I’m seriously starting to lose my shit a little.
Washougal was beautiful, yeah yeah. Pacific Northwest, prettiest stretch of the continent and yada yada yada… You know what I came away from this weekend? That our top selection for the MXdN is NOT going to participate AGAIN!
I know I ranted on this last week and for that simple reason, I’m making this short and to the point. I get why Eli is reluctant to represent his country, the scheduling sucks and he honestly laid the blame at just that. It’s the truth but I am completely confident in my belief that you’d never hear Jeff Ward, Jeff Stanton or Jeff Emig making excuses (justifiability not withstanding)–By the way, can somebody hurry up and birth another “Jeff” to be our MXdN savior?!–… for why they would be foregoing the Motocross des Nations. In case you missed the Washougal Post Race Press Conference, Eli stated—
“That’s the bummer part. It’s a super special event but with the schedule now a days it’s a pretty terrible time. I don’t know what to say. With the two series and all the other events, then having the expectation of being a winner throughout the whole year it’s tough. No one is home with you during the week doing the training and the work. That’s when you have to decide where to say no.”
The first thing this makes me think of is all the complaining today’s racer’s would likely be doing if they had to make a trip to Gatorback for the first round of the Nationals in the midst of the Supercross Series. Now that makes absolutely no sense at all but it’s just the way things were and the racer’s complied.
Roger DeCoster must be disgusted at the thought of the top United States racer taking another pass on the MXdN and you’re damn right I believe he was also nauseated when Ryan Dungey penciled himself in as a healthy scratch as well.
Does anybody remember the 2017 Supercross Series? How dominant Eli was? His Championship was limited only by a trio of pitfalls and the most consistent indomitable racer ever. Short of Ryan Dungey being on the line, the series would have been a snoozer and the first 450 title-box checked for the #3. Ryan Dungey is gone now and for Eli to cite the gnarly scheduling of the racing calendar as he leads into 2018, I gotta believe he thinks either Marvin is going to make the series hell on him or he believes the hype Ken Roczen is dishing about his 2018 return.
So we have that at least. An American Hero planning now for a tooth and nail fight to the finish come May of next year. Personally, I’d take a snoozer SX season and a United States MXdN win every day of the week.
With that being said, I hope the guys who ultimately do represent the stars and stripes, find it in themselves to excel and earn the kind of respect a National series just can’t deliver.