To think of the simple fact that it’s 2017 is honestly kind of mind-boggling on the face of it. Personally, I’m only 23 years old, but it feels like just yesterday when I got my first bike (in the mother friggin’ 90’s!). Nearly two decades later, the promise of the upcoming motocross season gets me as stoked as it ever did. It’s hard to understand what it’s like to take part in this sport unless you’ve experienced it, but even if you have experienced it, it’s hard to even put into words. Excitement, nerves, anticipation, the whole nine yards; there’s really nothing else that compares.
This weekend Colorado Moto officially got underway at one of the classic Colorado tracks, IMI Motorsports (Erie). IMI has slowly began to establish itself as a solid race weekend track & has continued to deliver on rad track conditions despite what the weather does. Between the RMXA Season Opener & the CORCS race in the Springs, this weekend was one to remember in Colorado moto. Collectively among the two races, there were well over 900 unique entries, which is solid by anyone’s metrics. Before we get into the action, would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family & friends of Kevin Malone, who tragically passed away at the CORCS race. We hope that you all are able to find comfort in these trying times & the whole Elevated Mx crew is here for anyone that needs it. Without further ado…
You guys remember at last year’s season opener when Derek Anderson was nearly untouchable as he cruised his way to an impressive sweep of his four classes? And you remember the following weekend when some dude brought his torrid streak to an end in the last moto of the day? Yeah, well that dude is Derek Andersoning in 2017. Mitchell Gifford was seriously dominant for the majority of opening weekend up at IMI. Assertive, fast & crafty: there really was no stopping the young Colorado Springs product on his way to a clean sweep of both 450 & Open Pro. Don’t get us wrong, there were certainly stellar performances from the likes of the always fast Cody Gray & others, but it was apparent that Mitchell Gifford means business in seventeen. It will be dope to see how the rest of the season turns out, in addition to finding out what the boys can do to knock ol’ Mitchell off.
We wanted to give a shoutout to some of Colorado Motocross’ most familiar faces who made their comebacks to racing after significant hiatuses from the scene. Ron Reed showed some real speed in 450 Pro, as he led his machine to a sound 5-5 for 4th Overall. Adam Brown returned to the track where he had one of the scariest crashes of his career after 3 years, and was able to piece together a couple of 8th Overall finishes.
Man, if last year was no indication of the crop of talent currently being groomed in Colorado, the opener certainly reaffirmed just how fast our younger rippers are. In the 85’s, it was all Jagger Koch at the front of the pack. Feeding off of his momentum from a pretty solid 2016 campaign, Jagger was lights out on the 2-Stroke. Not trying to pump his ego too much, but similarly to Mitchell on the bigger displacement, Jagger was untouched on the weekend: leading him to a clean sweep of his 2 classes. Kaleb Hale took a big step forward in ’17, as he came out & rode to some solid 2nd & 3rd place finishes. Perhaps the most impressive performance in the 85’s was from the newcomer to the class. Brody Propernick, fresh off of a season that saw him go to Loretta’s, proved what all the hype was about as he claimed a 2nd place overall in the 12-15. In addition to that strong performance, he maneuvered his orange machine to a clean sweep in the younger all-star class.
The 65 classes appear to have potential for some great battles all year long. With the majority of the top dudes from last year making the leap to the 85’s, the path has been cleared for the likes Coleton Forte & Jeremiah Willoughby to make some noise. Coleton Forte, after an up-and-down 2016 campaign, was clearly looking to get this season started off right. He came out swinging, was absolutely railin’ all weekend & cruised his green KTM to a sweep on the weekend. Behind him were the likes of Aden Finley who had a pretty stellar weekend (especially when you consider he’s on the younger range of the class) & Jeremiah Willoughby who ended up with a few 2nd’s in 10-11 Class.
Move it down to the little hamies, and Jeremy Roe picked up right where he left off in ’16. He was dominant in 7-9 & showed great poise en route to a 3-4 in the older Open 7-11 class. Following suit were some of the little rippers like Keagan Hutchens & Ryker Leaneagh.
Ahh, the future of our sport on their epicly high-maintenance, automatic-transmission machines, reminding all of us why we started doing this in the first place. Outside of the handful of 50 dads telling their kid to go faster & following them around yelling, it really is a neat class for so many reasons. Does it take you back to a simpler time when dirtbikes & coloring were the only things you had to do? Hell yes. Does it remind you of just how incredibly non-discriminatory our sport truly is? You betcha. This weekend saw some of the most promising rippers on the rise out there doing battle. Kevin Christine from Casper, Wyoming was on a mission as he guided his bite-sized machine to a clean sweep in both of his classes. He was followed by Collin Clark, Brody McCue, Keagan Hutchens & the people’s champ, Payton Aragon.
Killer turnout, great track & awesome racing led to one helluva lead-off weekend for Colorado Motocross. There have been some significant changes in the age groups & the bike size among some of Colorado’s best & brightest. And between the legit dominance from Mithcell, Jagger & Forte, we got to see why our scene is definitely on the rise. We, at Elevated Mx, can’t wait to see how the season develops & know that this year will straight up deliver on our lofty expectations.