MOTO: Local rider Anson Maloney gears up for International Six Day Enduro race in France
The journey will be long and through rough terrain in a foreign land. There will be brutally difficult days filled with mental and physical demands not for the faint of heart.
For Anson Maloney, it’s exactly what he’s been preparing for.
For six straight days from the end of August through the early days of September, the local off-road motorcycle racer will navigate the terrain in Brive la Gaillarde, France representing his country and his county.
Maloney, along with 20 or so other American riders on Team USA, will battle it out with the rest of the best off-road racers in the world at the 2017 International Six Day Enduro race — commonly known as the “Olympics of Motorcycling.”
“It’s a huge honor,” said Maloney, 23. “There are only 25 Americans going this year. It’s a huge honor for me to be able to represent the United States.”
The ISDE is the world’s largest annual off-road motorcycle competition. Since 1913, countries have sent their best off-road racers to different locations around the world to be tested on multiple landscapes for the event’s top prize — the ISDE World Trophy. The U.S. team won the trophy for the very first time last year.
For Maloney, a Bear River graduate who has been racing motorcycles since he was 8 years old, professionally since he was 16, qualifying for the ISDE race has been three years in the making. After mechanical issues cost him qualifying marks the past two years, he finally earned his ticket to the International Six Day Enduro when he won his division at an AMA ISDE 3-day qualifying race in Johnson City, Tennessee in May. Now, he’s gearing up for the big race in France.
“It’s like a survival race,” he said of the ISDE in France. “You go there and you got to go as fast as you can, but you got to keep your bike from breaking.”
Maloney said he’s never done a 6-day race before, but he’s been training for both the physical and mental rigors.
“A big thing is the prep. I mean It’s a six day race,” he said. “I’m trying to get my body physically ready and get into a mindset where I can survive the six days and go fast enough to do well.”
The race features a series of courses that take riders anywhere from 100-160 miles per day, with special tests along the way that challenge a rider’s technical ability. Everything is timed and totaled at the end of the six days, with the fastest individual rider and team earning awards.
Making the ISDE all the more difficult is that racers must also act as their own mechanics, and they only have a 15-minute window to handle repairs and maintenance per day, Maloney said.
Despite having never competed in a race this long and going up against about 900 other elite riders from around the world, Maloney is confident in his ability and hopes to grab a top-100 finish.
Maloney has found success in racing, having been named the American Motorcycle Association’s Youth Rider of the Year in 2008 and most recently winning the first cross country race of his career this year. He has dealt with a series of injuries during his pro career, but is excited to tackle this next challenge and represent Nevada County in the process.
“It’s good to have more people go out into the world and show what Nevada County has,” he said. “I love Nevada County. Being able to represent it is a pretty big deal for me.”
For Maloney, who is working on his fire technology degree and also runs Maloney Training Facility, where he teaches young riders the ins and outs of the sport, the trip to France for him and his crew will be costly. The Maloney crew will be holding a fundraiser from 4-10 p.m. July 1 at ol’ Republic Brewery in Nevada City. There are also raffle tickets and T-shirts for sale at Sierra Motor Sports in which the proceeds will help fund the trip. For questions about the fundraisers, contact Maloney at firstname.lastname@example.org. to learn more about the ISDE visit http://www.isde-france-2017.com.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email email@example.com.
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