toughest section on the track for the girls and gave them issues all night long. On the last lap just about every rider was stuck in the tight logs of the dreaded matrix and the girls were spinning their tires hoping for traction to get them out of the toughest section on the track. Louise Forsley was in the lead and she came around the last corner to find a roadblock of girls that just about spread across the whole track. Her trials skills shined when she needed them the most as she maneuvered her way through the lappers and across the finish line taking first.
Men’s Pro Main Results
|1||111||Taddy Blazusiak||Nwy Targ,|
|2||33||Taylor Robert||Scottsdale, AZ|
|3||11||Kevin Rookstool||Klamfath Falls, OR|
|4||115||Cory Graffunder||Vavenby, BC|
|5||311||Mike Brown||Bluff City, TN|
|6||28||Bobby Garrison||Hesperia, CA|
|7||5||Cody Webb||Watsonville, CA|
|8||6||Gary Sutherlin||Bakersfield, CA|
|9||8||Destry Abbott||Peoria, AZ|
|10||10||Colton Haaker||Gilroy, CA|
|11||4||Geoff Aaron||Bailey, CO|
|12||77||Ben Rego||Kitamat, BC|
|13||125||Bryan Roper||Glendale, AZ|
|14||21||Ryan Rodgers||Dover, PA|
|15||9||Bobby Prochnau||Savona, BC|
|16||911||Jacob Argubright||Northridge, CA|
|17||27||Wallace Palmer||Mullica Hill, NJ|
|18||16||Eric Rhoten||Montrose, CO|
|19||212||Ricky Russell||Duvall, WA|
|20||116||Corey Floyd||Marysville, WA|
Women’s Pro Main Results
|1||77||Louise Forsley||Bernardston, MA|
|2||68||Chantelle Bykerk||Salmon Arm, BC|
|3||411||Maria Forsberg||Lynnwood, WA|
|4||151||Lexi Pechout||Calgary, AB|
|5||174||Nicole Madsen||Taft, CA|
|6||201||Rachel Gutish||Terre Haute, IN|
|7||196||Kacy Martinez||Sunol, CA|
|8||31||Morgan Tanke||Riverside, CA|
|9||1008||Nicole Bradford||Cypsum, CO|
|10||198||Brandy Richards||Lake Havasi City, AZ|
|11||426||Megan Blackburn||Toluca Lake, CA|
|12||406||Veronica Martin||Dennison, IL|