Tamaqua, PA – FactoryONE Sherco’s Cody Webb set off some fireworks of his own on his return to the top of the podium at Tough like RORR on Independence Day with a decisive victory. Louise Forsley edges out Shelby Turner to take home the women’s win.
The two-day format saw riders taking on a two-moto qualifier on Saturday which would give them the starting order for Sunday’s main event. The first moto order was based on when the rider registered. That put Cody Webb on row two, along with Nick Fahringer. Keith Curtis would be back on the 4th row. Rain overnight made for excellent, but a bit of slick conditions on the Pennsylvania rock. Cody got a horrible start as he missed his starter button and was last off the row two line. He worked his way to the front but would settle for 4th place in moto one behind Ryder Leblond, Taylor Robert and Jordan Ashburn. Nick Fahringer would finish 7th with Keith Curtis 12th. On the women’s side, Louise Forsley would finish just :02 seconds behind Shelby Turner and :40 ahead of Rachel Gutish in their first moto.
Rain would start falling in buckets just before moto two. Webb got a much better jump off of the line and was running a close second to Ryder Leblond when disaster almost struck. A stick had come up and dislodged his fuel line from the petcock. Thankfully he was alert to the situation and was fast to fix it, but he would lose four places putting him back in 6th where he would eventually finish. Fahringer would finish 8th with Curtis bettering his earlier finish with a 10th. Combined times for the motos would have final seedings of Webb in 6th, Fahringer 8th and Curtis 9th. Young Ezra Prine, who races on an SE 250 Factory, won the A class and qualified straight to the main event. Shelby Turner would again beat Louise Forsley to the line in moto 2, this time by more than 3:00. But Louise wouldn’t be discouraged.
Sunday morning would see and early start for the women’s final along with the LCQ for those that didn’t make it straight through to the main. Forsley, Turner and Gutish would battle early on and trade the role of leader. Forsley would make her way around Turner around the mid-point of the race and not relinquish it from that point forward, allowing her to take the women’s title ahead of Turner and Gutish.
The main event would be a two-lap race that riders had five hours to complete. The race directors added in some tough and technical sections that really tested a rider’s mettle. Cody Webb, Trystan Hart and Colton Haaker would battle early, before Webb and Hart began to distance themselves from the field. Hart would take the lead from Webb about one third through the first lap. Webb would regain it just before the halfway point of the first loop. He would not look back from that point forward. After one full lap, Webb would have a 1:52 advantage over Hart. Behind them, Ryder Leblond would take over 3rd place and would cross the one lap mat 9:52 behind the leaders. At the loop and a half mark, Webb would extend his lead to 3:26. At the same mark, Haaker would make his way around Leblond. Webb would put in a push towards the end to finish 4:43 ahead of Hart. To show how fast this pair was riding, they would finish the race while Haaker, Leblond and others were just passing through the half-way checkpoint of loop two. Leblond would finish 3rd a full 75 minutes adrift of Hart. The trio were the only ones able to complete the full two loops in the time allotted.
The 2020 and 2021 RORR Champion Cody Webb had this to say: “The promoters did a great job of trying to beat us down this year. This race may have been more difficult than Erzberg to be honest. Luckily the temperature was about perfect or we would’ve been falling apart. I did my best to act like a Diesel engine and keep trucking forward. I am very happy with my ride and for redeeming myself from the last race. My Sherco was spot on.”
Other Sherco results: Keith Curtis would finish 5th overall. Sherco trials and enduro part timer Logan Bolopue finished 6th overall. Nick Fahringer would finish 13th overall, first year pro Jackson Davis would finish 16th.
Women’s winner Louise Forsley: “This weekend was a battle every moto! We were all so close but I was really happy to capitalize on some mistakes and take the win during the main. Yesterday I had 2 seconds so I didn't put any expectations on the main, but it ended up working out in my favor. Shelby and Rachel are just so fast, I am really happy to take the win. My Sherco SE 250 hooked up.”
Keith Curtis had this to say about his race: “I got a top 5 so I am super stoked on that. This was the hardest race I have ever done outside of Romaniacs. It was certainly the hardest in North America. It was fun but I am 100% drained. The course was super slippery and rocky it made it very hard to get in a rhythm with the bike which was kind of wild. It was hard to make a run at things. I battled my way through it and ended up P5 which was awesome. I am going to rest up and get ready for Donner Hard Enduro next weekend.”