Sprint Enduro. The Next Big Thing?

Sprint Enduro racing combines the tight, single-track racing of the AMA National Enduro series with a format similar to ISDE competition.

From the August 2016 issue of Dirt Rider Magazine

Sprint Enduro racing combines the tight, single-track racing of the AMA National Enduro series with a format similar to ISDE competition. The course is not exactly single-track but similar in that you’re not racing bar to bar against another rider but, instead, racing against the clock. We checked out the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series round in West Virginia, which also doubled as an ISDE qualifier.

Here’s the concept: Full Gas Sprint Enduro events are two-day races that feature at least two special tests (a Cross Test and an Enduro Test) with racers making three attempts per day on each test, with the cumulative time from all tests determining the overall winner.

The Cross Test is basically a 4-mile to 5-mile grass track, while the Enduro Test is similar but a bit more technical and includes a lot of racing through the woods.

All ages and abilities are welcome; youth riders compete in the morning, while Pro, A, B, and C riders compete in the afternoon. At the start of each test, riders line up according to their previous finishes and one rider enters the course every 15 seconds. There’s about a 30- to 40-minute break from the time you finish one test until the start of the next one, so you get a full day of riding with pretty much constant action.

01. Riders representing the GNCC, AMA National Enduro, and Hare Scrambles scenes make up the Sprint Enduro crowd, and the West Virginia race featured such notables as Daniel Milner of Australia, his N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha teammate Grant Baylor, Coastal Racing’s Ryan Sipes, GNCC young gun and 2015 US ISDE Junior Trophy Team member Layne Michael, and former MX star and retired factory motocross and supercross rider Broc Hepler. Here, Thad DuVall emerges from the greenery in the Enduro Test en route to third overall.Photo by Shan Moore
02. The Enduro Test was Layne Michael’s strong suit, and he won the overall based on his performance in that test. Michael has always been a good sprinter, even when he was in the youth divisions. “The key to this type of racing is to be smooth, not make mistakes, and plan your lines,” Michael said.Photo by Shan Moore
03. Ryan Sipes won two tests on Saturday but broke his finger later in the day when he hit a tree in the Enduro Test; after that he packed it in.Photo by Shan Moore
04. Jester Racing’s Josh Toth was the top LOI competitor (a “Letter Of Intent” is filed by riders competing for a spot on a US ISDE club team) and fourth overall. The Connecticut rider took to the rocky terrain like a duck to water and excelled in the Enduro Test, winning two tests on the weekend.Photo by Shan Moore
05. Former factory Yamaha motocross rider Broc Hepler finished a strong fifth overall and was the second-placing Letter Of Intent rider, which means he qualified to compete on a US club team at this year’s ISDE in Spain. Since retiring from motocross in 2009, Hepler went to college and graduated about a year ago with a degree in health and physical education. Hepler says he loves single-track racing and is looking forward to competing in Six Days. He’s currently sponsored by the US Gas Gas importer.Photo by Shan Moore
06. Drew Higgins raced Expert-AA last year and this year he’s racing pro for the FMF/RPM team. He’s a smooth rider and has had consistent finishes just outside the top five in both Sprint Enduros and National Enduros this year.Photo by Shan Moore
07. Australian Daniel Milner is an ISDE specialist, and he absolutely rocked the Cross Test, which was fast and flowing. Meanwhile, the N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha rider wasn’t quite as comfortable with the Enduro Test, which was tough, technical, and rocky. Milner would smoke the Cross Test only to lose the time he made up to eventual winner Layne Michael in the Enduro Test. Milner ended the event in second overall.Photo by Shan Moore
08. Grant Baylor dislocated his shoulder in the Enduro Test when a vine caught his footpeg and he went over the bar. We were in the N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha pits when Baylor arrived and the on-site medics were pushing to transport him to the hospital. But Baylor said he would wait on Doc McGee to see if the ISDE team doctor could pop the shoulder back in place. Sure enough, McGee grabbed ahold of Baylor’s arm and twirled it around his head; with a mighty pop and a deep groan from Baylor, the shoulder slipped back in place. Baylor told us afterward it hurt like heck, but it was almost instantaneous relief after the shoulder popped back in.Photo by Shan Moore
Sprint Enduro Magazine Story, August 2016Photo by Shan Moore