We are just one week away from the biggest off road event in the USA. The second edition of Endurocross at ESPN’s X Games takes place on July 1st. ESPN has added their own name to the event, calling it “Enduro X”. The kind of TV time and exposure that this event brings is a dream come true for most enduro racers. To even the most casual observer, it is a match made in heaven. Endurocross is the type of rapid fire action that is ideal for the short attention span X Games platform.
I am sure I will get a good laugh at some of the hype and treatment that the ESPN crew will give the event. No doubt, many viewers will probably come away with the impression that X Games invented “Enduro X”. Someone more cynical than I would probably cry foul at letting ESPN rename an AMA National Championship series event just for their own commercial purposes. Is it selling out or just good business?
But then again, if there was any possible way that I could jump on that gravy train, I would be the first in line. For a couple of seconds of fame on national television, I would sign on too. Besides, it is great to see the well deserved exposure for some hard working, blue collar riders.
Above all, the racing will be as good as it gets. Can anyone beat Taddy? I guess anything could happen, but I wouldn’t put my money on it. Mr. Blazusiak just seems to be riding a different course than everyone else. For the X Games version, there will be a few new players in the mix. Most notable would be Husaberg’s Graham Jarvis. Jarvis is coming off his schools at Erzberg and Romaniacs.
Other european riders that are on the invite list include; Jonny Walker, Andreas Lettenbichler and Alex Salvini. Will any of these riders make an impact? I doubt so. Walker was the only rider to give Taddy a challenge in the World Super Enduro series last winter. I talked with Jonny last week and it did not look like they were going to have the budget to send his bike over for the race. As for Letti and Salvini, I have not seen anything suggesting they are going to make the event.
We have a couple of interesting wild cards; Kendall Norman, Stu Baylor and GNCC winner Rory Mead. But when it comes right down to it, I just don’t see any of these riders making an impact on the final result. I have to give the win to Taddy. Chasing him to the finish will probably be series regulars like Brown, Haaker, Robert and Soule.
But behind them I expect to see plenty of crashing and bar banging from riders looking for those few precious seconds of TV time.