Aug 21

X-Games’ Endurocross comes to Arena at Gwinnett Center this weekend

By: Chris Hillyard

Published: August 21, 2014

Ever wanted to see a Supercross motorcycle race where the drivers face obstacles like water crossings, boulders and logs? The Arena at Gwinnett Center offers that opportunity this weekend.

The Duluth venue will hold one of the more unique events it has ever hosted this Saturday, when it brings in Endurocross, an extreme sport of off-road, obstacle motorcycle racing in a Supercross setting.

“We are so excited to come to the Arena at Gwinnett Center,” Endurocross director of sales and marketing Lance Bryson said. “The state of Georgia is a great area for motorcyclists. They have a beautiful venue and we can’t wait to bring everything people love about mountain, outdoor riding inside the Arena.”

In a process that takes up to four days, event organizers will haul 1,200 cubic yards of clean dirt, 40 tons of rock, 40 tons of cobble river rock, 1,000 linear feet of 12-inch diameter logs, 160 linear feet of 3-foot diameter logs and two chords of firewood into the Arena.

All of those materials will make up the course that riders must maneuver.

“The riders truly do compete against the track first,” Bryson said. “They are riding through rocks and water crossings and trees. That makes it so unpredictable. You can be leading on the last lap and it’s not over. You never know what obstacle might be your downfall.

“We have some of the best off-road riders in the world coming to Gwinnett this year. Cody Webb is our points leader. Jordan Ashburn, Ricky Russell, Kaliub Russell, Colton Haaker and Teddy Blazusick are just some of the stars that will be competing. And Becca Sheets is one of the stars in our women’s division.”

Webb, the current leader in points coming into the event, has been doing Endurocross since 2011. The excitement and the thrill that comes with Endurocross is what drew Webb to the sport.

A motorcyle rider from a young age, he was attracted to the thrill of all of the obstacles in a confined, indoor setting.

“In a typical outdoor, off-road track you see the riders maybe once every 20 minutes,” Webb said. “In Endurocross you are sitting in a comfortable, arena seat and you can watch as riders are going through some incredible stuff right in front of you

“It’s different from Supercross because in those once the race gets going there usually isn’t a whole lot of positioning. It almost becomes follow the leader. In Endurocross there are so many things that can trip you up. There is much more excitement and mistakes are more costly.”

Endurocross debuted in the United States in 2007 and was added to the X-games in 2011. Mountain Motorsports, which has three Atlanta area locations, is one of the main sponsors of the event. Races will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets prices range between $20-30.