Miller crowned Eastern Champ!
Taylor Miller was crowned East National Champion at Sand del Lee on Sunday, August 7. This year marked the Alabama native's season racing in Canada. In 2010, Heidi Cooke inched her out of the first place eastern title, but dominant motos at Walton gave the American enough points to earn the overall national #1. Taylor felt that Sand del Lee "went really smooth" and that track was "by far [her] favorite track out of all the rounds." According to Taylor everything went as planned. "And I was able to take home the east number one plate."
The CMRC scratched Walton from its Women’s Nationals this summer. Last year, points from both the west and the east rounds were brought forward to Walton, where the overall national numbers were determined. This year, things were a lot clearer and Walton once again became a race on its own, with no connection to the national women’s series. Denaye Giroux was crowned western champion and Taylor Miller, champ of the east.
Even with multi-time champion Heidi Cooke MIA due to pregnancy, Taylor Miller did not go without competition. American Brianna DeGray raced Canada for her first time and finished the east series in second. Taylor and DeGray put on a great racing show for the fans at Sand del Lee. Before coming into the competition north of the 49, Brianna did not expect to get second in the championship. “I was hoping for some podiums, but by the last race my expectations were to get a win.”
Nova Scotia’s Alexandra Josey was hot on the gas and scored her first national podium with overall third at Sand del Lee. Naydeen Lothian was consistent and was a couple points short of knocking Alex off the podium.
It was no surprise that Kirsten MacDonald and Karly Pozdenkoff were next in points. Karly, a former western racer, had a lot of fun competing in the east and was her typical positive self and finished overall third in the series. According to Karly: "There are many girls who I hadn't raced in the east for a few years who have really improved. The track was fun, the last time I rode it we were going in the opposite direction, the track is fast and the jumps aren't anything crazy so there were some good battles. It was a little one lined in a few spots, but I found the new section they added was one of my favourite parts and was where I could make up some time on the girls in front of me. Overall I had a blast!"
When Kirsten MacDonald entered the national contest a few years ago, she was already a solid fast rider; however, since becoming a name in national motocross, she has further developed and has learned a lot more since riding with top riders, becoming a top rider herself. It’s apparent in her riding style, where her confidence shines through.
21 girls lined up for the first moto. Unfortunately two girls went down hard in the first moto.
Brianna took the early lead in the first moto, but Taylor wouldn't back down. The fans got to witness some great racing as the two Americans battled for the lead. According to Brianna: "I had a great weekend! The track didn't get super rough but it was deffinitely a faster paced sand track. They kept the track perfect all day with watering and grooming. I couldn't of asked for a better weekend. I got a great holeshot and was leading and jumped into 2nd in the championship."
The battle for the lead in moto 1 had Taylor Miller come out the victor despite a holeshot and early lead by Brianna De Gray.
Denise Bles (#117 KTM) works hard to keep Cynthia Gauthier behind in a middle of the pack battle. Denise managed to stay in front of the Honda in the first moto, but in the second race, Cynthia managed to stay ahead of the two-stroke.
Alex Josey was on the gas at SDL, scoring an impressive third overall that day.
Kirsten MacDonald fended off Morgan Gillis until Morgan crashed hard in the back section.
Morgan Gillis broke her leg in the first moto in a choppy section while trying to catch Kirsten. Her bike flipped end over end and sent her flying off the track. We wish her all the best and a quick and comfortable recovery!
Danielle Sawicki placed 7th overall.
Chloe Poncia-Myers' family shouts out encouragement from pit row at their home track.
Chloe moved up from a 150 to a 250 this year. She was said that she is comfortable with the big bike and knows that racing the 250 will only give her the chance to be a better rider. She was 8th overall at SDL.
Whitney Locken ended up separating her shoulder in the first moto.
Taylor Miller lengthens the gap between her and Brianna. Taylor would win moto 1.
Off the line minus two riders.
Taylor Miller takes an early lead and keeps it throughout for the win, the overall and the eastern title.
Charline Regimbald was back in action this summer after a rough injury last year and a stolen bike. The bad luck didn't seem to hinter her racing energy. Sand del Lee was her first big race and she plans to continue training for next season.
Taylor carves her way through the sand.
Brianna did not let off the gas with hopes to catch the leader. She couldn't catch Taylor and settled for a hard-earned second at SDL and second in the eastern series.
Karly was the top Canadian in the overall national eastern standings. She placed 6th at SDL.
Jensen Amyotte was consistent in both motos for 9th at SDL.
Taylor holds back a smile while waiting to climb up on the podium to receive her #1E plate.
Congrats to the 2011 East podium: Taylor (#1), Brianna (#2) and Karly (#3)!!
Former multi-time Canadian champ, Heidi Cooke's preggo belly provides a seat for The Duke, mascot of Ottawa's rock radio station, The Bear 106.9 (he seeked her out...must be a big fan!) Heidi delivered a baby boy in London, Ontario on Sunday, August 21. Congrats Heidi and Tyler!
For overall results of the East Nationals click here.
With many vet riders slowing inching their way from the sport, and more Americans taking a stab at Canadian racing, who will shine in the future of motocross? Results from the recent Loretta Lynn Amateurs show that there are some superstars in the making. Four out of the twenty fastest 9 – 11 year olds were from the Great White North: Eve Brodeur, Kennedy Lutz, Leah Richard and Michaela Hamm. These girls have been developing their skills in the States for a few years. Perhaps their names will be the next Heidi Cooke, Jolene Van Vugt, Jessica Foster and Kristina Sundal. However with Heidi Cooke still a current national name and Karly Pozdenkoff, Denaye Giroux, Amber Giroux and Camille Baker slowing become the next “vets” (and I don’t mean that age-wise, I’m talking solely talent), Brodeur, Lutz, Richard and Hamm still have plenty of years ahead of them to gather up more skill and experience. We’ve also got Kate McKerroll, Kirsten MacDonald Alexandra Josey, Missy Hackett and Rachel Springman, who are giving the new “experts” a run for their money. And we can’t forget Sara Laliberté and Jocelyn Killough, who, if we cross our fingers long enough, may just return back to weekly racing. So the names from racing results has changed since I started following women’s motocross back in 2003, but the sport continues to grow and more and more girls are buying bikes and lining up at races, at all ages. That’s what we like to see. Canada has some great ambassadors for the sport and we should be proud.
Karly sees the role change from being a rookie to being a role model in the sport. "I am starting to feel the responsibility of helping other girls get involved in the series like Jessica Foster helped me when I was as young as some of the girls are now who are starting to race the [national] series. I don't think I would have ever raced the series without her help and support because I was scared and didn't have too many sponsors which she helped me with. I really appreciated that and I think it will soon be my turn to return that favour to some other girls, I'm sure they'd appreciate it too."
Old news, but still worth mentioning...
As for Loretta Lynn’s, Eve Bordeur was the top Canadian in the 9-11 class, scoring 3rd overall! Unfortunately Kennedy Lutz had some tough luck, but according to Lawerence Hamm who watched the racing, Lutz was very fast! Leah Ricard was fast and steady in all three motos and Michaela rode hard, but had a few crashes and a DNF, due to a crash. According to her dad, “she crashed over a jump and then got landed on by four other girls. They just kept piling on, because the landing was blind. One of the bikes actually bent her rear sprocket so her chain derailed and the bike was unable to continue. It was a little scary, but I was able to replace all the parts for the last moto. Michaela walked away a little shaken, but okay other than some minor bumps and bruises. I knew she was okay because she was only upset that her bike was broken and she could not finish the race. I was glad that the bike took the brunt of the damage and that she was okay.” Michaela already has plans to be back at Loretta Lynn’s in 2012.
Check it out! Michaela made the Honor Roll! Loretta Lynn Honor Role Students
To further brag about our riders, Kate Mckerroll finished 12th overall (out of 42!) in the +14 class at Loretta Lynn’s with a superb 7th in the final moto aboard KTM.
Canada also has incredible female off-road racers. Victoria Hett is a hard charger and works her butt off at every race she enters. She was the only woman to try to qualify for the main event of Xtinction, the country's toughest off-road race, in Alberta. She succeeded and qualified and managed one tough lap and actually finished 32nd out of 39 riders who attempted the main.
Enjoy the rest of summer! See you at Ormstown Vintage Fest Aug. 27-28.