Nick Burson Wins The Inaugural Rawhide Rodeo Qualifier – Round 4 of the FASST CO. Checkpoint Enduro Champioship
Ventura County MC’s 1st Annual Anza Qualifier Enduro – AMA District 37 Enduro
The Ranch MX Park – Anza, Ca – 09/18/11
Photos by BringIntoExistence.com story by RideChec.com
After nearly a year of scouting, planning, hacking bushes, hiking ravines, enduring 100 degree temperatures and marking trail the Ventura County MC was ready to unveil one of the most EPIC events ever hosted in AMA’s District 37. 20 miles of the tightest virgin single track had been packed into just under 2 square miles of land propped on a hillside in the Cahuilla Tribal lands of Anza California with 250 riders waiting at the start line with NO idea what was in store for them. Staging out of the Ranch MX Park owned and operated by the world renowned Stu and Mark Peters the 50 mile long, 6 hour event would grind every entrant into the ground.
The first of 3 laps would start with a 180 degree turn straight into a tight wooded section, up to a short euro style course, down a nearly vertical hill side and off into the woods all within viewing distance of the packed facility. “It was great to watch these guys take off and do their thing out there!” Said AMA hall of fame Inductee Stu Peters “I’m really glad we could host such an amazing event and that we could all watch a lot of the event take place right in view…”
Reigning Enduro Champion Ryan Kudla would set the time to beat aboard his T.O. Powersorts/FASST Co backed KX 450 in the 1st of 5 grueling special tests besting Burson by 6 seconds putting his cards on the table first with a strong hand… Another rider that was able to squeeze into the mix was 10x Baja Champion Larry Roeseler aboard his bone stock Husky TE 310. He was able to blow through the trees with ease, even without handguards, putting himself into 2nd by only 1 second. At 54 years old he was able to show the young bucks that he still had a trick or two up his sleeve! Just 2 seconds back Senior HeavyWeight racer Tony Megla made sure to solidify that statement.
The next special test would be the longest special of the day encompassing nearly all of the course at 10 miles long taking the leaders nearly 25 minutes to complete! Starting on the Preston Petty designed Vintage track and taking the riders straight into a 3 and a half mile section of fast twists and turns. Endurance would play a big role in coming out on top and Burson would prove to have the most stamina finishing the section in 24 minutes 11 seconds while Kudla would just hold onto second finishing in 24 minutes 57 seconds.
The top 250 experts, Nick Hamill on his 3 Brothers KTM and Michael Allen on his MSR/Fasst Co YZ, would be a pair to watch as they would tie in the first special and trade test wins through out the day. While Hamill holds the #1 plate earner Allen is a brand new addition to the expert ranks and was out for a win this weekend!
Further back in the pack riders were getting their fill of some of the best riding they had seen all year. With nearly 10 inches of rain in the week leading up tot he event the dirt was in the best condition they could have hoped for! With almost no dust riders were able to really enjoy some of the most unique terrain they have ever ridden. “I have been looking forward to this event all summer and it did not disappoint one bit!” said Heavyweight Novice Andrew Jolly. “…instead of my normal post-race nightmares which usually consist of jagged rocks and wide-open whooped out valley sprints…I think tonight I’m gonna have nightmares of turns, Manzanita, and 1st gear!” Jolly would go on to finish 2nd in class just behind Quinn Barrar.
At the end of the second loop riders were getting ready to enter the rock pile section for the 3rd special. This section would make or break a lot of people’s days. It was a World Enduro Style course laid out over a football sized mound made up of boulders, gravel and large pieces of broken up concrete. Mini Intermediate Rafa Orendain atop his 3 Brothers Racing KTM 85 would make up an entire minute over arch rival Conner Hisgen aboard his Camburg Racing KTM 85 but it would not be enough to make up for the nearly 3 minutes Hisgen had secured earlier in Special 2. Hisgen would take the hard earned win by only 59 seconds notching his first victory in the intermediate class. Burson would extend his lead in the section posting the fastest time in the section at 7 Minutes 25 Seconds with Allen holding on just 23 seconds behind and Roeseler staying as consistent as ever posting the 3rd fastest time another 9 seconds back. Kudla would struggle in the rocks, which are normally his strong point, dropping down to 5th just ahead of Hamill who would also have a hard time in the technical obstacle.
Going into the final loop Kudla knew he would have to put his head down to have any shot of getting on top of the podium for the first time in the Enduro Championship. The 5th and final test was to be the toughest of the day running riders on the most technical trails that had been laid out, down a huge natural waterfall section and backwards up a few more waterfalls… It would be Burson again dominating the field and posting the fastest time of 17 minutes 51 seconds taking the overall win by over 2 minutes! “I really wish I was on one of those TE 310’s Larry’s riding but my 450 worked amazing and the dirt was amazing and I just pushed all day because I knew Ryan was out front on minute 1 doing the same thing… Its great to get a win at an enduro finally!”
Coming in a solid 2nd overall was Kudla posting the 2nd fastest time just 48 seconds behind Burson but it wasn’t enough to make up the time he lost in the rock pile. “I really struggled in those rocks…” said Kudla. “I don’t know there was just something about them that made it tough. But I’m still happy because I still got 1st in Enduro Points which is what i really needed today and it was just awesome riding today.” Roeseler would post the 3rd fastest time of the day in the section cementing himself in 3rd overall and taking the 50+ Heavy Weight Win. “I just came to have a good day. Ride smooth, make no mistakes and just have fun. I didn’t even run handguards… only got one little nik on my pinky! Definitely one of the best events I’ve ever run I think…” said Roeseler while lounging in the pits after the event. Hamill would JUST squeak out the 250 Expert win and 4th overall over Allen finishing the final special only 3 seconds ahead giving a total of 10 seconds on Allen who would round out the top 5. 6th Overall and 1st Overall Intermediate honors would go to Bryan Burch aboard his 3 Brothers KTM 250f in his first ever Enduro Race.
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