2016 Women’s East Nationals|Preview
By Jeff McConkey
The first round of the Women’s East Nationals kicks off this Saturday at Gopher Dunes. Ever since the final checkered flag flew last season at Ulverton, series co-organizers, Sylvain Brodeur and Leah Clarke, have been hard at work to make 2016 even better. A 4th round at RJ’s has been added and the girls now have 8 motos to prove who is tops in the East. As always, there will be a handful of fast Americans joining the action. Rumours early on, were that Lady GOAT (Greatest of All Time) Jessica Patterson showed interest in competing in the full series. Now it sounds like JP$ may make a guest appearance at one special round. Former champion Jacqueline Ross may also contest the series. We all know she has the speed and talent to show these young girls around the track. I guess only time will tell who shows up for all 4 rounds. I reached out to the top 10 from last season, and a few other contenders to see how their off season went, how the pre-season is going, and their goals for this season.
Leah Clarke Co-organizer
The CMRC Canadian Women’s Nationals has grown throughout the years to become one of the most prestigious Women’s racing events in Canada. In 2015, the Eastern series had a huge increase in numbers making each round a full gate of exciting action. We had over 30 girls at each race, with Ulverton maxing out at 43 Women. With an addition of a fourth round this year at RJ’s motorsport park in Barrie, Ontario, this will give the girls 8 motos in total to battle for points.
#1 Eve Brodeur
I wish I could talk about my off season but I didn’t really have one since last year. I took a month off from riding and training, worked hard at school and passed most of my finals in January so I could take as much time off as I wanted during the winter. After our meeting with David (Bond) from Motovan where we were presented the Black Rider program, we decided to step up our game and do the US series. I can’t thank them enough for this opportunity.
We made 4 individual trips to North Carolina during winter where I trained at JWTF for the most part, then I started racing the WMX US series at Daytona and Freestone with a week at GPF in between. After Freestone, we drove back home with the camper, got some much needed time off the bike, waiting for the snow to melt off the ground, and then we were off flying to the 3rd WMX round in California at Pala. We flew back home again for a couple of weeks again then it was off to Hangtown. If you would have told me a couple of years ago that I would be flying to the races at 16 years old, I would have called you stupid.
After Hangtown, I started racing in Quebec and Ontario and I was putting as much time as I could on my bike on weekends, but couldn’t ride during the week because I was in my final sprint in school work trying to do some of my next year classes to have some time off next winter.
Recently, I raced the 5th round of the WMX series at High Point and it went really good! Now that school is off for the summer I’m spending most of my days training hard, working in the house and in the garage and riding (when I can find someone to bring to me to the track, because I’m still too young to drive on my own) to get ready for the Canadian Nationals and for the next WMX rounds!
My goals for this summer are to go for a repeat of my Eastern Canadian title, to qualify in some men’s nationals and to finish top 5 in the WMX series in the US! The round I am looking forward to the most is Deschambault because this track is just awesome and I really love to race nationals in front of my Quebec crew!
#2 Kim Normandin
During my off season, I was at school and work at the same time. I train in my basement all winter long. I never do motocross during winter. When the sun is out, I get out my road bicycle and ride. When temperature was good, I began practicing 1 or 2 times a week. I need to work on some points to be fast enough for the nationals, but I still have my positive attitude for the races. I hope I can do some top 5’s this year again, but my first goal is to have some fun and be in one piece after every race. I love sand tracks, so I’m excited this year we are going back to Deschambault. I would like to thank Honda Canada, Laliberté Motosport, One Industries, Scott Goggle, Importation Thibault, Axxel Suspension, Twice, Les Entreprises P.E Denis, Porky Bike.
#3 Kassie Boone
The end of last year, I had a crash taking the bars to the stomach severing my small intestine, and ended up having surgery and a rough couple months. Since then, I’ve started working out, eating better and feel healthy coming into 2016.
I made a switch to an ’08 RM250 two-stroke over the winter and absolutely love the two-stroke. I’m feeling strong and comfortable and ready to race. The goals for 2016 is to finish every moto happy with how I road and to be consistent. I’m confident I’ve gained speed and feel we should be up there every round.
I’m excited for the first round to see where I’m at and where everyone else is. Gopher is a tough track and makes for some interesting results going into the season. I’m also excited for Ulverton. I really enjoyed that track and had a lot of fun last year. For the championship, it’s all about consistency. Eve seems to have that and her speed down, but I wouldn’t count anyone out, there’s a strong group of girls right behind her and with the tough tracks and inconsistent results, it’s anyone’s championship.
#4 Madi Seguin
Well, my off season went pretty well. I’m currently a senior in high school so I have participated in soccer, basketball and track! It has allowed me to stay in shape, but also during the winter I could not ride at all due to the snow, but I am very excited about the Women’s National races! Us girls have stepped it up to hopefully get on the top. I believe that anyone of us girls can become champion and to become most improved! But I would also like to thank my parents. I would not be here without their help and support! And I’m looking forward to the 2016 season.
#5 Abbrielle Tardelli
My off season consisted mainly of college, hockey and working. I just graduated in May and I am currently focusing on applying to PA school, and working on getting my hours in at the hospital. I am also working a couple hockey camps over the summer. As far as my racing season this summer, I have not been racing as often as I usually do and unfortunately I will not be attending all of the Women’s East rounds, but I do plan on coming to two, possibly three of them.
My goal is NOT to fall in the first corner! Also, to race with consistency and have some fun competitive battles, since I will be missing a round or two it will be hard to have a good overall finish in the series. I know there will be a lot of talented and fast racers in the series this year, including my personal favorite the defending champ, Eve! I have a feeling Kassie Boone will do some damage on a 2-stroke, as well as my fellow New Yorker, Madi Seguin, on the 4-stroke. Kim Normandin will also be up there in the top. There are so many more fast women to name, it will be a competitive series and I can’t wait to come up and race!
#6 Cassandra Belanger
I wish everyone a great and safe season. I won’t be racing mx. Hope to see you soon!
#7 Alexandra Raymond
A month ago, I had a bad crash due to a flagman error at the first race of the season here in Quebec. I broke my 2 elbows and I had two surgeries on the right one. Right after my accident, I thought it was not big deal and that I will be ready for the nationals, but I didn’t know the recovery will be that long. I want to be at 100% before I start riding because elbows are joints and they are very important.
I’m sad to announce that I won’t be ready to line up at the nationals this summer. It was not the summer that I had expected but sometimes things are out of our control! I continue to be positive and I know that everything happens for a reason. If miracles exist, maybe I will be good to race the last one?! I will come to watch, by the way. Good season, everyone.
#8 Allie Argue
Allie will be a “gametime decision” this season. She has been sidelined with a knee injury sustained at an event earlier this season. Good luck, Allie.
#9 Brittany Gagné
I can’t really say I had too much of an off season (Laughs). I raced Arenacross one weekend a month over the winter, which was new for me, but really fun. I won the women’s championship and got second in the 250 B. Other than that, I have been racing a few WMX rounds and a few local rounds here in Montana.
I recently qualified to go to Loretta’s in the Women’s 16+ All Star class, which was pretty cool. Loretta’s is the same weekend as an east coast round, so I won’t be going down to Tennessee. I am really excited and blessed to be able to race all four rounds of the East Coast this year. I don’t really have any expectations for this year, just want to do my best, put some solid motos in and have fun.
It’s going to be great to see my brother, Lane, race the MX1 class this summer, as well. He and I will be training together for the next 2 months. It’s great that a round was added to the series and I can’t wait to get the racing underway.
#10 Heather Bennett
This off season has been crazy – but I think I always say that. I have a full-time AND help my husband, Tim Bennett, with TCD Racing. I really didn’t get to ride much over the winter, which I was really hoping to be able to since he was down south with some of his riders.
I would say my goals for this year are to be consistent and healthy. We love coming to Canada, not just for the awesome people but the support the ladies get is really great! Every year we come up, I feel like there is a little bit of a surprise on different racers, and social media can really make you believe someone is working really hard when in reality they just had a good photographer (Laughs).
If I had to pick a ‘Most Improved,’ I know Chloe Metcalfe was putting in some time on the off season, so I am hoping she meets some of her goals she has set! I’m excited to see what this year holds for all the Ladies and to get to some new tracks! I can’t wait for Gopher Dunes…I like the sand and it’s a track that really beats you up!
Thanks, see you at the track!
#250 Jessica Patterson
Lately, I have been doing a lot of coaching, and keeping busy with that. I ride here and there but my main focus has been to help the people I’m working with to reach their goals. I obviously had a blast last time I came to Canada and the whole MX101 team was awesome to me. I would love to come back and do another one, one day. Could be soon…
#31 Megan Brodeur
This last winter, I have been racing snocross in USA. Compared to other girls who go practice and race in Florida or any other place during cold time, I race snomobiles. The competition was very strong and I completed my season with a 3rd in points at the ISOC National Championship.
Last year, I only raced one motocross national which was Ulverton. I finished 3rd behind Ève Brodeur and Jessica Paterson, two strong competitors. I was very happy! This year I will be racing all four rounds of the East Coast hoping to do the best I can and try to have my number at the Nationals and do some podiums.
#43 Emilie-Jade Leveille
When the motorcycle season was over, I made no special training. I rather try to do physical activities such as hockey and spinning. Also, I’m not going in the south for practice because I try to reserve my winter to travel during my vacation. Until now, my season started pretty well. I did some races in Quebec and I got the result I was hoping.
I try to improve my endurance the better I can to be ready for the nationals. I don’t know if I will do all because it is far from my house, but I try because, this year, I want to finish in the top 10, so I have to do all the races!
#196 Chloe Metcalfe
This winter, I trained down at Jimmy Weinert Training Facility in North Carolina after winning the gift certificate from round 1 last year at Gopher National. I made the jump to a 250 two-stroke from my 125 and feeling more and more comfortable on it every ride. It was a big transition and I was a little unsure of it at first but I feel it was the right change that I needed. In the 2 months I spent riding and training at JWTF, the crew there really helped with my riding style to suit the 250.
Since coming home, I’ve been training a lot and riding as much as I can. I’ve changed a few things (bike set up, suspension and mechanic) since then and feel better than ever and ready for nationals. As for expectations and plans, I will be racing all the East Coast Women’s nationals and my goal is to be consistently in the top ten. I feel that with the motos I have been putting in through the week that I can stay consistent the whole moto.
#927 Robin Hutchenson
With our national series only one week away, it feels as if we never have enough time! I’m very thankful for a productive off-season, while maintaining school, work and training. After my crash at Ulverton last August, I was battling a tedious injury until the end of December – however, I managed to train and exercise to the best of my ability.
In the meantime, I purchased a KTM 250F and was lucky enough to get down south during reading week to adapt. It took forever, in fact I am still trying to figure this thing out! Thankfully, I have Josh Snider and my dad who have been working with me to prepare for the season, pushing me to new limits and encouraging me like crazy.
This year, I am hoping for top ten finishes, and consistency at each round. We will continue to work week in and week out between races – I am really looking forward to this!
2016 Women’s East Predictions
1st Jacqueline Ross
2nd Eve Brodeur
3rd Brittany Gagné
4th Kim Normandin
5th Megan Brodeur
Thanks for reading and we’ll see you at round 1 this week at Gopher Dunes!