Tedesco Earns AMA Pro Racing Speed Channel Athlete of the Year Nomination - News - Dirt Rider Magazine

After a standout 2005 campaign Ivan Tedesco has earned his first nomination for the AMA Pro Racing SPEED Channel Athlete of the Year. Tedesco's dream season included defending his AMA 125 West Supercross title, winning his first AMA 125 Motocross Championship and closing the year as a member of the triumphant Team USA Motocross of Nations squad.Long considered a supercross specialist, Tedesco, a New Mexico native who now resides in Southern California, furthered that belief by winning his second AMA 125 West Supercross Series in April. The 24-year-old Monster Energy Drink/Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider, who rides the No. 30 bike, took six straight podium finishes in the 125 West class, including wins at Anaheim II and III in Angel Stadium. That consistency earned him the championship, wrapping up the series with a round remaining.While it was no surprise that Tedesco scored another supercross title, his big breakthrough came during the grueling AMA Motocross Championship presented by FMF, where he proved that he could be a motocross champion.Tedesco went 1-1 at Thunder Valley Motocross Park in Lakewood, Colo., in July to score his first national victory. That win catapulted him into the series lead, a position he would never relinquish. He followed his Thunder Valley National victory with a win at Washougal to build a large points lead, which he held to the end of the season with solid finishes throughout the final rounds.Based in part on his performance in motocross, Tedesco was named to join Ricky Carmichael and Kevin Windham to represent the United States in the prestigious Motocross of Nations. The trio brought back the trophy to America for the first time in five years."It feels good to be recognized with my first Athlete of the Year nomination," Tedesco said. "This season will be one I'll never forget. To win the West Supercross title, the outdoor nationals and then the Motocross of Nations was really more than I could have hoped for. The only bad thing about it is that it's going to be hard to top this season."Emerging as motocross champion in his sixth year of pro racing was the highlight of the year for Tedesco."I worked really hard to improve my motocross skills and it paid off," Tedesco explained. "I knew I'd put in the work, but there were a lot of talented riders in the class and to be able to come out on top was a great personal accomplishment."Tedesco plans on moving up and contesting the AMA Supercross and Motocross Championships next year.The AMA Pro Racing SPEED Channel Athlete of the Year Award is the highest honor an AMA racer can receive. Past recipients include such legendary names as Bob Hannah, Scott Parker and Kenny Roberts, among others. Generally speaking, the award goes to the rider judged to have had the most successful racing year. A "lifetime achievement" approach can also be considered if the season complements a remarkable career.A selection panel made up of AMA and AMA Pro Racing staff, field staff and volunteer leadership is named by the AMA Pro Racing CEO and that panel evaluates nominations and determines the final winner.The 2005 AMA Pro Racing SPEED Channel Athlete of the Year will be named at the AMA Pro Racing Championship Awards Banquet, on Sunday, Nov. 20, at Paris Las Vegas. The five nominees will be announced in the weeks leading up to that event.