Tuesday, March 19, 2013

ECEA Round 1: Sandy Lane Enduro

Netraphotos.com by Art Pepin
Race: Round 1: Sandy Lane Enduro
Bike: 09 KTM 200
Result: 1st A-200

Sponsors: I would like to thank Stickman Graphx, Unabiker.com, EKS Brand Goggles, Kriega USA, Rekluse, All Balls Racing, Fly Racing, Mika Metals, DT-1 Filters, Works Enduro Rider, FMF Racing, Vertex Pistons, Powerseal USA, Matto Cycle, Offroadviking.com, Clockwork KTM, Torc 1 Racing, Motorex, G2 Ergonomics, my family, Netraphotos.com, and my Dad.

            After starting the season off poorly in previous years, I was determined to change that for 2013.  Over the winter, I made sure I had everything prepared for the season.  I took the opportunity to race the first two NEPG races which were great practice for the opening round of the ECEA Enduro Series.  Needless to say, I felt ready for the first enduro this past weekend.  Unfortunately, it was extremely cold but I was excited to ride.
            The first section of the day was the tightest but somehow I escaped arm pump.  I made a few mistakes along with a superman dive after bouncing off a couple trees.  I scared myself at the end of the section when my clutch started to slip (got a little too hot).  I was able to drop a 5 which was what Jeff Melik and Ben Smith dropped as well.  My goal this season is to drop scores similar to AA riders so I was happy with the result. I certainly had it in me to ride better though.
            For the next couple of sections, I struggled to ride mistake-free but I was riding fast.  At the Georgia NEPG, I didn’t crash a single time but my speed wasn’t there.  I was glad to have the speed but frustrated with the mistakes. If I can eliminate mistakes and keep the speed, I know I can be in that top ten overall group.  I continually stayed fueled throughout the day with Hammer Nutrition gels and stayed warm thanks to the Melik family.
            In the last two sections of the day, the trail opened up a bit more and I was able to find a groove.  With the help of Ben Smith as the leader on my row, I was able to keep my intensity up.  I stayed with him for close to 2 miles but he eventually pulled away.  It is my goal to try to latch onto AA riders for as long as possible.  At the end of the day, I was able to finish 1st in A-200 which is a lot better start than last year.  I will carry this momentum into the Curly Fern enduro next weekend! Thanks to everyone for their continued support.

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