250 Words: Atlanta

February 24, 2009 11:42am | by:

  • It looked like the race was Stroupe's until a surprise stall put him way behind
  • To the victor goes the spoils... and all the ladies.
Austin Stroupe and Christophe Pourcel knew they would be racing against each other this season. The teammates on the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team have tested together and ridden together, and coming into the Atlanta round of Monster Energy AMA Eastern Region Lites Supercross, they had already raced each other. At round one of the tour in Houston, Pourcel took the main event win while Stroupe had to overcome a few incidents and finished fourth. Pourcel continued this momentum by clocking faster times that Stroupe in each Atlanta practice session. No doubt these riders already had a feel for each other after a winter at the test track together. But now Pourcel was beginning to establish himself for all to see.

Then Stroupe stepped up. The North Carolina resident, who had plenty of supporters in the crowd, grabbed the early lead right in front of Pourcel and simply checked out. By the halfway mark he had a lead of nearly five seconds, and it looked like Stroupe was making a statement. Pourcel got quicker as the laps clicked off and began matching Stroupe’s times, but Stroupe’s lead looked big enough to last to the finish, signaling a major turnaround between the two.

Then Stroupe stalled it unexpectedly. The momentum changed back even faster.

Pourcel sailed on to another win. Stroupe lost so much time trying to restart his bike that he could only muster a seventh, and he now sits 18 points behind his teammate after just two races. Now, even if Stroupe can prove himself to be the faster of the two teammates, it might not be enough to claim the championship, and that’s the measurement that matters most.