X marks spot for West Valley motocross rider - East Valley Tribune: West Valley

X marks spot for West Valley motocross rider

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Posted: Sunday, July 24, 2011 1:45 pm | Updated: 9:09 am, Tue Nov 27, 2012.

Youth may run wild on most motorcross tracks across the nation, but being young doesn’t always translate into wins.

Insert Peoria resident Destry Abbott, a 39-year-old professional motocross rider, who began his career before many of today’s riders saw their first bike.

“I’m the veteran out there,” Abbott said. “I can’t be out there doing the things 22-year-olds do. I rely on my experience and don’t let it hang out like the young guys. I have young kids and a wife at home that I have to be concerned about.”

That’s not to say Abbott sacrifices safety for wins. The Arizona native is a six-time 250 Best in the Desert champion, his latest coming in 2005. He also has won four gold medals as a member of Team U.S. in the International Six Days Enduro, including back-to-back golds at Greece and Portugal in 2008 and 2009.

While those accolades are nice, Abbott said, it’s the AMA 250 Hound & Hare title he really seeks. Abbott has won the series six times, which ties him with Dan Hammil and Don Smith.

“I’d like to break that tie” Abbott said. “Right now I sit third. Early in the year I had some nagging injuries but I feel good now and am ready to have a couple of monster races.”

The National Hare & Hound Series is comprised of eight rounds, taking place in the far West. Races take place in Utah, Nevada and California. The races consist of at least two different loops. Each loop is generally 40-45 miles

Unlike traditional motorcross where riders negotiate jumps and hair-pin turns, endurocross incorporates such obstacles as rocks, fallen logs, water holes and even telephone poles.

The sport will get some added publicity when it joins X Games 17 July 28-31 in Los Angeles.

The X Games will turn Staples Center into a desert track for Endurocross’ debut. For riders, it requires the skills of motocross, off-roading and trials to win. The Staples Center will feature water, logs, boulders, giant tractor tires and 18- to 24-inch wide rocks for riders to navigate. The event will run at 6:15 p.m. July 31.

“It’s pretty great for the sport to be part of the X Games,” Abbott said. “I’m not sure what to expect but it should be pretty cool for the fans. It’s definitely action packed with nothing decided until the final laps.”

The added exposure hasn’t led to any changes in his training regimen, Abbott said. If anything, he’s eager to see how the course is laid out inside the Staples Center.

“I haven’t done anything different as far as training,” Abbott said. “I’m keeping my routine the same. What is going to be tough is that I go to Finland for the ISDE the day after I compete in the X Games. I’ll have to ride a long distance (there) after doing a sprint race with a different set of obstacles.”

Also competing in X Game 17 is 2002 Mountain Ridge graduate Nate Adams.

The former Mountain Lion won a World Freestyle Motocross championship in 2002 and was a gold medalist at the 2004 X Games. He also was named AST Dew Tour Athlete of the Year in 2007. In all, he has eight X Games medals.

X Games 17 will air on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.

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