SAINT JEAN D'ANGELY (France), 16 September 2011 - The French track of Saint Jean d'Angely has everything ready to host the much awaited 65th edition of the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations with 36 countries entered. Team USA is the clear favourite to defend the Chamberlain Trophy, but Team France rides home this weekend and they have a very competitive squad to break the six years winning streak of the Americans.Roger De Coster leads team USA one more year, and this time he has selected Ryan Dungey, Blake Baggett and Ryan Villopoto to sum up one more glory to the 21 victories Team USA has in its records since 1981. Both Dungey and Villopoto have been part of five different winning teams in the Nations, but they have never ridden as teammates, while Baggett is racing the Nations for the first time this year in his short professional racing career. However, the rookie of the team has recently proved his talent in the AMA Lites Championship racing for Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki.Last time Team USA rode in France was back in 2005 in Ernée, when Ricky Carmichael, Kevin Windham and Ivan Tedesco dominated the Nations, after having missed the victory for four years. In fact, Team USA had not won the FIM Motocross of Nations since 2000, when the event was celebrated in Saint Jean d'Angely, the same track that this year is hosting the 65th edition. That year it was Ricky Carmichael, Travis Pastrana and Ryan Hughes who brought the Chamberlain Trophy to the USA, so it is now time for Dungey, Baggett and Villopoto to see if they can repeat the history in Saint Jean d'Angely.Team France, who was seventh last year in Thunder Valley, USA, will be represented by Gautier Paulin, Marvin Musquin and Christophe Pourcel, who joined the team at the beginning of this week replacing Frossard due to an injury in his lungs. Last weekend, Paulin rode for the first time in the MX1 class and he dominated it completely, so he has adapted very quickly to the new 450cc machine. Pourcel raced the last part of the FIM Motocross World Championship and he obtained two podium finishes and 3 race wins. 2010 FIM MX2 World Champion Musquin comes back to Europe after his tough first year in the USA, but he comes fully motivated to conquer the Nations in front of his crowd.Last year Team Belgium had a very solid team and they were on the second step of the podium, but for this edition there have been so many injured riders that team manager Joel Smets has had to change his selection several times. Marvin Vandaele was the last incorporation to the team, while Joel Roelants and Kevin Strijbos, who have obtained really good results in the last GP of the season, had already been selected.Another team touched by injuries is Team Germany, who lost Max Nagl last weekend due to broken scaphoids on his left hand. However, 2011 FIM MX2 World Champion Ken Roczen, who won last year the MX2 overall class in the MXoN, will be joined by Markus Schiffer and Daniel Siegl to try to repeat the 2010 team Germany's performance in Thundery Valley, USA.Another strong presence at the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations is Team Great Britain, formed by 2011 GP winner Tommy Searle, 2011 AMA Lites Champion Dean Wilson and 2011 British Champion Brad Anderson. All of them had experienced amazing seasons this year, so they are one of the most consistent squads in this 65th Monster Energy FIM MXoN. In fact, they could bring their country another victory, after the one achieved by Kurt Nicoll, Rob Herring and Paul Malin back in 1994.Italy also lost David Philippaerts, one of the strongest riders of the team, after injuring both wrists when training for the Czech GP in the middle of the season. However, team Italy will be headed by the talented and experienced 2011 FIM MX1 World Champion Antonio Cairoli, who will try to improve Italy last year's fifth place, together with Alessandro Lupino and Davide Guarneri.Entering top six last year, Team Australian counts this weekend with the three times AMA Champion Chad Reed, who made his debut in the FIM MXoN in 2000 in Saint Jean d'Angely, Matt Moss and Brett Metcalfe, who went 3-5 last year in the MXoN. On the other hand, Joel Doeksen, John Phillips and Kieran Scheele will form team New Zealand.Among the top riders attending the event will be GP winners Gonçalves (Portugal), Barragán (Spain), Leok (Estonia), Bobryshev (Russia), Herlings (The Netherlands) and Rattray (South Africa), and this last one will help his teammates Shannon Terreblanche and Gareth Swanepoel to finish among the top Nations of the event, as last year did not take part in the MXoN.Another rider to take into account is Arnaud Tonus riding for team Switzerland, as he has rounded the podium in the several occasions this season in the FIM Motocross World Championship.Among the 36 teams taking part in this 65th edition of the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations there are exotic countries like Japan, Thailand, China or Kuwait, which will be the first time they take part in the MXoN.TIMETABLESaturday: Free Practice MX1 10:00; Free practice MX2 11:00; Free Practice Open 12:00; Qualifying Heat MX1 14:30; Qualifying Heat MX2 15:30; Qualifying Heat Open 16:30; Youthstream MX Awards 19:00.Sunday: Warm-up B-Final 8:40; Warm-up MXoN Group 1 9:10; Warm-up MXoN Group 2 9:40; B-Final 11:00; MXoN Race 1 (MX1+MX2) 13:08; MXoN Race 2 (MX2+Open) 14:38; MXoN Race 3 (MX1+Open) 16:08.

 

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By Cycle News Staff

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