Mother Nature played havoc as heavy rains pummelled the Calgary, Alberta, area late last week, threatening Red Bull’s Rocks and Logs event—Canada’s first Urban EnduroCross. Course designer, builder and Corner Grass Racing Team (CGRT) founder Shane Cuthbertson of Airdrie, Alberta, worked feverishly with Red Bull Canada to preserve what has been more than a year’s worth of work. After three days of weather warnings and torrential downpours, sunshine shone brightly for the weekend, allowing organizers to execute an excellent event on Sunday.
Ben Rego of Kitimat, B.C., and Cuthbertson both fought their way through pro qualifiers and heat races to occupy two of the six starting positions in final moto. Riding Husaberg TE 300s, Rego and Cuthbertson entertained the packed Wild Rose Motocross Park near downtown Calgary. Cuthbertson was moving forward in the pack, chasing Rego down when a small mistake in the rocks left Cuthbertson on his back with a bent brake rotor. He fought hard to make up the lost position, but was not able to repass his lost position, finishing in fifth position.
“At the end of the day, it’s hard for a fierce competitor such as Shane to accept a mistake and the result—they always want more, it’s what drives them," said Lee Fryberger, CGRT team manager. "But I think, looking at the big picture, he’s got to be happy. He helped bring Xtreme Enduro back to Canada, and to work with Red Bull as he has with this event, is very good. It’s great for him and great for our sport to have a passionate drive from Red Bull."
Rego gated the main in third and held his own through the six laps to finish on the bottom step of the podium, finishing third to KTM Canadian Enduro Champion Bobby Prochnau and winner and expatriate Cory Graffunder.
Competing in the amateur class, both CGRT’s Victoria Hett of Vernon, B.C., and Ryan Linderman from Hillcrest Mines, Alberta, had mixed results. Linderman had a great day, riding well for his first EnduroCross, feeling comfortable until his throttle cable became dislodged from his carburetor. The consequential crash left his handlebars bent down into the radiators, and resulted in an end to his day.
Hett rode very well in her first heat race. She gated well and came home with the victory. Her next heat didn’t leave her enough time from a poor start to pass into the top 3 qualifying positions, being bettered by A&E Racing and Marine/KTM's Ben Riviere at the finish. While not finishing with a podium, both riders had a great experience and cannot wait for Rocks and Logs to return in 2014.
“As a team, seeing an event of this magnitude in Canada is very good," said Fryberger. "Red Bull is at the pinnacle of action sports and Xtreme Enduro, and being involved at the competitive level and at the level that Cuthbertson was involved, it couldn’t get any better. Rego, as always, was solid and brought us home a podium and some great press. Overall, it was an incredible weekend."