The opening round of the six-race Maxxis AMA EnduroCross Series got underway at The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas where the racing was just as hot inside as it was outside. And when things finally cooled off a bit, it was KTM Red Bull’s Taddy Blazusiak standing on the top step of the podium “ but it was hard road getting there. The winner of last year’s Las Vegas EnduroCross and the recent winner of the Erzberg Rodeo in Austria, Blazusiak, who favored to win, nearly didn’t. In fact, he almost didn’t even make the main after struggling all evening, and was forced to ride the Last Chance qualifier before getting in. But in the 10-lap main event, things went much smoother for the rider from Poland, but he still had to work a bit after getting off to a third-place start and having to battle with former AMA National Trials Champion Geoff Aaron before running off with the win.
After the race, Blazusiak said “this was the hardest win ever for me.” It wasn’t so much the difficulty of the track that he was talking about, but it was just having to overcome a lot of bad luck through out the evening program. He overcame bad starts, crashes, suspension problems, and some interesting moments on the track before pulling everything together before taking the main-event win on his KTM two-stroke.
Finishing second was Aaron who rode smooth and consistent all night. He led the early laps before “Taddy” (Blazusiak) passed him. Taddy fell in a rock section moments later and Aaron retook the lead, only to be passed by Blazusiak again “ for the last time. Aaron, however, kept the pressure on the KTM rider the whole way, finishing just a few seconds back in second on the AWD Christini/KTM two-stroke.
Third place went to Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ricky Dietrich who qualified through a semi. He started off about sixh and steadily worked his way up.
Zip-Ty Racing/Suzuki’s Nick Brozovich finished fourth, while Monster/Kawasaki’s Damon Huffman, who grabbed the holeshot in the main, rounded out the top five overall.
The remaining positions were filled by Colton Haaker, Ty Davis, Jamie Lanza, Kendall Norman, Bobby Prochnau, Phil Smage and Destry Abbott.