Monday Morning Coffee
By Billy Rainford
Good Monday Morning. It’s Monday, right? Is it morning? What happened? These are all valid questions after spending a hot day in the sun at the motocross races and then hopping straight into the van at 8pm to start driving 9 hours west from Deschambault, Quebec, to DMX HQ in London, Ontario. Fortunately, I didn’t have to do all the driving this time! It was great to have Jeff McConkey at the races at round 9 to get a whole bunch of the heavy lifting done at the Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals.
Did you get a chance to listen to his podcast interviews from Deschambault, yet? No? OK, we’ll wait while you click HERE and give them a listen…
OK, welcome back. Thanks for doing that. It was a pretty amazing weekend to be at the races.
You know when you’re delirious on the highway wondering how you’re going to drive the next 3 minutes, let alone the next 8 hours? That’s how everyone probably felt as they left the track last night after a full and demanding day in Quebec (Jeff likes to say, “Cue-bec” just to be a jerk). As I took my turn behind the wheel in the wee hours of the morning, I struggled to talk myelf out of talking a ‘nap while driving’ and began going over what I had just witnessed. There were a lot of ups and downs Sunday at the races. Let’s focus mainly on the ups.
Cole Thompson Clinched First Pro Outdoor Title
#4 KTM Canada Thor Racing rider Cole Thompson may have preferred to be competing in the MX1 class this summer, but clinching the MX2 title with one round left to race has got to feel great. It would be hard to argue against the fact that he was the guy to beat heading into this series. Cole has a proven pedigree and was pegged by just about everyone you asked to win this one, but he still had to go out and do it.
The only thing that took even the slightest bit of sparkle off this victory was how upset Cole seemed to be with himself for not winning the final moto at Deschambault. He was so angry that team manager, and 5-time Canadian champion, JSR had to come up on stage and physically force a smile on Cole’s face. Come on, Cole, suck it up and enjoy the moment. You’re going to look back at this for the rest of your life and it should be with nothing but pride and a fulfilling sense of accomplishment. Any one of the 39 other riders would be pretty quick to trade places with you up there on the top step of the podium.
Congratulations to Cole and the entire team for winning this title. In a year that had some questioning how the orange team would fair, it looks like they are going to win everything in 2016! Well done, gang. This victory was one of two things that made the hectic travel weekend easily worth the sleepless effort.
Keven Benoit Gets First Win in Front of Home Crowd at Deschambault
Jeff picked it! He said that if KTM Canada Thor Racing rider #11 Kaven Benoit was going to beat his teammate #118 Davi Millsaps it was going to happen at Deschambault, and it did. Man, what an emotional win it was! In front of a very partisan crowd that included both his parents and his brother, Kaven Benoit took the next step in his already storied career to the top spot on the podium. It was great and made all everyone there forget about the long drives they had ahead of them…for a few minutes, at least.
Kaven got out behind Davi in the first moto and the two of them put on a rough, sand track riding clinic all the way to the checkered flag. Before the second moto in staging, Davi looked at Kaven and said, “I could see you smiling back there the entire moto!” All Kaven could do is look at him and continue smiling.
In the second moto, Davi got out to the lead but then messed up and handed the lead to Kaven who ‘made hay while the sun shined!‘ He put on a charge for a few laps that saw him gap the rest of the field and had the Quebec crowd lining the fences and screaming at the top of their lungs. All I can say is that I’m really glad I was there to witness it.
Kaven’s 2-1 motos gave him his first moto win and his first MX1 overall. What was almost as impressive was the amout of class and respect shown by the other podium riders, Davi Millsaps and Matt Goerke. As much as everyone want to win, they were quick to congratulate Kaven and seemed genuinely happy for him. It was one of those rare racing moments when sharing in someone else’s accomplishment takes precedence over your own personal goals. Congratulations, Kaven, you’ll remember this day for the rest of your life.
Canadians at Loretta Lynn’s
I had big plans of preparing a nice Excel spreadsheet of our Canadians’ results at Loretta Lynn’s but just ran out of time to have it ready for this Coffee column. After I drop James Lissimore off at the airport today, I’ll be sure to get it together and post the results up in a nice, concise article. Here is a look at the riders who competed:
53 Nick Denniston – 250 C/450C
28 Shane Mercieca – 250 C/250 C Sr. (12-16) Ltd.
91 Blair Nauta – 250 C Ltd.
81 Kobi Cox – 250 C Jr. (12-16)
71 Carter Hutcherson – 450 B/College (16-24)
42 Austin Watling – 450 B/College B Ltd.
74 Cole Wilson – 450 C
44 Kennedy Lutz – 450 C/Women (14+) Amateur
17 Ryan Gauld – Junior 25+/Vet 30+
13 Brenner Lammens – 51 (4-6) Ltd.
22 Preston Masciangelo – 65 (7-9) Ltd./65 (7-11)
46 Tanner Scott – 65 (10-11) Ltd.
79 Cameron Wrozyna – Mini Sr. 1 (12-13)/Mini Sr. 2 (12-14)
52 Jake Tricco – Supermini 1 (12-15)/Supermini 2 (13-16)
46 Marco Cannella – 125 (12-16) B/C/Schoolboy 1 (12-16) B/C
84 Tanner Ward – Schoolboy 1 (12-16) B/C/Schoolboy 2 (13-16) B/C
67 Emma Saarela – Girls Sr. (12-16)
Canadian Kade Tinkler-Walker Competes in Switzerland
As I was shooting some pre-race video at the track in Deschambault yesterday, a familiar voice called my name and I turned to see Dave Walker lining the start straight waiting to check out another moto. Dave is Kade Tinkler-Walker‘s dad and he told me that Kade is still at it hard over in Europe and just finished a race in Switzerland.
Kade first went over to Europe a couple years ago and lived in Italy and competed in the Junior series and the Indoor races. He now calls Germany home and lined up against some of the best in the world. We’ll be sure to catch up on the young globetrotter to find out what his daily life is like over there as soon as we get the chance.
Team Canada Des Nations Raffle Ticket…I’ll Have them at RJ’s this Weekend
Purolator just dropped off an envelope full of Team Canada MXON raffle tickets. I will have them on me this coming weekend at RJ’s for the final round of competition. If you’d like to buy a dozen or so, and get our guys over to Italy, please grab me trackside or head over to the DMX ‘Hospitality Zone’ (otherwise known as a red Dodge Minivan).
OK, it’s time to head across town to the London Airport and drop off James so he can spend a couple days at home out in BC before turning around and flying right back to Ontario, Friday. Have a great week and be sure to check the site frequently as we get back at it and start posting all this content we generated from a weekend in Quebec City.
The Tragically Hip play for the final time here in London tonight. No, I don’t have tickets but I’m definitely going to head downtown and see if anyone left a back door open…