It takes so much energy, time, and resources to race at the peak level. The team was formed with only a short amount of time to prepare for the San Felipe 250 after Mark and Colton found themselves ride-less. They spent endless hours preparing the bike, meeting with potential investors and sponsors, and running the business side of the team. Going into the 250 they knew that they were as prepared as they could be but they also knew there were still many question marks. One obstacle after another tested the team.
The first obstacle was when Mark crashed and snapped his arm while pre-running his section on Wednesday. He spent 6 hours in the back of a dune buggy that of course broke down in the middle of the desert after picking up the downed rider. He was finally found by Colton and taken to the hospital in San Felipe. He was diagnosed with a broken humorous bone right above his left elbow and the search for a fill-in rider began.
The second obstacle came during the race when Udall got a flat tire about the half-way point. He was forced to cruise the bike until the next pit. This allowed the 4x bike to catch and pass him. During the pass Udall felt a mighty smack on his ass and thought that the 4x bike had whipped him with a stick while passing by. It turned out it was actually his tube that had come out of the tire and smacked him. The good smacking by the tube left a nice mark to remember it by on Udall's butt cheek.
The third obstacle was the course being re-routed during the race without prior warning to the teams who were pitted on the cut off section that had very limited cell reception. The team waited for an hour at the pit where Ian should have been. At first we were worried that fill-in rider Ian young had crashed or had bike problems. But when no other rider came through the course we knew something was wrong. Finally a text came through to Colton's phone from Ian saying he was at Borrego and to hurry because the race was going to re-start. We packed up and headed to Borrego where Udall would get on to finish the last 60 miles of the race.
Colton had tapped his younger brother Ian Young to fill-in for the broken Samuels. His section was a short 60 miles but an important 60 miles because it allowed Udall a rest period before he would take back the bike and head for the finish. Ian did everything he was suppose to and rode a perfect race. He even reeled in and passed the 4x bike to give the bike back to Udall with a 20 second lead. It was all up to Udall now.
The fourth obstacle came after Udall remounted the bike and started the race again. The course had been re-routed due to in-climate weather and course obstructions. Udall had never ridden the new route in this direction, it was pretty much unknown to him. He was pushing hard to ensure that the team finished with a large enough gap over the 4x bike to clear any penalties they may receive (Ian thought he may have missed a VCP). While pushing in an uphill whoop section the course rapidly broke left without warning. Udall flew of the embankment and wrecked hard. The bike was mangled. The front number plate was broken off, the bars bent down, and the throttle cable almost snapped off. Miraculously, Udall was not severely injured and rode back to the pit. The bike needed major repair but was still ride-able. Since they had already lost so much time it was decided to not make any repairs and to just cruise the bike in and take second.
The result of the race wasn't what the team was hoping for but so many valuable lessons were learned and the level of support shown will undoubtedly improve the results of the next race. We are warriors. We will be better, stronger, and faster.
Written by: Daniel Hicks