PINEDALE – Dirt bikes growled to life, kicking up dust devils on the sunbaked racetrack at Sagebrush Downs in Cora on Saturday, June 12. Motorcross racers from across the region entered the 2021 EnduroCross, organized by Snow Explorers/Altitude Off-Road Inc. of Sublette County, to compete for a spot on the podium.
The goal was to complete the course packed with hairpin corners, tire mazes, ruts, mud pits, boulders and double jumps with bike and rider intact. Nearly all the racers managed to complete a set number of laps around the racetrack and cross the finish line.
"We had a good time," said Josh Adams, race organizer and board member for Snow Explorers/Altitude Off-Road Inc.
Participants entered different divisions based on age and experience. The top riders entered the pro division with the biggest prize at the end of the afternoon.
Paul Sylvester of Hudson, Wyo., won the pro race. Max McGinnis of Big Piney placed second and Darin Taylor of Bedford, Wyo., came in third place.
"Second place is not quite as good as first place, but I'll take it," said McGinnis after completing the eight-lap event. "The course was a lot more difficult this year. It was longer with tough obstacles. The heat made it a challenge."
McGinnis, a competitive rider for only two years, has ridden dirt bikes "my whole life." Plenty of obstacles threatened to throw a rider, but McGinnis said the most difficult section was the "wood cross," 20-plus yards of logs and stumps strewn over the course.
McGinnis also managed to master the daunting "k-rail," narrow wooden planks placed on a seesaw, that only a few riders attempted.
Volunteers with Snow Explorers/Altitude Off-Road Inc. monitored the race and helped younger riders struggling to pull through the boulder field or tire maze. Bill Kluck, Sublette County Rural Health Care District EMS operations director, was on standby to tend to any medical emergencies. MESA Therepeutic Horsemanship volunteers provided concessions.
Destin Williams of Boulder won the youth division race, but because he could compete in both the youth and novice division, he graciously gave the top award to Harrell, the runner-up. Williams received a sportsmanship award for the act.