Frid’Eh Update #6 Presented by Toronto Supercross
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to Frid’Eh Update #6. As we head into this weekend, winter has returned to the majority of the country, including the west coast. I’m sure it means most won’t have the opportunity to ride in the next few days, but the ground hog didn’t see his shadow…that’s good, right???
Anyway, in 2017, #6 belongs to the Kemptville, Ontario, native who now calls Brookfield, Nova Scotia, home. Tyler Medaglia is a rider who seems to be liked and appreciated by everyone. He’s willing to race anywhere, anytime, on just about anything! He’s never one to make excuses for his performance and simply keeps moving forward.
He’s ridden on factory teams, won 2 MX2 Canadian championships, was the AMA Arenacross West champion, races GNCC, and has represented Team Canada at the MXON. I remember telling him years ago that once he gets more and more into cycling that it would eventually start to take over his life. It looks like that is happening.
Tyler enjoys racing bicycles and competes at the front of the pack in Cyclocross and long distance road racing. It’s nice to know that once your Pro Motocross career comes to an inevitable end, you’ve still got another form of tw0-wheel racing to keep you…obsessed. I told ya, Tyler!
Tyler came on strong in the second half of the summer in 2016. He even closed out the year with a 2nd place overall at the final round at RJ’s in Barrie. Here’s a look at his results:
Now a father of 3 (3, is that right?), Tyler spends his time with his them and Heidi Cooke out in the small town just outside Truro. ‘Hurricane Heidi’s Bakery‘ is always a place to gather when the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals head to the Maritimes. Be sure to head in for breakfast of a soup and sandwich this year.
We grabbed Tyler for a chat to find out what he’s been up to and what the future holds. Here’s what he had to say:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Tyler. We haven’t seen you for a while. I hope you had a great Holiday Season. Let’s start like we always do and first talk about last season. Can you take us through how you feel your 2016 outdoor season went?
Tyler Medaglia: Yes, it has been a while hasn’t it ? Holidays were great. With the kids at busy ages it was eventful to say the least. I hope all is well with the MX community! My outdoor season went well, I thought. I learned a lot, answered some questions I had for a few years. I would say my season was an experimental one when normally I would say I’m fairly content with just going with the flow. I wanted to try a few things. Different suspension, 350, and a different training approach.
You definitely started looking faster and more comfortable when the series headed east. Was there a reason for that?
Well, believe it or not, I’m not as good as (Antonio) Cairoli so thinking that I can be competitive on a 350 was a mistake on my part. I really enjoy riding the 350 as it fits me properly and it’s fun to throw around, but racing against world class riders you need the power of the 450.
Also, I switched to a WP Trax shock the Saturday before Pleasant Valley and that changed the characteristics of the bike that played to my liking. Then, finally we found the gearing that helped my starts at RJ’s. So, now I have a great baseline coming into this season and the goal would be to start off this season how I left off with last.
What was it like to be traveling and pitting out of the Husqvarna sprinter van and having your dad in your pits again?
Well, my dad usually ends up in my pits no matter what form of transportation and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Having said that, he breathes down Kibby’s neck while he is working on the bike and sometimes that seems to stress Kibby out. In his defence, he has taught Kibby a lot about mechanics but it’s time to give him more space (Laughs).
What was the highlight of your summer?
I always enjoy the time we spend out west between the nationals. The playing out there was fun with Kibby and Heidi came out too. My first podium at Pleasant Valley in front of my family and friends was likely the highlight.
You like to keep busy with a variety of activities. What did you get up to after the Canadian outdoor series ended at RJ’s?
Well, I had two key races that I was targeting: Unadilla GNCC and des Nations. I rode well at both but first lap of Unadilla a branch ripped my gas line apart and I lost 15 minutes sorting out why my bike stalled out. Des Nations was unreal. I felt we all rode strong. 6 minutes to go, with likely a tied record for Canada, my chain came off and bumped us back to 10th. I would like that moto back. Also, the cyclocross was big for me in the fall and I focused on that after the mx racing was done.
Let’s talk about that Cylocross stuff. How would you compare the two sports? Do you have more bike racing planned?
In cross it’s important not only to have good power and endurance but also you need bike handling skills. I actually prefer road racing as it’s more tactical but I miss most of the races to mx. Cross is in fall and you can make the entire series. It’s an all out hour of suffering but you keep coming back for more. I raced the National Championship in Quebec and got 14th day 1 and 8th day 2 against Canada’s best. I would like to continue my progress in the sport again this year.
What are your winter training/racing plans?
I am actually doing two Husqvarna Canada ice events the next two weekends. The Ice Rip media event this weekend and the Gran Prix de Snow next weekend in Toronto. We have a full fleet of bikes studded up, including the 701 Super Motard with monster scrambler tires studded. After that, I will go home for a bit before heading somewhere in the states to train.
You are a Husqvarna Canada guy right now. With the announcement of Christophe Pourcel coming to Canada, will this affect what you do with them next season or is your program already set out?
It will affect my program, I believe, but to what extent I’m am still not sure. This is being sorted out as we speak but I’m sure something will be announced before too long.
How do you see your 2017 racing season going?
I want to start how I left off. That’s my goal. Be a threat from round 1.
Hey, while we’ve got you here, what has your younger brother, Jeremy, been up to? Can you comment on what he may get up to next summer?
Jeremy, Kibby and myself have been doing some work for my parents’ company. At the end of last year I think he wasn’t sure if he wanted to race again. Now, I think he’s flirting with the idea but I’m not really sure. He will always ride and is plenty talented enough to show up and compete in the sharp end of any race. He rides a 450 better than a 250 so when and if you see him next it will be on the big dog.
If you had one piece of advice you could give to a young rider with aspirations of being a Pro motocrosser, what would it be?
Stay in school. You can compete at the highest level of sport while still maintaining a degree of education. You need social skills. There are way too many “social morons” in this sport. When you practice, make it beneficial, don’t go and just burn gas, worry about you and what you can control.
What do you see yourself doing after you’re done racing at the Pro level?
I have a great relationship with Husqvarna, maybe continue with them in a different role. Realistically though, something that will support my family. 3 kids…you know how many pairs of Vans 3 white kids wear!?
OK, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. Before you go, who would you like to thank?
My family, especially Heidi. She’s a huge part of my success at any level and puts up with a lot of my BS. Husqvarna Canada, Atlas, 100%, HAF Skate and Tattoo and all of my continued supporters.
I guess we’ll be seeing Tyler next Sunday at the ‘Grand Prix de Snow’ in Campbellville. Get some skills, McConkey, you’ve got some competition!
Monster Energy Supercross
Well, it’s finally Friday, but it’s also cold and flu season here in Southern Ontario. I myself am under the weather so this week will be brief for me. All of the big talk seems to be about Eli Tomac and his huge turn around. Word is that they made some bike changes, but let’s be serious. Yes, it may have helped a bit here or there, but the majority was Eli himself. Whatever his issue was, he figured it out. He looks pretty unstoppable, but do did Ken Roczen.
The field is too stacked to dominate every race like he has during the last two main events. Ryan Dungey is too good and too consistent to hand over his title in what I personally think is his last season.
Championships are won with your ‘bad’ races. Dungey’s bad races are 2nds and 3rds. Eli, on the other hand, hasn’t mastered the amazing consistency that Dungey has. And to be honest, I don’t see anybody else being that good, and that consistent. Some people call it boring, but I have a ton of respect for the guy and his program and would kill to be ‘boring’ just like Ryan. Baker Factory training partner, Jason Anderson, has seemed to kickstart his ’17 season and looks to be back on track and ready to return to his podium ways.
With the east coast just around the corner, many riders will be making their way back to their familiar east coast tracks and training facilities. The tracks are also going to change up quite a bit and we are going to see many different types of dirt. This weekend we are back in a dome, and that has almost everyone smiling. Here are my Dallas predictions:
1st Marvin Musquin
2nd Ryan Dungey
3rd Jason Anderson
4th Eli Tomac
5th Cole Seely
In 250 West action, it’s officially ‘The Justin Hill Show.’ Shane McElrath looked to be on his way to his first Pro championship. No, he didn’t throw it away, and no, he hasn’t been riding bad at all. It’s just that Justin Hill is in the zone right now.
I’m still waiting for Aaron Plessinger to finally get a start and show everyone that he has the tools to win. His starts have killed him, and most likely cost him this championship.
Young Austin Forkner was riding high after his first career podium, but unfortunately he hit the dirt plenty and finished the main last. I’d like to see him bounce back and run up front. Here are my predictions:
1st Justin Hill
2nd Aaron Plessinger
3rd Austin Forkner
4th Shane McElrath
5th Dan Reardon
Christophe Pourcel to Canada in 2017
In other big news, Dean Wilson has replaced Christophe Pourcel aboard Rockstar Husqvarna. It’s great for Deano and great for Canada. Pourcel will now be focussing on the CMRC Rockstar Energy Nationals. Whenever you can add a name like that to your series, it’s an instant win. He is a world champion, 2-time regional SX champion, and he narrowly missed out on 2 250 AMA National championships. He will instantly become a title contender and I’m sure a fan favourite with the French fans in Quebec. I’m very excited to see him battle the likes of Matt Goerke, Colton Facciotti and Kaven Benoit for the MX1 crown.
That’s all for me. I’m still under the weather. Have a great weekend and #smileforBC and #liftwithscott.
Thanks, Jeff. And I was only kidding about going head to head against Tyler Medaglia next week on the Husqvarna Canada ‘Ice Bikes.’ At your age, it’s nice to still be able to throw a leg over a bike at all!
DMX Toronto Supercross Parties at The Houston
It’s hard to believe we only have 3 weeks until we do it all over again at the DMX Toronto Supercross Parties at The Houston! These things have taken on lives of their own and now hold the title as “The Best Supercross Parties of the Year!” It’s true, you can look it up!
These aren’t pretentious club-style parties, either. The Houston walks the perfect line between pub, eatery, and dance bar. David Toye is the guy behind making sure it all runs smoothly and we couldn’t do it without his help. He’s at the helm as ‘Party Planner’ again this year, so you know it’s going to be a blast!
With tons of SWAG to hand out from our great supporters and a solid group of Pro racers on hand to bench race with, you’re going to want to get over to Yonge Street pretty quickly after the 450 checkered flag waves because it usually fills up pretty fast.
Thanks to all the sponsors for giving generously to the success of these things!
Redemption Racing Update
I’m always happy and surprised when I call one of our team managers on a Friday and they actually pick up the phone! Josh Snider was kind enough to put down a crescent wrench and chat with me today while working on a diesel truck.
Of course, the topic of 2017 racing came up. First off, Josh simply said, “I can’t tell.” I asked him if that meant he couldn’t tell me or that he couldn’t tell what was going on? We had a good laugh about it and then he softened his stance a little and threw out a few clues.
“We’re going racing. We were always going racing!” ~ Josh Snider
OK, so then I had to pry a little more. Whenever we do a ‘Who’s Racing Where’ article outlining our top 20 National riders, we get stuck at #7 Cade Clason simply because we aren’t sure what he’s got planned for next summer.
Josh said, “Unless Cade chooses to go somewhere else, we’ve got a spot for him.” So they should have the big #7 in the MX1 class alongside Eric Jeffery. There were rumours younger brother, Alex Jeffery, was stepping away from Pro racing but Josh said we’d have to ask him on that.
What was interesting was that Josh said they are in talks with an American rider to compete in the MX2 class who he said, “Unless there’s a mechanical issue or someone takes him out, this rider should be battling for the 2017 MX2 title.” The only other clue he’d give me at this time was that this mystery speedster is racing 250 Supercross this year. He wouldn’t say east or west. In fact, Josh basically said his money would be on this rider to win if they can make this deal happen. Interesting…
The important thing here is that the Redemption Racing rig will be at round 1 in Kamloops and the coffee will be hot. Good luck closing all the deals necessary to make this a successful year, Josh.
Catching Up with…Nathan Bles
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but there are an awful lot of Canadian Snow Bike racers doing well and racing a lot these days. Ontario Pro motocrosser, Nathan Bles, has thrown his hat int he ring and has been racing snow bikes and sleds this winter. And he’s doing very well! We thought we’d grab him for a chat to find out how things have been going with the likeable lad:
Direct Motocross: Hey, Nathan. We haven’t spoken to you in a little while. Let’s back up for a second and talk about your 2016 summer. What were you doing for the early part of it, before RJ’s?
Nathan Bles: Hey! Ya, it’s been a while. Well, I worked full-time for Hayter Excavating, running all sorts of heavy equipment. I really enjoyed it actually, made me realize I can enjoy work. I raced a few local events and unfortunately at BAJA MX in the spring I got hit by another rider and broke my wrist. Bad enough it required surgery. That set me back a lot with fitness and self-esteem with racing. On the bright side, I had another summer in a row to enjoy at home with family.
You showed up in Barrie and finished 9-13 for 11th overall in MX1 that day. Can you take us through how that went?
Yes, Barrie was a surprise. Getting a phone call from Derek (Schuster) out of the blue felt so good. It also relit the fire in me to race. Also, it gave me much more appreciation for the help. Only riding the bike 2 times before racing was hard, yet I felt right at home on it. It sucked I wasn’t in shape to race to my potential, but it showed I can still come off the couch and run with the top riders.
It was more of a survival race (Laughs)…just finish and have fun doing it. I hadn’t done a start or raced in over 2 months at that point so I was real rusty but still did all right.
Unfortunately, in the second race I got hung up in a crash on the start and went down. I was able to fight back to 13th. With no preparation or fitness I felt like 9th and 13th was fairly good.
What were you hoping to accomplish there?
My goals where to enjoy the moment. Not often you get to sit under a factory tent with factory equipment. The ultimate goal was to finish top 10.
What did you do after that final round in Barrie?
Back to work and waited for Walton to start.
What did you think of that event?
Honestly, I feel like they have a great idea and can work real well in Canada. We need an event like that. That being said, we the riders and teams need to step up and work with them. But I also think there’s room for improvement on their end. As for the racing, I had fun and raced at a fast pace. So fast I ended on the ground….. Part of learning I guess.
What did you get up to after the Walton race?
After Walton I went back to the real world. Work and riding on the weekends.
OK, so let’s get to this whole winter racing thing. You’ve been lining up on Snow Bikes and Sleds lately. How did all this come about?
Yes, all new for me and loving it! My buddy, Justin Roney, got me hooked on the idea and next thing I know we got sleds and we are racing (Laughs). The snow bike deal came about at the first CSRA snow cross event. I got to meet Stu and Derek from Bailey Motorsports team and they had a Yeti snow bike for show.
Next thing I know, Dave Bell is announcing my name over the PA system to get out on the track with the snow bikes. No lie! I was shocked! So there I was running over and hopped on it for the first time and rode it. It was so different from anything I have ridden before.
Which races have you done?
I have only raced this past weekend at Sault Ste. Marie. So both Saturday and Sunday. I have had a few practice days before hand.
Can you take us through those?
Saturday I won the first race and had to fight through the riders as I got a bad start. Made for a tense few laps. Second race I struggle again with my starts and was fighting my way to the front until I had a bike malfunction. I went 1st-DNF for 3rd overall.
Sunday I was on a mission to take both moto wins. That’s actually what I did. Felt comfortable and started hitting some bigger jumps and flowing with the snow and corners. Felt good and went 1-1 for the overall.
Which is tougher, sleds or snow bikes? Differences?
Both are extremely tough. Sled are heavy…real heavy! And fast. You can get out of hand real quick. Racing them is scary at times, mostly over the jumps. It’s like bumper cars out there (Laughs).
Snow bikes are tough in their own way. They are awkward to jump. You have to really muscle your way around the bike. It doesn’t like to turn on hard snow and likes to slide out. It’s awesome when you have a berm or deep snow to bank against. Toughest thing to understand is one small mistake can lead to hitting the ground. Sleds can balance themselves.
Which races are you doing next? And the winter?
I will be doing the rest of the CSRA events this winter. Barrie is next on the calendar.
Is this something you see yourself doing more of in the future?
For sure! It’s so new and we are just starting to get the hang of things and I think we are going to see some huge improvements on the snow bikes kits.
OK, how about your 2017 summer plans? Things are tough out there, even for a top 10 guy like you!
2017 summer is going to be fun! I will be out there racing, riding and involved in the sport. As for finding a bike brand or deal or team? I haven’t sorted that out just yet. I will sort something out, to what extent we will just have to wait and see.
What do you see yourself doing in life after motocross?
Honestly, doing something I love. I feel like I will be involved in the Motorsports industry. Or just doing my own thing with family. Either way, I am sure it will be good.
If we have to push you for your best racing memory, what would it be?
There are so many. The more I think about it. I start to realize how many amazing moments I have had racing. The best racing memory is also my best result in my career as a Pro. 2014 racing in Ulverton in the first MX1 moto of the day. I got a top 10 start and raced my way to third with not a clue I was in third. I was just having so much fun and just in the zone. I did get passed on the last lap and finished fourth but I felt good about myself as a rookie in that class and full privateer.
Yep, we were there and it WAS awesome, but you’re probably still angry with Kyle Chisholm for passing you. OK, thanks for the chat, Nathan. Who would you like to thank?
Ya, thanks! I want to thank my whole family and close friends for being behind me from the start, Xtreme Toys, Bailey Motorsports, Flybyu Motorsports, TCD Canada, and Team LTD for making the snowcross and snowbike dream a reality.
Cole Thompson Update
If you’ve been wondering what our top Supercross rider of the past few years has planned for this Supercross season, here is what Cole Thompson is up to.
Cole is busy training down at MTF, GPF, and Bam Bam Land in Georgia so we grabbed his brother, Kyle Thompson, for a quick update.
Cole will skip the first round of 250 East Supercross in Minneapolis, but then will race Atlanta, Toronto, Daytona, Indianapolis, Detroit, and St. Louis.
Cole will be pitting out of their RV with Kyle spinning the wrenches down south and Steph LeBlanc taking over at the Toronto round.
Noah and Bjorn Viney Update
Now that I know Ulf, Bjorn, and Noah Viney are 100% Canadians from the Ottawa area now living in Northern California, I will be keeping a close eye on their progression through the amateur ranks. Sorry, guys! lol They’ve also got new Canadian Pro rider, Brandon Gourlay, spinning the wrenches for them out in California.
Recently, younger brother, Noah, headed to Perris Raceway for the Transworld Motocross race. Noah grabbed two 2nd’s (did they just say “two 2nd place wins“?) and a 4th, racing his 65 in the 85 class.
You can read a little more over on the BTO Sports Blog HERE.
Older brother, Bjorn, is currently under the weather and is off the bike for now. We’ll let you know how he’s doing and when he’s back on the bike.
Good luck, guys. We’ll be watching from north of the border!
DMX Toronto SX Ticket Giveaway | Photo Contest
It’s that time of year again. The time when Direct Motocross teams up with the Toronto round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series. This year, we wanted to give someone the chance to win a 4-pack of 200-level tickets to the big night at the Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto. Here’s what you have to do…
1. Send us your favourite motocross-related photo THAT YOU TOOK before Friday, February 17th.
2. We’ll choose the top 4 finalists and then turn over the voting to the general DMX-reading public for the final verdict.
3. The winning photo/photographer will be announced Friday, February 24th.
Please be sure you are available to go to Toronto for the March 4th event before you enter this contest.
Email your photo to: firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘TO SX Photo Contest’ as the subject line.
Good luck, everyone!
NB: We have recently moved the site to a new host/server and the email@example.com email is not quite set up yet. Please be patient and we’ll make an announcement when it is working and we’re able to accept entries. We apologize for the delay.
OK, have a great weekend and enjoy the final round of 250 West competition for a while before the 250 East riders debut in Minneapolis next week.
Get ready for some air time!