Team Canada Photos from Thursday Practice at Cusses Gorse in England

By Billy Rainford

Team Canada MXON was over at the track called Cusses Gorse Thursday for final preparations for the 2017 MXON at Matterley Basin here in England.

The track is located only 10 minutes from Stonehenge (my second favourite henge…) and the roads getting to it gave all of us who were behind the wheel fits. You’d think simply reversing everything when you drive would be easier than it is.

Anyway, here are a bunch of photos from the drive to the track and the track from Thursday here in the south of England.

Oh wait, I forgot we went bowling Wednesday night!

Word on the street is that Summer Knowles bowls in a league back in BC. Cool?

Check out the names.

Jake Tricco slides into one.

Cale Foster and Colton Facciotti keeping it cool in the back.

That’s American Chris Alldredge hanging out with the Canucks.

Kyle Springman and Jake check the board.

The guys competed in everything they had to offer. Here’s Tyler on the Guitar Hero machine.

For a little guy, he packs a pretty good punch.

Challenging Chris to a dance off.

Colton swings the hammer.

Cale was the big winner in the punching and swinging categories.

Everyone impressed with Cale’s numbers.

Our house for the week is on the Isle of Portland. We got up early and did some sightseeing on the way to the practice track.

We headed north to check out the small town of Glastonbury.

The roads were classic English-style making the drive a white-knuckle affair.

Every driveway you looked in had a historic building like this, it seemed.

The town of Glastonbury itself is small but has some very interesting history.

Do you watch the series ‘Outlander’ on Netflix? Well, this building pre-dates that show by 300 years!

Our first order of business was finding a cup of coffee near the town square.

This is the field where the Glastonbury Music Festival is held each year. I was there to find the fire pit where people gather to celebrate the life of Joe Strummer from The Clash. That’s Glastonbury Tor in the distance where it is said King Arthur is buried.

Our route next took us to the historic city of Bath where you can see back in time to when the Romans ruled the land.

Driving these roads here is stressful enough. Cycling them is suicidal!

Hey, where is everyone?

We finally got to Cusses Gorse late in the afternoon. That’s Jake Tricco (left) and Jake Piccolo (right) from the Youth Ambassador program. Kyle Springman is in charge of these two future Team Canada riders.

The guys had already been out on the track, and were making some changes to head out again.

Cale Foster changes a clutch for Shawn Maffenbeier.

Allan Brown drops in the new plates.

Shawn, Colton, and Tyler talk about a few sections on the track.

Sascha from Germerica is back to help the team out again this year.

There were a couple other teams at the track yesterday. These guys brought their own start gate.

Tyler shows the guys some of his moves.

GDR’s Derek Schuster is here.

Kyle was NOT ready for his close-up.

Team Canada Manager Kourtney Lloyd does a quick head count.

This is Emily’s first trip to England. She’s thrilled to spend it at dirt bike tracks…

Kourtney and Summer Knowles watching some riding. Wow, that’s my first ‘normal’ photo of Summer!

James Lissimore and his mom are going to do some European traveling when the races are finished.

OK, who left the lights on??!!

Pretty slick team jackets!

Kibby checking Tyler’s lap times.

Tyler heading into the rhythm section.

There’s no shortage of beautiful backdrops in this area.

Tyler was ready for HIS close-up.

The pits for the day.

Team USA rider, Thomas Covington’s pit,

Shawn back on track.

Colton was smooth as usual.

Team Canada supporters.

Summer and Emily.

Shawn was feeling good after the changes they made.

He talks it over with Allan.

Colton should do well here this weekend, rain or shine.

Check out the paparazzi! Um, Shawn’s over there!

The gang.

Lining the fence.

Colton.

Eyes on the prize.

Ryan Lockhart from Atlas Brace and Derek.

Tyler and Kibby.

Jacob and his mom, Jen Piccolo.

Maff heading back out.

Tyler and Derek ‘Tailgating with…’ out us.

Colton has been to the MXON 5 times before. He knows what to do and should lead us to a solid finish.

Brad McLean from Atlas Brace completes a Face Time call with home.

Shawn Maffenbeier is now a 2-timer. He should be more relaxed and do well this year.

Colton checks in with his mechanic, Justin Petker.

Pit life.

Just a snapshot of more pit life.

Colton and Justin.

Maff sailing through the English countryside.

Allan and Cale after a successful practice run.

Red and White proud!

If Jake Tricco keeps improving the way he is, he’ll represent the Red and White in the future.

Cale.

Cale and Shawn.

Derek high-stepping.

Colton at the end of a good day of testing.

Then we wandered by Stonehenge on the way home. It’s almost show time!

The gang back at Pennsylvania Castle.

The entire Canadian contingent got together for a great dinner last night. Thanks, guys.

Yes, it’s a legitimate castle! The builder’s grandfather founded the actual state of Pennsylvania!

Not bad.

Hungry Canadians waiting patiently.

There’s just one person missing…

Maff gets a nice post-dinner massage.

Apparently, this calendar is for Rachel Springman. That’s pretty finny.

Kyle Springman won for funniest log entry.

Tyler does his best George Costanza pose with his banner (Google it, Bowker!)

We then took a walk down the cliff to the graveyard. I had no idea some of these guys were so nervous around this stuff! Maff helps with a little lighting.

It was actually really cool down there!

Jake takes a time out on the wall.

Oh, by the way, Kyle threw the rock earlier, you dummies!

Ryan tried to pretend he wasn’t scared but I wasn’t buying it.

See you at the races…