Iowan Hard Enduro
By Mary Rinell
On the first weekend of May, the second edition of the Iowan Hard Enduro took place in the remote town of Spragueville Iowa. Driving in to the race course one would almost assume they were lost. With not much more than rolling cornfields and soybean farms as far as the eye can see. However once riders arrived to the private property and took a look around, they quickly realized this was not at all like the typical Iowa we are use to seeing. The property was full of hidden technical sections boasting lush green clover-infused giant mossy rocks, which lay perfectly untouched. Next to this was some very tricky looking tight single-track, steep step-ups with vast stretches of grass track leading in to an obstacle-type EnduroCross themed finish. This proved to be the perfect set-up for a single day hard enduro, leading to some exciting battles between the top 5 front-runners.
The hidden-gem course would serve as round two of the East Extreme Championship, part of the Kenda AMA Extreme Championship Series presented by XC Gear. The promoting club headed by Dan Myers, created a smooth, flow-y, and fast hot lap, followed by moto's one and two which each had added mileage and technical sections.
"About 3/4 of the way I started to really pump up because it was pretty fast, and I felt like I was just hanging on with my forearms just way too much." Louise Forsley, Factory Sherco USA told me after the hot-laps.
The fastest time would go to Delullo Racing Team's Ryder LeBlond at 19 min 20 seconds, followed by Factory KTM racer Taylor Robert, Rockstar Husqvarna racer Colton Haaker, and Factory ShercoONE teammates Cody Webb and Pat Smage rounding out the top 5. Factory KTM racer and eventual winner Trystan Hart would find himself with a de-railed chain setting him back to a 9th place finish.
Moto one would start in rows of five determined by hot laps. Webb told me later this was an advantage (or disadvantage) he didn't necessarily consider at first. "It's always good to be front row but in that second race it was almost kind of better to be the top guy on the second row.. because you got the top 5 fastest guys in the first row right, and we're like dicing it out and doing stupid stuff in the dust together first lap and uh there's only one lap in that second race ya know.. Trystan started second row and probably had a clear run and so he basically took advantage of that situation and got the fastest time." C. Webb
Trystan would confirm this unknown advantage to me later, regarding his hot-lap as 'unacceptable' for a factory athlete of his caliper. But said it did turn out to fortunately work in his favor. "I felt pretty bad after (the hot-laps), that's not my job is to get ninth.. so, I ended up turning it around, and I won the second race." T. Hart
Ryder would lead the pack early on, but a mishap sent him OTB early-on and quickly dissolved his lead. The top leaders would make good work of the Iowan terrain, with neck-and-neck racing through the entire 26 minutes. Trystan Hart topped the first moto with teammate Taylor a close ten seconds behind. Colton would come out of the woods in-front of Taylor seemingly finishing in a number two position; but a simple mistake of blowing wide of a banner would cost him the position, placing him in third. A disappointed Cody came in fourth with RPM Racing Team's Will Riordan passing Ryder for the 5th place position. “I just could not get around Colton and Taylor. I’d get so close but I couldn’t get them.. I had one tip over where I lost ground (in moto 1) so basically I finished 4th and I was ultimately screwed for the overall win at that point.” said Cody Webb
Only the top 30 would advance to moto two (plus the top trials and top women's class racers), narrowing down the playing-field and opening up to a longer race format. This final moto would be three laps with a half hour cut-off after the leader comes through the finish.. a standard format for any American Hard Enduro. As in the first moto, the lead racing was tight but this time between Webb and Hart for with Colton and Taylor close behind the two. It appeared Cody would win it, but then a throttle issue left him stuck on the side of the course allowing Hart to take the lead. Trystan ran in front for about another half lap, but Cody would make a pass in the last moments of the final heat taking the moto two win. Nonetheless at the end of the day it was not enough to top the KTM Canadian, who finished with 1-2 moto scores giving him the overall win at the Iowan. Trystan left the race fired up, and anticipates carrying that momentum in to the next round; "I'm ready to win the next one; I'll be bringing it to Last Dog!" Tryst hollered my way as he pulled off in the KTM van along with technician Robbie Goolsby. The next race will be Last Dog Standing at Glen Helen (May 15,16th) which is round 3 of the West Extreme Championship.
Cody Webb wound up with a second place finish (4-1), while Colton Haaker would round the podium with a 3-3 moto tally.
P4: Taylor Robert (2-4)
P5: Ryder LeBlond (6-5)
P6: Will Riordan (5-7)
P7: Pat Smage (8-6)
P8: Nick Fahringer (7-8)
P9: Max Gerston (9-9)
P10: Quinn Wentzel (11-10)
The Pro Women's class would see factory racers Louise Forsley with Sherco USA and Shelby Turner with KTM USA/Canada, as well as local racer Kristina Zmuda. These racers would all finish moto one top 100, with the factory racers finishing 21st, and 33rd. With that 21st place finish comes moto two entry, so even after winning her class Louise Forsley lined up with the rest of the top 30 and raced the final moto. She would complete that race in 27th giving her a 26 over-all finish (21-27). This places Louise in top of the Pro Women's Class points for the series.
For more info on EXC visit http://www.amaextremechampionship.com
Over-all series points: Realtime scoring
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