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ISDE Update - Morelia Mexico (Utah Riders)

6 years 10 months ago #106247 by mknight
Participating in the ISDE (International Six Days Enduro), or at least spectating it, has always been a dream of mine. Fortunately, having a very good friend that is a whole lot faster than me, has provided the opportunity for me to participate in the ISDE this year in Morelia Mexico as a member of the support team.
My good friend Cory Pincock received the invitation from the AMA this June, to participate as one of the Team USA riders, representing the US at the 2010 ISDE. This was after he had a great ride at the Idaho City Qualifier this year.

(Cory, Idaho City ISDE Qualifier, June 2010, photo credit Nathan Day)
Not knowing if he would ever get another chance such as this, he decided to jump on the opportunity. In the process, he extended the invitation to me to come along with him as support crew. Eventually, that evolved into a situation where my 15 year old son Josh could come as well. Cory has been very good to Josh, serving as a role model, coach, and mentor for Josh who is an aspiring young off-road racer who has dreams of someday competing in the ISDE himself.

(Me and Josh at the Idaho City ISDE Qualifier, June 2010)

Cory is also the one who initiated the idea of us forming a racing team for our boys and the boys of our extended friends and group of riding buddies. Together we came up with “FAST Racing (Fathers and Sons Team Racing) and it has been one of the funnest and most enjoyable things I’ve ever done in my life. Who can argue with the idea of spending about every other weekend with your family and best friends supporting each other and encouraging each other in this great sport.

(Here’s Cory and part of our FAST Racing team and the Sugarloafers AMA National Hare n’ Hound May 2010).

Myself, Josh, and Cory’s wife Kara leave Friday morning for Morelia. This is the first of what I hope to be daily updates regarding Cory’s progress, as well as our general experiences supporting Team USA.
For those who may be unfamiliar with the ISDE, the simplest way to describe it that it is basically the oldest ongoing Motorcycle Racing Event in the World (started in 1913) and it is directly equivalent to the Olympics in that riders must qualify or be hand-picked for the team to represent their country. This year’s race will have representation from over 32 countries and estimated to be over 550 participants.
It’s also important to note a few other items. There will be two other Utah riders participating in the ISDE this year. Shawn Strong and Jarkko “Jake” Vainio. Shawn is a young and well-respected force in Utah off-road racing, currently in position to win the overall Utah State desert racing championship, as well as competing for a top-ten finish in the AMA National Hare n’ Hound Series in 2010. Jake is a long time ISDE veteran from Finland who now lives here in Utah (Park City).

(Cory and Shawn Strong, Idaho City ISDE, June 2010)
Jake is the seasoned veteran with lots of maturity and experience. In 1989 he was a member of the Finnish Junior Trophy Team.

(Cory, Jake, and Shawn, Snowville Utah, USRA Desert Race, September 2010)

(Cory and Shawn strong at the USRA “Rhino Rally” desert race, St. George Utah, February 2010)

To my personal knowledge, there have only ever been two other Utah riders ever to participate in the ISDE, Greg Gillian in 2006 in New Zealand and Bert Bradford in 2007 in Chile. So to have three Utahns participating in the same year is a very unique situation.
My plan, assuming schedule and internet connectivity allow me, is to provide nightly updates while the experience is fresh in my memory, and those of you at home can enjoy the updates.
One minor side note regarding Cory. Just over 3 weeks ago (October 6th) while training, he had a minor spill that resulted in breaking several bones in his left hand. He was in a cast for a week and a half and then received some special orthopedic devices that were intended to help him hold on to the handlebars. This did benefit him some, but the reality is that he has several small bones floating around in the meaty portion of his left hand (right where your hand rests on the grips below the pinky finger) that are causing him significant pain. This is having a huge impact on his riding, and we won’t know until next week if he’s going to be able to ride through the pain. Cory had been training as hard as possible and was at the top of his game:
What a lot of people also don’t know about Cory is that despite riding motorcycles his entire life, the discipline of off-road riding is actually fairly new to him. Cory has a Trials background and has competed at the National and International level as a Trials rider for many years and was a member of the US Trials des Nations team in 2000 competing with teammate Geoff Aaron in Spain. But, it’s only been the last 3-4 years that he’s ridden competitively in off-road.
Proper kudos need to also be extended to Rekluse. Cory contacted them this past week and explained his plight and they bent over backwards to get him a new auto-clutch shipped in time to test it. He had about 30 minutes of ride time on it last Saturday and feels that it will be a benefit. It’s now been yanked from his bike at home, and he took it with him on Tuesday morning of this week and is installing it in his race bike there in Mexico.

(Cory gives a high-five to his two youngest boys after taking 1st place overall at a recent USRA desert race)
I’m looking forward to this and I hope you are too.
Mike Knight


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6 years 10 months ago #106249 by Big Jimmy
Thanks for the info Mike.
I look forward to your updates.
What a great thing for you and Josh to be able to do this.
Good Luck to all 3 of our fellow Utah racers.

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6 years 10 months ago #106250 by desertrat222
Good luck team Utah!!!!! B)

White Ram 2500, Sierra Sport hauler
KX450F Mac 26S Sailboat ME
Baker Coaster bicycle
KX85 55j Tyler
KX65 45b Colby AKA Sagebrush Master
AMA ~ USRA ~ Utah Desert Foxes ~ MotoUtah ~ PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY: Scott ~ FMF ~ Decal Works ~ Renthal ~

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6 years 10 months ago #106255 by Anderson750
I look forward to the updates Mike. GOOD LUCK CORY & SHAWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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6 years 10 months ago #106256 by rush
It is great to see some of our own local riders get some exposure on such a level and best wishes to them.

Mike, thanks for keeping us up to date. I am sure there are many of us who will be eager to hear about the experience.

YZ250, FZ6

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6 years 10 months ago - 6 years 10 months ago #106276 by tibby
That just sounds like an experience of a lifetime Mike! Looking forward to updates whenever you'll be able to connect. Thanks for doing this.
Good luck to Cory, Shawn and Jake! ...and I'm sure Josh someday :woohoo:
PS: Here is a 2010 ISDE promo

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6 years 10 months ago #106282 by mknight
We've made it to Morelia. We flew from Salt Lake to Mexico City. Mexico City is a huge sprawling city and looked very much the way I expected it. We then had a short flight from there to Morelia and it was such a contrast. When coming into Morelia there were mountains, covered in trees, and green. There were lots of beautifully groomed fields and it looked like the rolling hills and green pastures of northern California almost.

Morelia itself seems to have the typical poor areas much like what I expected (the kind you don't want to be walking around alone in), but the area we are in is very cosmopolitan and modern. Our hotel has an Applebee's right next door where we ate dinner tonight, a McDonalds, movie theater, Chili's, and a really nice big supermarket within walking distance. We went there tonight and it was just like walking into a supermarket at home.

Cory and Shawn have been having a great time here and have already had to impound their bikes. Word on the street is that Destry Abbott's bike still isn't here. Apparently Ricky Dietrich isn't here on the trophy team...not sure why yet, but I believe GNCC racer Jimmy Jarrett has replaced him.

Wally Palmer (any of you that have been to an EnduroCross probably know Wally as the crazy dude that launches his bike off anything....at least that's what I remember the one time I saw him in Vegas a few years ago) apparently flew in and set his bike up, flew out yesterday and is competing in the EnduroCross this weekend in Denver, and is flying back Saturday or Sunday just in time to start the ISDE on Monday morning.

The hotel we're in seems to be primarily the USA Club riders and Junior Trophy Team. The Trophy team is at another hotel. But, I have also seen the Swedish team in our hotel and the Israeli team. Shawn and Cory also said some crazy Canucks drove an old motorhome and horse trailer all the way from Canada!!! That takes guts.

Within minutes of arriving at our hotel, we went to get dinner and found Shawn Strong, his dad Brad and Shawn's girlfriend Trish, in the parking lot practicing tire changes with Jake "Jarkko" Vainio. I am quickly gaining an incredible amount of respect for Jake. I feel like I'm the Karate Kid in the presence of the Great Mr. Miyagi who is full of wisdom and experience. Jake is the man!!!

Listening to him and watching him is like being in the presence of Roger DeCoster, seriously. He sounds like him, looks like him, and has Cory and Shawn following him around like disciplined pupils eager to please their master. He has taken the fatherly coach role and has them on a strict regimen. (Breakfast at 7:00, Grass Tracks and Note Taking from 9:00-12:00, Tire Changing practice from 1:00-3:00, etc.).

We walked out to the parking lot and he had a tire changer, a few tires, and Metzeler foam inserts, and he was coaching them on the way "world champions change foam inserts". It was amazing!! I'm a moto geek and I know it, but seriously watching him coach and tell them how to do it was awesome and my son Josh was just soaking it all up like a sponge (only moto geeks could get excited about such a thing). His technique was so much better. It was very precise, methodical, and effortless. The first time I saw Cory practicing bib insert changes in his garage this summer, he had it down to about a 3-4 minute routine, but it was brute force and he was sweating like crazy. Tonight, he was doing it with a broken hand, hardly even breathing, and looked like he was changing a bicycle tire. His twenty plus years of experience and the great tradition of the Finnish team in the ISDE is directly benefiting the Utah riders and Team USA. Jake seems to be loving having a couple of new pupils as well, and this is an absolutely incredible experience for my son Josh to observe all this.

I haven't had an opportunity to take any pictures, but Shawn's girlfriend Trish McGuire has been here since Monday and has shared a few good ones with me.

Here's Cory Pincock prepping his 2011 300 EXC:

Remember my comment about being a Moto Geek. Check out this container! This is Billy Burns from Vermont. Shawn and Cory have been groveling over his bike and setup. He's on the Masters Club Team with Jeff Fredette. Jeff Fredette is competing in his 30th ISDE by the way!

Shawn lubing up the inserts (This was before Shawn and Cory had been schooled in some of the finer points of wheel prep by Jake. One of the things he did very distinctly different was use no lube on the bead of the tire, and installed them "dry", with exception to Mousse gel on the inside of the tire).

Apparently all the Metzeler inserts were too big and had everybody freaking out. Something in the manufacturing process was bad and they were too big for the tires.....so the solution was to just cut out about a 7 inch section to make them fit. Here's Shawn's tire when he first discovered this.

Jake, "The Man" Vainio from Park City prepping his bike, "The Way World Champions Prep Bikes" :)

Cory doing some more bike prep. Check out the six million dollar man device on his left hand. Cory seems to be doing a whole lot better, but I don't think he's letting on just yet how much it still bothers him. It will be very interesting to see if he can ride.

Trish McGuire on the right, with two of the US Women's Trophy Team, Nicole Bradford, and I'm sorry but I can't remember the name of other gal, but I'll know by the end of the week.

I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. Jake's got a strict schedule for Cory and and Shawn tomorrow and we'll be walking special tests and doing more tire changing drills and tomorrow night is the opening ceremonies which should be cool.

Good night.


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6 years 10 months ago #106295 by racedez
Awesome! Thanks for the updates Mike! Shawns got a bunch of pics up on his FB page as well, and it looks awesome down there. What an experience for you guys, and keep us updated! It would be cool to see what a six days rider does on a daily basis (besides the riding). Bike prep, planning, logistics, and what the support crew has to do.

Destry's also got some videos up on FB, and yep, he's still without a bike (Timmy Weigand too), but they should have them tomorrow morning.

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6 years 10 months ago #106298 by DEZFOX
3 riders from Utah and Mike Knight doing the updates/race reports.. This is going to be Awesome! I'll be sitting on the edge of my seat for the next week. Good Luck Everybody!

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6 years 10 months ago #106299 by Stubby
Very cool Mike thanks and can't wait for more updates

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6 years 10 months ago #106307 by dadio493
Mike, you're the man. Thanks for all the updates, I look forward to reading more.

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6 years 10 months ago #106310 by Slowdad
Way cool Mike! Thanks for the updates...there's a lot of us that will really enjoy reading these posts!

Good luck to Shawn, Cory and Jake!

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6 years 10 months ago #106317 by garr413
Good Luck Guys!!!:woohoo:

07 WR 450
USRA 413 Open AM

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6 years 10 months ago #106318 by mknight
I'm writing this Sunday morning, because by the time I got back last night and everything downloaded, I was admittedly too tired to get a report for Saturday put together. This is an accounting of our experiences and observations yesterday (Saturday).


Yesterday (Friday) I commented on our initial observations of the city. Yes, we ate at an American restaurant and there were lots of nice shops around. I was hoping to see a little more of the real Morelia today, and we definitely did!

The plan today was to get up early and go in search of the rest of the special tests. Cory, Shawn, and Jake had already been to a few of them on the days preceding our arrival, but today we were able to drive to three of the special tests and walk them, as well as see two of the other that are right near the Parc Ferme (the impound or the "paddock").

We all loaded into three separate cars and headed out with a very basic map of the city and surrounding area. The riders all ride directly from the Impound area (just like Idaho City), but from there, it's absolutely nothing like you've experienced (unless you've been to a real ISDE before). The tests are out in the countryside. The riders will be riding a lot of dirt roads and even a lot of pavement in some areas to get to the tests. I've really seen very little trail, but we weren't riding course so I'll be curious to hear from Cory what the actual course is like.

My previous comments about the city being "modern" are a probably a bit of a stretch. Yes, it is definitely modern in some areas. I've seen a Home Depot, Walmart, Costco, McDonalds, and some nice gas stations and supermarkets. But, immediately next to such modern stores will be complete poverty and slummy areas that wreak of sewage.

As we extended out into the countryside, this was even more true. We saw people living in shacks and surviving on a year, what I probably bring home in a week. It was humbling and consistent with what I've seen the few other times I've been to Mexico. The neat thing though was that in our efforts to find these remote tests we saw a ton of the countryside and drove into tiny little villages and spoke to people who were very humble and kind.

Our piece of junk Rental Car survived it all as well (but not with an exhaust that has fallen off). In our effort to find some of the special tests, we had to drive through some remote areas:

But we eventually found one of them. This place was amazing and nothing like I expected at all. It was in this stand of what appeared to be Ponderosa Pines. It was mostly flat but just seeing miles and miles or ribbon through the forest reminded me of Idaho City. It was pure grass underneath as well.

Shawn was all smiles when he saw this:

Not how I pictured Mexico.

Brad Strong (Shawn's Dad) and my son Josh:

The deceptive thing about this area and what we found with other special tests is that the lush grash is deceiving. Underneath it is pure bedrock. This is going to make for very interesting racing conditions.

We drove back and found another special test. This was was near a lake and on a side hill covered in eucalyptus trees. This one had a lot more elevation changes and off-camber corners and it looked to be more technical.

Cory and Josh walking the grass track.

This one had lots of little natural erosion areas with big square-edge drop offs.

Another of the drop offs exposing the "dirt' underneath. That isn't dirt. That is pure rock.

This picture doesn't reveal it, but this a 180 degree turn on the test with a total drop off and off-camber turn.

I gotta run, but I've got tons more of the rest of the days experiences and the parade. Here's a teaser pic:


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6 years 10 months ago #106323 by desertjas
Nice photos of countryside. "Land of the butterflies" because of the millions of monarchs that migrate to that area. FYI, Weber State has sent a lot of students over the last 15 yrs to Morelia to a language institute in the old colonial part of down down from that famous intersection with Tarascan women. I went there, and then returned a while ago with my wife. The cool thing about Morelia is that it's a good staging area to visit several colonial towns within an hr or so (Patzcuaro, Uruapan, Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allendee etc...)

So I'm very jealous as an ISDE follower and knowing the area it would be great to be there. And though I'd never be at that level riding, I love the idea of participating in something like that...especially so close to home.

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6 years 10 months ago #106342 by AlanJPeterson
Fantastic! Thanks for your efforts Mike! Please tell Cory & Shawn that I'm cheering them on.

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6 years 10 months ago #106354 by mknight
Part 2, of Saturday October 30, 2010

We drove to one more special test in the afternoon today. In the process we managed to get lost many times again, but in that same process, we saw a lot of the countryside again. We had to drive this very small paved road for a long way which eventually turned to dirt for another 3-4 miles. Along the way, we got lost a few times and had to turn around. After our third time, I had to take a picture of this guy passed out on the side of the road. Huge trucks were zooming by just feet from his head and he didn't even flinch. Finally when we came back from the special test he was gone:

Cory asking directions from a local:

We eventually found it. It was way up in the hills and was basically a farmers field.

This test looks to have the best dirt of any I've seen so far. Here's me and Josh standing at the top of the grass track.

There's a bit of a marshy area at the bottom so this test is becoming known as the "mud-test".

Team Utah at the grass track:

We then worked our way back towards the paddock or "Parc Ferme". Of course along the way we saw a few more things that you only see in Mexico such as these guys driving this jeep on the rim:

Or a Mexican garbage truck.

The Parc Ferme is situated up on a big hill overlooking the city. There is a very large and brand new and nice mall at the top of the hill and the pits are in the parking lot. There are cool billboards all over the city like this:

Destry and Timmy Weigand's bike's showed up today along with a couple of others so they had to hurry and get them built and to impound.


Timmy Weigand's bike:

Check out Destry's helmet:

Timmy putting in bibs and building his wheels.

Just what every guy needs:

Destry's bike:

KTM semi:

After driving to the special tests today, the plan for the evening was to participate in the "Opening Ceremonies". This was essentially a parade in the downstreet streets of Morelia. I didn't know what to expect, but it was actually really cool. We crammed in a taxi, scarfed down a Big Mac while sitting in the back seat, while Cory chatted in Spanish with the driver. Cory is fluent in Spanish and it's been a real nice safety net while traveling around.

All the riders and support crew had Team USA t-shirts and the Trophy Team and Junior Trophy Team had Team USA jerseys. We assembled in sort of a park area and just mingled around for a while and checked out the displays for "Dias de los Muertos" (Day of the Dead). People had shrines built to honor some of their Dead and it was cool to see some of the culture. I think the official date of the holiday is November 2nd, but with all of the festivities and Halloween, some were doing it early.

Josh in front of one of the displays.

Shawn Strong, Trish McGuire, and Shawn's Dad posing with the "United States" parade leader.

Me and Josh, same pose.

It was fun even seeing the Trophy Team riders being tourists. Here's Destry Abbott and Mike Brown snapping pics at the beginning.

Mike Brown and Timmy Weigand.

Women's Trophy Team.

Utah contingent.

Team USA chilling waiting for the festivities to start.
That's Kurt Caselli in the white t-shirt, Taylor Robert from the Junior trophy team, and Jimmy Jarrett of the Trophy Team.

We chatted with Destry for a minute and introduced him to Josh. About a year ago in 8th grade, Josh wrote a paper about one of his heroes. He wrote it about Destry Abbott and talked about how much he respected Destry for the type of person he is and how he conducts himself on and off the race course. I had sent this to Destry and he totally remembered it and was excited to meet Josh. Talk about making a kid's year, let alone his day. Destry and Josh.

Cory and his wife Kara at the start of the parade.

US Trophy Team once the parade started. From left to right, Timmy Weigand, Mike Brown, Taylor Robert (Junior Trophy Team), Kurt Caselli, Jimmy Jarrett, Destry Abbott, Nathan Woods, Nick Fahringer.

Once the parade started, we walked through the old main streets of Morelia with 500 year old buildings all around us. The streets narrowed and the crowds got larger and larger.

Here Idaho Joe leads us in a USA chant.

It was fun to hand out Team USA stickers to the kids. Nicole Bradford was awesome with the kids and really seemed to be enjoying the whole experience.

The people were just lining the streets.

This lady in green/yellow was a local. She filed in the middle of Team USA and walked the entire parade route. She was just beaming the entire time and that she was a celebrity. Here she is next to Shawn Strong's dad Brad, thinking she was Queen Cleopatra.

People were literally standing on top of the buildings and from all the balconies.

Cory and his wife Kara enjoying the moment.

Superman even showed up to enjoy the festivities.

The closer we got to the downtown plaza area, the crowds just kept getting bigger and bigger.

I'm not joking when I say there were tens of thousands of local Mexicans cheering everyone on. It was cool!

My son Josh literally walking in the footsteps of his heroes!

Some locals getting their picture taken with USA Celebrities :) (That's Fred Hoess on the left).

We finally got to sort of a city center area and they had big grandstands packed with people, and local dignitaries talking, and of course it wouldn't be a Mexican fiesta without a Mexican band.

The USA team with the flag held proudly by Jeff Fredette competing in his 30th ISDE. Jeff is a mellow, easy-going, super cool dude.

Me and Josh.

Juha Salminen and the Finnish team.

Here Dave Kamo playing a practical joke on Pam, Jake's (from Park City) wife. He had Dave Kamo stickers and was sticking them on her back while she enjoyed teh parade. Dave was supposed to pre-ride but apparently somebody forgot to bring him a bike.....so he's just hanging out helping the team and being a goof off.

What else do you need to make a Mexican Fiesta complete....Corona Girls of course. Me and Josh take a picture for Mom at home.

And a picture of Me and Josh with the Trophy Team.

The evening ended with lots of hype and celebration by the local dignitaries, fireworks, and a motorcycle stunt display in the streets. It was quite the incredible experience and from those I spoke to that have been to multiple ISDE's, they said that was the most people they've ever seen at one of the opening ceremonies/parades. As crazy and weird as this place is in areas, I'll hand it to the people because they really came out in support tonight and made for one serious enjoyable memory and experience for us.


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6 years 10 months ago #106360 by Slowdad
Just awesome Mike! Keep the stories coming.

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6 years 10 months ago #106371 by Utrider
Thanks Mike, and crew. Great to see the Utah folks getting some respect.

Look forward to following your exploits.

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6 years 10 months ago #106372 by Greg_N
Amazing experience! Thanks so much for the updates!!

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6 years 10 months ago #106375 by brassmunkey
Test 1 results in:
Jake: 12th in class, 5:24.58
Cory: 13th in class, 5:29.46
Shawn: 16th in class, 5:33.98

Good job boys!
Mike tell wish i was there.


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6 years 10 months ago #106378 by brassmunkey
After 3rd test:

E1 Class: Caselli is 2nd in class (and 8th OA), Brownie 6th in class.
E2 Class: Destry ids 10th, Jarrett 15th, Weigand 16th

Jonny Aubert of France leading OA.

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6 years 10 months ago #106400 by desertrat222
What an experience! Thanks guys!

White Ram 2500, Sierra Sport hauler
KX450F Mac 26S Sailboat ME
Baker Coaster bicycle
KX85 55j Tyler
KX65 45b Colby AKA Sagebrush Master
AMA ~ USRA ~ Utah Desert Foxes ~ MotoUtah ~ PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY: Scott ~ FMF ~ Decal Works ~ Renthal ~

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6 years 10 months ago #106404 by AlanJPeterson

Day 1 Class C3 Total of 56 riders in Class C3

Jake V 11th
Shawn S 13th
Cory P 17th

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6 years 10 months ago #106405 by v8rman
Funny, this is the pose I see Carlo in on most races!

Thanks for the updates and pictures mike and Trish. Cant wait for the videos on isde tv!

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