McThoughts | Women’s East MX Nationals Round 1
By Jeff McConkey
Photos by Billy Rainford
No, they are not sisters, cousins, or any relation at all, but it surely was “The Brodeur Show” in Ottawa this past Saturday. Megan, not Eve, got the holeshot and led wire to wire in moto 1. Eve was right there, but just couldn’t make the pass, allowing Megan to grab the win.
The big news heading into the East was the new ruling allowing girls that competed in the West a chance to line up in the East and not be scored points. That meant that defending East champion, and newly crowned West champ, Kennedy Lutz, could race should she choose to. We didn’t really have any surprises when it came to entrants, but we had a solid turnout.
There is still the big debate about it being a Pro series, but I am very happy to see that the series has 100% dropped the word PRO. It is a very good National series, and if the turnout at the first East round is any indication, we are going to have a solid year. Here are the results and my thoughts.
1st Eve Brodeur 2-1: We are seeing a new Eve this season. The big difference is that she is happy, and a happy Eve is a dangerous Eve for her fellow competitors. Like I have always said, she does not do anything great, but she does do everything very very well. I expect with the first round race jitters out of the way, Eve will most likely be unstoppable now.
2nd Megan Brodeur 1-2: Congratulations to Megan on her first win. She got the holeshot and rode fantastic. There was an issue with a lapper on the last lap just before the mechanics area that almost cost her the moto 1 win. She held on and had the perfect ride from wire to wire. In moto 2, she didn’t get the start she needed to challenge Eve, but she had everyone else covered. Great job, Megan, I’m excited to see you race the entire series.
3rd Taylor Miller 3-3: I think Taylor rode great. She has been away from racing for 5-plus years and it showed a little bit, but, none the less, she had everyone not named Brodeur easily covered. She will get better with time, but unfortunately it is only a 4-round championship. Anytime a high level racer steps away, it allows the competition too much of an advantage. Luckily for Taylor, she is super-talented, and would still be a podium threat off the couch.
4th Liz Burke 4-5: Liz looked really good right from practice on. It took me a while to adjust to the new white bike and new #4 digit, but she made it look good. She has the majority of the top 10 girls easily covered, but needs to pick up some speed to catch the top 3. She has the drive and work effort, but just needs a little more speed.
5th Julia Krzemien 5-6: Julia goes very well in the sand and after I saw her in practice I was thinking podium. She seemed a little off in the motos, but I am willing to bet that she comes out swinging hard at Gopher Dunes. She should be a podium girl there for sure.
6th Eden Netelkos 9-4: Eden looked good in the sand, she has the just go for it attitude, and it works for her. With a great start, I think she could definitely fight for a podium. Hopefully, we will see come Gopher Dunes.
7th Gemma Pope 7-7: Gemma flies in the woods, so it is nice to see her line up for a National. With some serious coaching, I think she has the speed to battle for podiums. Her short stature may hurt her a bit at Gopher, but it won’t be for lack of trying.
8th Sarah-Kim Villeneuve 6-8: I was very impressed with Sarah-Kim. She caught my eye in both motos and looked good. Interesting to see how she rides the deeper sand this Saturday.
9th Mariah Gauthier 8-9: Mariah had a great West Coast, and I was expecting her to be around 5th or 6th. She seemed a tad off the pace, and I know she has more in her.
10th Emile-Jade Leveille 10-10: Good first round for Emilie-Jade. I would like to see her get better starts and be closer to the top 5. I saw her coming through the pack and she looked solid, but she needs better starts.
Biggest Stud: Megan Brodeur is my stud. Most people don’t know this, but she is the US Snowcross champion and doesn’t get to ride or train moto in the winter. I have said it for a few years now….just imagine if she spent the winters down south on dirt.
Biggest Dud: With the new rule allowing West competitors to line up, I was expecting to see more than 2 girls take advantage of it.
Biggest Surprise: There were a few girls that looked like that hadn’t put in the off season work. I do not want to call them out, but quite a few of them looked unprepared. But, maybe it was the rougher than usual track. Gopher Dunes won’t be what they are used to either.
MC’s ‘G’d Up from the Feet Up’ Award: Emilie-Jade Leveille was the best dressed from her TCX boots, Leatt kit head to toe, including helmet, and neck brace and she topped it off with Scott Prospect goggles. Very clean and sharp looking.