Women’s West MX Nationals | Series Preview
By Jeff McConkey
Photos by Billy Rainford
It’s almost that time. The 2017 CMRC Women’s West MX Nationals kick off this Saturday at Whispering Pines in Kamloops, BC. This is a 4-race National series to determine which lady is the ‘Best in the West.’
With the series running only 4 rounds, there is no time for slow starts or ‘off weekends.’ These girls have got to have their ‘A game’ from the very first gate drop in Kamloops right until the series finale in Regina. Four straight weekends will show us who put in the hard work, and who was just posing on Instagram.
Obviously, the strong favourite is reigning champion #1W Shelby Turner. Shelby just may be the best all around female rider Canada has ever produced. Her moto skills are catching up with her off-road and Endurocross skills, and she will be very hard to beat.
The surprise of the 2016 West series, Lexi Pechout, will be hot on Turner’s heals. Just like our champion, Lexi is a serious threat in the woods, but her lack of jumping had her frustrated at times and on the ground other times. If Lexi was able to get some jumping practice this off-season, that could honestly be the ticket for her to reach the top. I was very impressed with her raw speed and unreal skill last season and I’m really looking forward to watching the #1 and #3 go at it in the West.
Unfortunately, last season’s 2nd finisher overall, and former champion, Sara King, has decided to take a step back from the National series and rest her body, mind, and bank account. It’s always sad to see a great rider step away while in their prime, but I’d like to wish Sara all of the best in her new adventures and hope the itch is too strong and we see the #199 back sooner than later.
No disrespect to the remaining top 10 racers, they will be great to watch and give us some exciting battles, but, unfortunately, I don’t think they will have anything for our top 2 of Turner and Pechout, but they are all working hard to close the gap.
So, it looks like we are ready to go racing Saturday June 3rd. I wish the best to all of the great lady racers lining up, and I really hope to see some new faces to help grow the sport of Women’s MX in Canada.
Let’s take a look at what the top 10 had to say:
But wait…. word on the street is that East champ, Eve Brodeur, wants to race the West. That is great news for fans, but bad news for the competition. That is, all but one lady racer. Saskatchewan’s Kennedy Lutz wants to race the best, and she feels that Eve is the best. So, long story short, Kennedy is going to ride whichever coast that Eve chooses to ride.
As a fan of Women’s MX, I couldn’t be more excited. Again, no disrespect to the other racers, but all eyes will be on the #41 and #44 if this should happen. Sounds like things just got a whole lot more exciting!
#10 Danika White
“Wow, less than a week until June! Jeez does time fly. It’s been a pretty awesome time since the last national series. I ended up getting my 2017 CWF KTM 250SXF right after and have been loving it! We hosted such a fun event in September – “CWF Shift MX Holeshot Alley” – and I’m so pumped for this year’s race – we’ve got some exciting things in store make sure you stay tuned for that one (laughs). Then this winter I was able to stud up the bikes and head out riding with two awesome chicks, Meagan Palin and Jan Campbell. Which, if you have a dirt bike and live in Canada, invest in some studded tires – so much FUN!
“Then spring came and I’m feeling really comfortable on the bike and really looking forward to Nationals! Mostly, because I love how much this sport has grown for Women. We’ve all been working hard to get it to where it’s at! Seriously, if there are any girls considering racing nationals, line up is doing our sport favour! Just come out and have fun, that’s all it’s about.”
#9 Kristin Tse
“In the off season, I focused a lot on school and having fun with my last year of minor hockey. It’s my graduation year so I really wanted to enjoy what it had to offer before “adulting” is to be expected (whatever that means) (Laughs). I played hockey, and got to ride at a few of the Arenacross rounds over here in Chilliwack. Other than that, any of my downtime was spent saving money from my part-time job.
“After Nationals were over, I continued to race the North CMRC and enjoy the nice weather. Once winter came, I was working, playing basketball, reffing and coaching junior high volleyball and going to the gym to get ready for the 2017 race season.
“Wishing all the best to the ladies out there this 2017 season, and, most important, I hope there’s a lot of smiles and fun on all those tracks!”
#4 Dominique Daffé
“Every year before nationals, I say the same thing: “I can’t believe how fast Nationals are coming up” – I swear every year the time goes by faster, and faster. However, this year we had a longer winter, which means a longer off-season and I’d say it went pretty well. Jared (Petruska) and I got our basement gym organized perfectly and used it a ton. We have everything we need for moto training and it was actually super-fun going down there together and pushing each other.
“Off-season was nice this year – I got out hiking, climbing, skiing, and doing lots of different things to keep me busy during the cold months. But just like every other racer living in Canada, we dread the 6 months of cold and snow. I’m extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to go down south for the first time this year.
“This year, I made the tough decision to not race. After the nationals last year, I took a break from riding and really thought about what to do in 2017. As I was sitting in my kayak out in the middle of a lake, I realized just how much my entire body ached. Through my years of racing I have had several crashes that left me on my head – literally. From minor bumps to blacking out, I’ve had too many hits to the head. I still raced in 2016 and as many might have seen, I took some pretty hard hits to the ground during the nationals but luckily, none were to my head.
“This winter, I stepped back and looked at the big picture. My body hurts, my head hurts, mentally I’m burnt out, and my wallet could really use a break from the expenses of racing. So no, I didn’t find a career path to chase or make big plans for the future. Simply put, every aspect of me needed a break. By no means am I removing motocross from my life though. You will still catch me at the odd race this year watching and I’ll be riding my CR125 around whenever I get the chance.
“I would just like to thank Cycle North and Kourtney Lloyd for the never-ending support, RMR Suspensions for still helping me out to this day, my parents and Sierra Roth.”
#1 Shelby Turner
“My season last year didn’t actually end until late November. That’s when the Endurocross series wrapped up. So I took the month of December off, and just enjoyed the holidays. In January and February, I managed to get a few weeks off work to head down to Phoenix AZ and do some training.
“For my pre-season, I enjoyed the fantastic riding conditions I had at my home track. I even hosted a female-only riding clinic at my track as a fundraiser for my trip to ISDE France this year.
“My goals are: I want to defend my Canadian Western Woman’s Motocross title and my AMA Endurocross title. I also want to improve my overall position at the ISDE in France this year, and get another gold medal for Canada.”
#44 Kennedy Lutz
“I’ve been at Real Deal MXTF since January. Basically, I went home for a week in April but that was it. The training here is no joke, it’s a lot of hard work, but it’s been so much fun. Our normal Monday to Friday routine starts with a warmup at 9, then riding from 10:30-2:00, roughly, a workout at 3:30 and then a road bike ride after that. At first it’s tough but now it’s a routine that I enjoy, especially now that I see it paying off. I can last 20-minute motos now and I can battle with the B class guys.
“I recently won a championship at Freestone, which was pretty cool, and now I’m doing Loretta Qualifiers (Kennedy finished 2nd at her regional qualifier at Gatorback) before I head up for the Canadian Women’s Nationals! I plan on winning it this year!”
#41 Eve Brodeur
“This year has been really busy so far for my dad and me. We made the trip to Florida in February and I trained at Club57 for a month-and-a-half, then it was the beginning of the WMX series in the US. So far, I raced at Daytona, Freestone, Pala, Vegas and Hangtown. I also got to stay in California, at the Grindstone compound, for a total of a month and it was a great experience getting to ride on all the Pro days and practice on really rough and technical tracks. I have been working really hard on and off the bike and developing a new lifestyle with healthy habits, which feels really good.
“My expectations for this year were to give the US WMX a real shot and really focus on that this year. So far, it’s going great and I’m second in the championship, so it looks like I will be able to improve my number 6 from last year for 2018!
“As far as Canada, I definitely want to win the championship again and with Kennedy Lutz as my competitor, it will definitely be an interesting year and my biggest challenge yet!”
We won’t know which coast Eve decides to race until late Thursday afternoon. Her father, Sylvain Brodeur, is trying to mix work in with this hectic motocross schedule and may have commitments that force them to the eastern series. Either way, it’s going to be another exciting 4 weeks of Women’s West MX Nationals. See you there!