Shock Doctor/Muscle Milk KTM desert racing specialist David Kamo walked away with the winner's trophy at the 25th edition of the Idaho City 100, May 30-31. The victory in the enduro-format race also signaled his readiness to go head-to-head against Europe's best Junior riders in the 2009 International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) at Figueria da Foz, Portugal.
The popular Idaho event also doubles as one of the two US 2-Day Qualifiers for aspiring ISDE participants. Kamo, a local favorite from nearby New Plymouth, Idaho, was the top performer on the US Junior Trophy Team for the past two ISDEs (Chile and Greece) and seemingly now has a lock on yet another appearance with the team.
Over the two days, Kamo (E3 class) accumulated a commanding 39-second lead over second-place finisher Ryan Powell (E2 class). Yamaha jockey Powell, himself an ISDE "veteran" from San Rafael, California, was also on the US Junior Trophy Team last year in Greece, but was unable to finish due to a shoulder injury. Powell looked strong at Idaho City, taking three of the five Day-2 special tests to match Kamo's three Day-1 special-test wins.
Third place overall went to KTM rider Jordan Brandt of Boulder Creek, California (E3 class), followed by two talented Kawasaki-mounted WORCS series riders, Taylor Robert and Jamie Lanza. Robert, from Scottsdale, Arizona, rode in the E2 class, while Lanza, of Beaumont, California, claimed the two-day overall in the E1 class.
Sixth overall went to Jonathan Davis, another speedy young WORCS racer, from Martinez, California, riding a Suzuki in the E2 class. Rounding out the top 10 were Brian Sperle (E3), CJ Hymas (E2), and AA class riders Eric Habenicht and Patrick Garrahan.
Going into the event, Kamo expressed concern about the "very fast riders" scheduled to compete at Idaho City, including Robert and Lanza. His anxiety heightened after day one, which included a missed corner on a special test and a get-off on the grass track, but a solid day-two performance erased any fears. Kamo observed, "I liked the course. It would've been nice if we'd had rain, but it was okay. The club did a great job putting on the event!"
Robert commented on day two, "I've been doing good, but I wrecked on the grass track and lost quite a bit of time there."
Lanza said, "I'm having a great time. I came last year and had really liked it! I wanted to come back and do it again."
Class E4 (40+ Seniors) was won by Mathew Stavish (Yam) of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Second place went to ISDE veteran Chilly White of Escondido, California (Gas Gas), who had earlier won the E4-class title at the Eastern ISDE Qualifier event at Park Hills, Missouri. There were no entrants in the E5 (Women) class, but top 2008 Women's Trophy Team performer Maria Forsberg was on hand to cheer and encourage the competitors. Forsberg is recuperating from an elbow injury.
To mark the 25th anniversary of the event, the hosting Boise Ridge Riders invited all past winners to come back and give it another try. Two riders took the offer - Ron Dillon and Curtis Dice, both top Idaho riders in years past. Dillon, the promoter of Idaho's popular Big Nasty Hill Climb, rode a vintage bike for the occasion and said that the trail was much more technical and difficult than back in the ‘80s.
Other notable past winners (not present this time) have included Destry Abbott and Kurt Caselli, Ty Davis, David Pearson and various others.
The very popular event in the historic Idaho silver mining town featured a Sunday riders' parade up Main Street prior to the day's competition. Over 300 riders began day one on Saturday, with the expected attrition from injuries, breakdowns and fatigue bringing somewhat fewer to the line on Sunday.
In a location where it can be sweltering heat on one day and snowing on the next, this edition of the Idaho 100 was nothing but hot, dry and dusty. Presumably, the dry conditions were to Kamo's liking, as he currently leads the 2009 AMA Hare & Hound series, generally contested in various arid locations in the southwestern states.
The actual course, for both days, was 112 miles, comfortably exceeding the advertised "100." The event, run in reverse on the consecutive days, featured five special-test sections each day. Riders raced for over 6-1/2 hours each day.
Jake Vianio, a rider who raced on Finland's ISDE Trophy team in the ‘80s, came to compete in the AA class. He said, "This course is much like the ISDE in Europe. It is good training for ISDE." Viano still races on a Finnish club team.
Complete results and details are available on the host club's website, www.boiseridgeriders.org.