Blue Plate News: Giroux Podiums in Texas
Photos by James Lissimore
For most young women, their idea of a weekend getaway doesn’t involve spending long days in the hot sun at a dusty dirt bike track, but for some, it’s their idea of heaven. Denaye Giroux is in the minority. The Saskatchewan born and bred racer says nothing beats being at the racetrack, and for over a month this winter, she got her chance to race at some of the biggest and best of them in North America.
Denaye, her eldest sister, Amber, and their father, Roland, took to the road in their family's motor home a week before the Mini Olympics in Gainesville, Florida. “We went to GPF [Georgia Practice Facility] first, and practiced there for a week,” says Denaye. “Then we drove over to the Mini O’s, raced, and headed back home. A few weeks later, my dad and I drove back down to Texas.”
It was Denaye’s first experience racing one of the “Big Dances,” but she had raced the WMA Cup previously in 2006. Despite the shock of racing against a full gate of women, Denaye scored respectable results at Gatorback. “At the Mini O’s, I got 11th in supercross and 17th in motocross,” she says. “In the motocross one, there were so many girls that we had to have qualifiers. The supercross was so much fun though! I liked it better than the motocross race because I think I’m more of a jumper than anything.”
|Denaye Giroux (6) chases Jolene Van Vugt (2) at the Walton TransCan last August. Giroux finished 3-3-4 for third overall in the Ladies class at the four-day event.|
Denaye and Roland headed down to Texas a week early, and snuck in a local event at Oak Hill before driving to Wortham for the WMA Cup. “That race went really well,” says Denaye. “It was a small field and I finished first.”
She was certainly well prepared for the final stop of their tour in Wortham, and her results reflected that. She finished third in College Girl, and fifth in Women’s B. As a bonus for her results, Denaye now has the option to turn pro in the U.S.
“All of those girls down there are so fast,” she says. “Since I did so well at the WMA Cup, I can get my pro license now. I’m excited about that, but I’m not sure if I want to turn pro yet. I might stay back one more year and then go up. We’ll see how things go and how much faster that I get this year. When I turn pro, I want to do well; I don’t want to embarrass myself and get last. I’d rather think that I can do well before I move up. I want to build up my confidence more.”
|Denaye will spend this spring training at Todd Schumlick's PerformX Training camp in SoCal, along with Schrader's Yamaha teammate, Shawn Maffenbeier.|
Denaye’s main goal this year remains on her success in the Canadian Women’s National Series, where her and eldest sister, Amber, have been consistent top-10 racers in the series for the past two seasons. (They finished sixth and tenth last year, repectively.)
Denaye would have came close to repeating that overall finish in 2008, had it not been for a broken collarbone suffered at Gopher Dunes, which caused her to miss the next two rounds. Fortunately, she managed to keep her top-10 ranking by finishing fourth overall in Edmonton and 8th overall at Sand Del Lee. “My biggest goal this year is definitely to finish top three,” states the 20-year-old.
Considering her latest results, and the continued support of Schrader’s Yamaha (who she also works full-time for) and her family, that goal is definitely within Denaye’s reach.