Garage Finds | Cooper Webb’s 2016 Motocross Of Nations Goggles
Since all of my earthly possessions are slowly coming out of boxes after a cross-country move, I told swap I’d handle the next few installments of Garage Finds. I amassed a load of random motocross mementos during my eight years in California, most of which were kept in a storage unit until a few weeks ago, so there’s a lot to go through. Here are a few things that I grabbed from the top of the pile. – Anton
Last week Red Bull posted the season finale to their popular video series, MX World, which covered the 2019 Motocross of Nations in the Netherlands. The international event was all anyone could talk about a few months ago, as the sand track built over the famed TT Circuit Assen road course was viewed as the biggest challenge ever posed to American motocross and the latest chance for European countries to prove that their riders have an advantage in the sand, if not motocross as a whole.
By now you know that the American team of Justin Cooper, Jason Anderson, and Zach Osborne all went to Europe weeks ahead of the race in order to ride tracks throughout the region and sharpen their skills, that mechanical issues struck multiple teams (including five-time champions France, who were forced out when Gautier Paulin’s bike ran out of gas in the wet sand) and that the Netherlands hoisted the Chamberlain Trophy for the first time in the seventy-plus year history of the event in front of the Dutch fans and even the country’s king.
The twenty-minute video and series are worth the watch, as the one-on-one interviews with the top riders amplify the importance of the race. But the last three minutes with Roger De Coster are the most moving; The Man cried when talking about the respect from the Europeans that the American riders received for the effort they put into a race that was seemingly designed to defeat them. Roger is rarely one to publically display emotions, due in part to his many responsibilities at KTM-Husqvarna, but his passion for the sport was impossible to hold back in front of the camera.
The clip made me think back to the 2016 Motocross of Nations, when De Coster consoled Cooper Webb in the post-race press conference. Webb did all that he could to keep Team USA in the hunt for the overall win despite being alone in the last moto of the weekend after Jason Anderson’s freak crash, but an incident of his own in the closing laps pulled them from the top spot. The young rider felt responsible for the entire loss and could not hide his tears from the assembled media in the muggy press room at Maggiora, so De Coster privately reassured him that he did well and publically praised him on the microphone. Three years later, the duo is ready to defend their 2019 450 Supercross championship.
On the way through the paddock that evening in Italy, John Kuzo from 100% passed me a Ziploc bag with Webb’s still-sweaty goggles from the last race inside, a random hand-off that meant little at the time but now continuously increases in importance. Had the team won, there’s zero chance that these would be in my possession; they’d probably be in a trophy case at Webb’s house or the 100% HQ in San Diego. Instead, they are in my living room, stained from the dirt and still loaded with laminate tearoffs.
We’re months away from the 2020 Motocross of Nations, but yesterday I thought about the potential three riders that could be on Team USA. The track in Ernee, France, should suit American riders thanks to its hard-packed dirt and jump-laden hillside layout. Really, it could be an even venue better-suited for the riders to snap the losing streak than RedBud was expected to be. Who was on that daydream roster? Cooper Webb and Jason Anderson in the MXGP and Open class slots, with Zach Osborne in MX2. All three guys that have represented Team USA in the past, have felt the sting of defeat, and are determined to get redemption for their past shortcomings.
I know going to another country to watch a motocross race is an extravagant endeavor for most reading this, but seriously, if you can make the trip to France next fall, do so. Ernee is a natural amphitheater with a rich history of recent MXON races, the European crowd will be there in full-force, and regardless of the outcome, you’ll see history made. Book your tickets now while you have plenty of time…
Backyard Design Graphic Kit of the Week
Backyard Design was founded in 2010 by two privateer Supercross racers: Jared Hicks from Alabama and Philipp Klakow from Germany. What started off as a project to fund their Supercross racing efforts has now grown into a worldwide graphics manufacturer, with dual headquarters in the United States and Germany. Backyard Design is known for being one of the first custom graphics makers to have a completely interactive website, where customers can design their own kits with a few clicks on a computer mouse.
White, grey, black. The owner of this Husqvarna kept it simple when it came to the colors for the FC, but the gloss black frame, white plastics, and flat grey of the Backyard Design kit come together for a look that is just as eye-catching as any neon bike. With the winter months upon us, now is a great time to give your bike a facelift with new body panels and fresh graphics to match.