Photo Report|Women’s East Nationals|RJ’s Round 4
By Billy Rainford
Photos by Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
The 2016 Women’s East MX Nationals came to an end this past Saturday at RJ Motosport Park just north of Barrie, Ontario. The series was taken to 4 rounds instead of the previous 3 and the action was good at each round, with women showing up from all over eastern Canada and south of the border.
Two-time defending champion, Eve Brodeur, was clearly the rider to beat and riders took turns taking their shots at dethroning the current ‘Queen of the East.’ Here’s a look at the final round of competition.
#138 Mariah Gauthier getting set to do one more round of battle.
You can always count on Hayden Halstead to get into a role.
Young Mitch Tyler takes his turn as 30-second guy.
#68 Shannon Fleming got out to the early lead in moto 1.
#122 Brook Greenlaw’s day could have gone much better. She finished 23-21 for 21st overall and got up from this ugly crash.
In cycling, it’s actually kind of an honour to bring up the rear of the field. The ‘Lanterne Rouge’ at round 4 at RJ’s went to #12 Chelsey Henning. 22-23 put her in 23rd place.
#381 Kelcey Jones finished 14th with 13-14 motos. It was her mom who was hit Sunday while flagging. Fortunately, she texted Donna Stephens while we were at the CMRC Banquet and said she was going to be fine. Great news.
#196 Chloe Metcalfe broke the top 10 and finished with 15-9 motos.
#43 Emilie-Jade Leveille was 9th (10-18). She’ll trade her 43 in for a 10 in 2017.
I was impressed with the speed and aggressive riding style of #728 Gemma Pope on her little bike. She finished 8th (7-10) and ended up by herself in the first moto.
Off-road specialist #732 Felicia Robichaud was up in the mix with a 9th in the first moto and then a very impressive 5th in the second for 7th overall.
#4 Madi Seguin finished the season with a 5-7 6th overall which is what her number will be next season.
#3 Kassie Boone crashed and had a hard time starting her bike. She finished 5th with 6-3 moto scores. She drops to #5 for 2017 but still looks the most comfortable in the air.
I really thought we’d see #2 Kim Normandin leading races after the drop of the gate on her big Honda 450. She finished 4-4 for 4th and will be #4 next year.
I thought #68 Shannon Fleming looked great in practice and thought she may get her win. She pressured Eve Brodeur right to the finish in the first and then struggled in the second for 6th. 2-6 gave her 3rd on the day and second for the season.
#265 Brittany Gagne didn’t win the race but she definitely won the hearts of everyone at the races Saturday. She grabbed the moto 2 holeshot and was looking solid in the wet conditions. Unfortunately, she planted her foot wrong and hyper-extended her right knee. You could hear the pain as she pushed on to finish 2nd in the moto. 3-2 gave her 2nd and she will be #3 in 2017.
If you wanna BE the champ, you gotta BEAT the champ! Nope, not this year. #1 Eve Brodeur is now a 3-time champion in the east. She finished with 1-1 motos and went straight over to Brittany after the second moto to see how she was.
Shannon Fleming came close in the first moto, but Eve Brodeur went on to complete he perfect season.
Brittany collapsed in pain as soon as she crossed the finish line.
Women’s East Top 5: Eve Brodeur (200), Shannon Fleming (157), Brittany Gagne (154), Kim Normandin (131), Kassie Boone (121).
That will do it for the 2016 edition of the Women’s East Nationals. Congratulations to Eve Brodeur on her 3rd title and to Leah Clarke on organizing another great series. See you at the races…