Troy Lee Designs Ready for West Coast Supercross Series - December 31, 2013
Email sent: Jan 6, 2014 6:08 am
January 6, 2014 - Corona, CA
Troy Lee Designs Starts Season with a Bang at A1
AMA Supercross - Anaheim, CA
Cole Seely on the podium
It was obvious immediately that the TLD camp had done their homework at the season opening Supercross in Angel Stadium in Anaheim last Saturday night. Malcolm Stewart won his heat race, Cole Seely was fast all day, their gear was sharp and the teams new transporter looked amazing. All that was left to do was win the fifteen lap main event and spray some champagne. And they were just one turn away from making that happen.
All four team riders [Cole Seely, Malcolm Stewart, Jessy Nelson, and Shane McElrath] qualified into the main event without issue. During the day Seely was regularly on top of the lap time board while Stewart hovered around fifth and Nelson and McElrath were around tenth. Aside from one big practice crash from Shane, the day went smoothly. After watching some practice tapes and a clean meal from team trainer Brian Lopes, it was main event time.
Cole rounded turn one in second and quickly made a pass on a determined Jason Anderson for the lead. Cole opened a small lead and for the next fourteen laps he rode flawlessly. With the checkers in sight, Cole exited the whoops and drifted into a 180 degree left turn while negotiating two lappers. What he didnt know was that Anderson was mounting a last lap charge that had brought him to Coles rear wheel and, in an aggressive move, he blocked Coles line and sprinted to the flag.
It was obviously frustrating for Seely who did almost everything right on Saturday... Almost. Still, Seely established himself as one of two primary title contenders, as the duo simply left the rest of the field in their wake. Seely is committed to taking this title in 2014.
Malcolm Stewart was having a great ride behind Cole, and had worked his way into third at one point. He dropped to fifth around the halfway mark, but clipped a fallen riders bike coming out of a turn and went down. He would remount and finish eighth at the end of the race. His speed and starts are there, which is great news for Malcolm.
Jessy Nelson ran a rather uneventful final and crossed the finish in ninth position. After spending much of last season on the sidelines injured, this was a good start for the young rider. Shane McElrath was getting his first taste of supercross and he learned a lot. While his sixteenth place finish is not what he wanted, it was a place for the rookie to build from.
The Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda team loads up and heads to Phoenix this weekend for the second round. Watch the TLD riders as they hit their stride and chase the 250 Supercross title this year.