John Dowd and Nathan Woods traded the lead, cut each other off, and nearly elbowed their way around the track to finish off the Maxxis Endurocross with crowd-pleasing drama.
The Endurocross format changed in 2006 to have amateurs and qualifiers Friday, with room for top amateurs to transfer to Saturday. The pros were a strong mix of MX and GNCC/WORCS guys, and the heavyweight champion of all things off-road (besides U-Haul), David Knight. Ryan Hughes was back, and so was Geoff Aaron on a KTM. Plenty of GNCC stars were in the mix, along with Woods (from WORCS) and Destry Abbott. Kurt Nicoll from KTM was in the night show Saturday too.
Endurocross is not a race that riders demand a lot of track time for. Laps are brutal, with rocks, a water crossing (with working waterfalls), big logs, and truck tires to climb over, little logs to throw off your steering, and sand whoops. This makes for a short day, with everyone getting just a sighting lap and a hot lap in the afternoon.
The heats and semis are all nonstop action. If it’s not half the pack spinning wheels on logs and each other after a start, it’s people flying off the track or tipping over in rocks. Ryno didn’t make it through to the final due to crashes. The race that got the crowd going the most was a semi that Mantzoros won on a trials bike - the crowd gave him a standing ovation!
Dowd got the start in the main with Woods right behind him and Knight sneaking around the inside, but just after, Knight was on the ground in a pile and Dowd and Woods were gone.
Mantzoros rolled across the finish line, slumped down in his trials-bike frame, and rolled past the announcer saying, “Finished!”
1. John Dowd
2. Nathan Woods
3. David Knight
4. Eric Rhoten
5. Matt Karlsen
6. Homer Diaz
7. Geoff Aaron
8. Ryan Dudek
9. Nick Mantzoros
10. Nick Brozovich