Corona, Calif. – Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Red Bull/ KTM’s Jessy Nelson and Shane McElrath are ready for the third and final stop at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California on Saturday. This week, we took some time to ask Nelson and McElrath both racing and non-racing related question, trying to get into the mind of these amazing athletes.
First up is Jessy Nelson:
What do you need to do in order to regain that red plate?
Nelson: Win. But beyond that, get a good start, ride my own race, and put in good laps. I felt like I did that at both previous Anaheim races. But if I limit the mistakes, I feel good and think I can make it back to the top.
Who is going to win the Super Bowl on Sunday – Seahawks or Patriots?
Nelson: Seahawks. (Why do you say that?) Well I’m actually not even a football fan. But I always get stuck watching it with my dad and he grew up in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks are his team, so I’ll support them. It’s cool because they were the underdogs for awhile so it’s cool to see them doing well.
What is your favorite method of training outside of going to the supercross track?
Nelson: I would say riding the pump track on a BMX bike. That’s pretty fun. Also I like to stretch. Oh and rest time – that’s a part of training and I’m really good at that. I get an A+ every time. Mountain bike is fun but it’s never easy when you’re riding with Brian Lopes.
Now we turn it over to Shane McElrath:
What is the main thing you need to do to go from winning a heat race to winning a Main Event?
McElrath: I really just need to get a start. My last two weekends I’ve had good starts in the heat race, and then in the main they aren’t bad, but they aren’t getting me where I need to be. I feel that’s where I’ve been losing races and podiums. After the heat race I feel good and ready to do the same thing, but I just don’t get a start. Last weekend, I got a bad start and while I felt good, I just couldn’t be me and ride how I wanted to. This weekend, that’s what I’m looking for – a start and to ride like myself. I really want to get on the podium.
Who would be a better actor in a Super Bowl commercial – you, Jessy or Darryn?
McElrath: Huh. That’s a tough question. I feel like all three of us have a goofy side, but get us all together and it’s like little kids. So maybe in the end I would have to say the best commercial would be if we all did it together.
Where has been your favorite place to vacation?
McElrath: You know I don’t really get to go on vacation much. Now when I get to go home to North Carolina, that is my vacation. It’s probably my favorite place. When I went to Sweden, that was my first time out of the country, and I really enjoyed that whole trip. But in the end, my favorite place is home in NC.
You had a great ride last weekend in Oakland. Is a podium appearance in your future this Saturday in Anaheim?
Cole Seely: It would be nice! Our last race in Anaheim would be cool to get on the podium before we head east. It's my home race so its always cool to see friends and family especially after a good night of racing. I'm mainly just focusing on the steady progress I've been making and trying to learn and build each week.
If you were playing the Super Bowl halftime show, who would you want to play with?
Cole Seely: I'd say the Black Keys would be a rad band to play with. I'm definitely not good enough to ever play in a band but I do enjoy playing in my free time!
What does a typical off-day (not riding or racing) look like for you?
Cole Seely: If it’s sunny out, I usually walk to the beach and spend some time in the ocean or just relaxing in the sand. If the weather isn't good for that I usually break out my RC car and hit the track. It’s a fun and safe way to kill some time. A lot of my friends are into it so it’s always cool to meet up with everyone there and do some racing or just spin some laps. Also, as nerdy as it sounds I like learning about the set up of my car and think about how those same aspects would change the physics of my bike.
What is your favorite city to travel to for the food?
Cole Seely: San Francisco is always good! Honestly though I love the food we have here [at home in Laguna Beach], there are so many good restaurants here in Laguna that it’s hard to eat at home! I've found it’s a lot easier to eat healthy out here too, it can get a bit pricy but it’s well worth it.
If you have a question for either of the riders, use the hastag #asktheTLDathlete on Twitter and you could see your question in the next Ask The Athlete.