What a year it was in 2016. For several years, it seemed like there was a void in Colorado Motocross; however, in recent years it seems that things have really begun to pick up for the local scene. Not only was 2016 a year of learning and growth here at Elevated, but it was awesome to see the response that we got from people here locally & beyond. It’s definitely difficult to sum up such an epic year in just 5 moments, but that’s why they say journalism is a major pain the ass. Actually, they don’t say that, we just say that. Anyway, we wanted to try take all of the dope moments that transpired in the year of 2016, bottle them up and toss out a Top 5 that would make even the baddest dudes shake in their boots. Without further ranting, here are the Top 5 moments of 2016 for your Colorado Motocross year.
Gannon Lawson Hucking the Triple at Pikes Peak Supercross:
Gannon Lawson, Ryder DiFrancesco, Danger Boy Deegan: is there really any difference between these miniature savages? Maybe it’s a little hyperbolic to start to compare Gannon to some of those megastar amateurs, but with his talent & bike skill, maybe it’s not as far-fetched as you’d think. Gannon was on a tear this year in the Supercross series, as he hit every race & was just sending it at every round. Every once in a while, there comes a kid with absolutely no fear who just loves to ride his dirtbike, Gannon Lawson fits this to a tee. At Pikes Peak, Gannon had his eyes on a big ol’ triple that even big bikes would be weary of hitting. After hyping up the crowd for a minute (total pimp move), he squared it up, hammered the right side and sent what must’ve been a 60+ foot triple with only 50CC’s of displacement. Scientifically it doesn’t even make sense, but Gannon doesn’t give a shit about the laws of physics.
Loretta Lynn’s Area Qualifier at Sweney Cycle Park:
What an epic weekend it was at Sweney Cycle Park at the beginning of the raddest summer in recent memory. The turnout was absolutely ludicrous, with a mess of out-of-town cats in addition to several locals. And the track was up to the typical unmatchable standard Colorado Motocross has become accustomed to in the last several years. With packed gates and rad battles all weekend long, it was a dream for anyone who likes motocross even a little bit. Perhaps one of the most rad things was the performances laid down by some of Colorado’s finest: Logan Lessar, Tyler Long & Tanner Wineland all showed the kind of speed that we possess here locally.
The Epic Battle Between Mitchell Gifford & Derek Anderson:
Not many races in 2016 matched up to the final moto at the 2nd Round of RMXA’s series out at WildRat Raceway. Derek Anderson had been on a complete tear through the first 15 motos of the 2016 season. Outside of a near 2nd at the 1st round to Trevor Whitmarsh, Derek had been nearly flawless and was batting 1.000 going into that final moto. Mitchell was able to get a good start, and had his eyes set on knocking Derek off for the first time. Derek got a lackluster start, especially for him, and was forced to scratch & claw his way to the front. He hounded Mitchell for a good portion of the moto, but Mitchell held on & was able to lay claim to the first Derek Defeat of 2016. What a dope battle it was, and what a dope picture we have so we can brag about how cool we are.
Connor Olson & Toddy Bannister Sneak in Through the LCQ at Thunder Valley:
It’s hard to imagine what it’s like to toss on the lid and dawn the steel horse in front of literally thousands of people unless you have done it. For most of us, we’ll just have to settle for picking up the sticks and shredding MX vs. ATV. For Connor & Toddy, racing in front of thousands of fans is just another day at the office. Timed qualifying didn’t go exactly how either of them would’ve liked, so they were both forced to try their hand in one of the most daunting race setups on the planet. 4 Laps of carnage, Top 4 get in. With a stacked gate, and their pride on the line, they went out to accomplish something that even the meanest mom would be proud of. Toddy ended up getting a pretty killer start, Connor wasn’t far behind, as he sat just outside the top 5. Toddy seemed to put everything on cruise control a bit after the good start, but Connor was riding like his ass was on fire. He diced his way through the pack, and took the lead with commanding fashion. Both of them cruised their way to Top 4 finishes, and officially made the main program in front of the hometown crowd. The picture says it all, as a couple of good buddies, following their dreams, just made the big show on their home turf. Doesn’t get any better than that.
RMXA & SRAC Join Forces for 2017:
As 2016 began to wind down, RMXA & SRAC had somewhat of a Christmas present lined up for the Colorado Motocross community. As can be seen from the picture above, RMXA announced that they were teaming up with SRAC to bring more action to the races. Their plan is to limit the amount of conflicting weekends, in addition to combining resources for an epic 6 Race Series. This is something that several throughout the community had been screaming for, and it looks like the calls have finally been answered. The fresh relations between the two organizations should lead to a completely rad slate of racing for all of 2017. And with that, we’re signing off. Eff you, San Diego. See y’all in the New Year.