Making The Leap | Aztec Family Raceway

It feels like it’s been a good minute since the last meaningful race was held here locally. Between Loretta’s and some races that were a little far & inconvenient for most people, it’s been quite some time since Colorado has seen a respectable turnout & some good battles amidst the best we have. This weekend at Aztec Family Raceway saw a return to form for the formidable Sundays of Colorado moto. Most classes lined the gate for some wicked battles & great entertainment for us spectators. Mitchell Gifford, Derek Anderson & Bronson McClure were all in attendance after some time off from racing while healing from their respective injuries. Bronson, Logan Lessar & Brody Propernick all made a pretty significant leap to the bigger bikes & fared pretty damn well on the beefier displacement. So without further rambling, let’s get into all of the dopeness that transpired over the weekend.

A’s

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Mitchell Gifford #311 & Derek Anderson #241
Mitchell Gifford has always been known to rip at the Twin Tracks in the Springs (Wildrat & Aztec). In fact, this year alone, he has gotten the best of Derek in regards to the overall three separate times at his hometrack(s). Earlier in the season, at WildRat, Mitchell held off the fierce attacks of Derek late in the 2nd moto of 450 A to hang on for a 2-1 overall victory. Fast forward about four months and we see more of the same from Mitchell. He cruised his way to a couple of 2nd place finishes in the first motos of 450 & Open Pro: then, in the afternoon, he clicked his game up another notch and was able to secure  two moto wins for two overalls. That’s not to say that those two victories went unchallenged. Derek Anderson absolutely hounded Mitchell all afternoon in some really great battles, but Mitchell did just enough to take the overall sweep on the day. Derek was coming back from a fairly uncommon, and highly uncomfortable injury, so he still held up pretty well all things considered: capturing 6 moto wins out of a possible 8, with 2 overalls & a couple 2nds. Joey ‘The Diesel’ Olson wasn’t quite as consistent as we’ve come to expect out of him. As his weekend was quite sporadic with finishes all over the place. He did, however, have a helluva performance in the 2nd moto of Open Pro, chargin’ his way to a respectable third. We want to give our honorable mention of the week to the Springs inhabitant, Johnny Hopper, who was uber consistent with a 4-4 in 450 A and a 3-3 in 250 A.

Schoolboy / 80’s

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Bronson McClure #51
This past weekend, one of Colorado’s prominent mini rippers officially put on his big boy pants as he traded 85 CC’s in exchange for 150 CC’s. Bronson McClure has been crushin’ fools locally for as long as we can remember. The kid has always been willing to send it, regardless of the consequences. He has been out for the majority of the Summer after suffering a crash at one of the first races of the season at WildRat. As he made his return, he would be racing in a class unfamiliar to him. Schoolboy 2 was the only class he raced on the weekend, but he reminded us all why he will be giving dudes like Mitchell hell in a few years: as he went 2-2 for 2nd overall. While were on the topic of little homies on the rise, Alexander Vestal was on his shit at The Tec. Outside of a DNF in the second Supermini moto, he won all of his motos in Schoolboy 2 & Supermini. Speaking of the Superminis, there has been one heckuva championship battle brewing amidst the likes of Tyler Long, Cam Harris & Jagger Koch in both the Supermini & 12-15 classes. They have been trading moto wins like friggin’ pokemon cards. This weekend, Tyler was once again pretty damn fast, capturing a couple moto wins and a second place. He once again displayed we he’s been the guy to beat in Bronson’s absence. We got the opportunity to catch a few words from Tyler & here’s what he said:

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Tyler Long #33
EM: So you’ve really been on your a-game of late. What do you think has been the difference this year?

TL: Well I’ve been more focused than ever on not just the moto wins, but on the championship. I haven’t been breaking anything like my arms and knowing its my last year on little bikes, I want that Supermini and 85 championship more than anything.

EM: Sweet dude. You, Cam and Jagger have been battling each other all year. Has it been a fun class to race in because of that??

TL: Yah partly and just because I have the points lead and wanna and need to win some championships.

EM: Word, so what are your expectations for next year on the big bikes??

TL: Not totally sure yet but I’ve been riding a 125 around and have been riding pretty well on it!

Well, it will definitely be sick to see how this whole title chase plays out for the remainder of the season for these boys. As we move down to the younger age group, Logan Lessar & Brody Propernick picked up exactly where they left off on 60’s. And that is going at one another for position all day long. The 9-11 class shook down with Logan going 3-2 and Brody going 2-3. We have a feeling this is just the beginning of a rivalry (friendly, of course) between these two rippas.

Women’s

Man, oh man, Tawny Reinhard has been a lot of the talk amidst the Colorado Motocross scene for these past few years. After being awarded the Women’s Rider of The Year from RMXA in 2015, she has followed it up with a streak of dominance in Women’s B in 2016. To go along with her local winning ways, she was also able to make her way to Loretta’s in the Women’s All-Star class. Though she didn’t have her best performance at Loretta’s, she is far from calling quits on this whole Motocross thing. She was cool enough to toss us some quotes (no, not prices) and here’s what she said:

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Tawny Reinhard #320
EM: So you just got back from Loretta’s, what was that experience like?

TR: Man it was unbelievable, we ended up getting 5″ of rain which was the wettest Loretta’s week had on record in 35 years which definitely mixed things up. The atmosphere was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Campers lining the roads for miles and tons of golf carts, pit bikes and mopeds as far as the eye could see rippin’ through the pits. Racing was a totally different deal with it being the gnarliest track I’ve ever laid my eyes on and longer motos than what I’m used to. It was definitely a reality check with staying consistent and not riding over my head! Overall my first time at The Ranch was unforgettable and now I know I need to step up my game to finish with better results next year!

EM: That’s sweet! Do you feel like it made you a better rider?

TR: Absolutely, while we were out there I constantly had to adapt to the different track conditions because it was changing every moto. Out here in Colorado, the tracks don’t change as much throughout the day

EM: Very true. You’ve been pretty dominant in Women’s B, you think you have what it takes to go and snag some overalls in that Open Am class??

TR: Yeah from week to week that class has some heavy hitters in it, but with a good start I feel like I could run up front when I’m feelin’ it!

Some of the ladies in Colorado really have some metaphorical cojones when it comes to ripping on dirtbikes & Tawny Reinhard is no exception. It will definitely be sick to witness where she can take her career if she keeps improving like this. A couple of the other girls, who didn’t race this weekend, but had killer outings at the Ranch were Samantha Peters & Carter Daughtrey. Samantha & Carter were as consistently up front as Kanye consistently says stupid shit. They did Colorado proud by bringing home 9th & 11th overall finishes, respectively. Way to go, ladies!

50’s

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Ryker Leaneagh #117
How is the 50 class all the sudden so relevant in Colorado? Maybe cause we talk about them all the time, or maybe it’s because these dudes have really started to turn some heads. All year long, it’s been Jeremy Roe & Kalvin Valdez who were vying for the title of fastest fun-sized ripper in Colorado. But, out of the woodworks, comes Ryker Leaneagh to snag a 2nd moto victory out from under Jeremy Roe, for his second overall of the season. Well done, buddy. Jeremy Roe still had himself a typical Roe weekend as he Roe(d) his way (can’t believe that just happened, BAM) to a 1st & 2nd overall in the 50 classes, as well as a solid 4th & 7th in the 60 classes.

Wrap-Up:

As I write this, I’m kind of bummed. Only two races left until the end of outdoors. Less than a month until the end of the Colorado Motocross series’. What the hell? Feels like just the other day when we were ripping track promoters for half-assing their raceday prep. Well, whatever the case may be, it’s good to know that there is still a massively impressive crop of rippas, young & old, male & female, that give us miles of entertainment week-in & week-out. As some of the little dudes on the rise made the leap in displacement & wheel size, we were reminded of the talent that is being bred here locally. See y’all out in the dirt soon!

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Logan Lessar #211

 

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