Cycle News

Cycle News 2011 Issue 50 Dec 13

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 164 of 167

CN III CARRUTHERS SAYS P164 BY PAUL CARRUTHERS RIDER OF THE YEAR A t an age when most of us would be sitting on the couch telling the kids how cool it was to be World Champion back in the good old days of 1997, Greg Hancock dusted off the cobwebs and went out and won himself a second World Speedway Championship in 2011. At the age of 41. The younger generation just read that first paragraph on their iPhone and uttered… "Holy crap… the dude is 41 and he can still ride?" While those old enough to remember once reading this stuff on printed-paper just got up, proudly patted their beer guts in the mirror and proclaimed, "Holy crap. Greg Hancock won again. That's cool. Honey, I'm going for a jog." I'm not sure many of us are capable of doing something better at age 41 than we did at 27. My palate for fine wine is better. And my… okay, I guess the wine thing is probably it. The bottom line is simple enough: If you have to slip on the reading glasses you bought at the grocery store to read the menu in a dimly lit restaurant, no one lined up next to you at the starting gate is doing a whole lot of shaking in their boots. Unless you're in the vet class with your buddies and you just happened to drink less than them the night before. And the starting line at a World Speedway Grand Prix ain't no vet class. But little old Greg Hancock apparently still knows his way around a speedway track like no other and 14 years after winning his first world title, he went out '' right at the top of the list of deserving riders. Winning a Supercross title is hard enough. Winning a Supercross and a National Motocross Championship in the same year is almost miraculous. Then topping it off with a victory in the Motocross of Nations… it's the Triple Crown. And in Supercross/motocross, you also have to look at Chad Reed. After all there might not be a better feelgood story in motorcycle racing than what Reedy accomplished in 2011. If not for his harrowing crash at RedBud, the Aussie might have held on for that outdoor title. And that's after finishing second (just four points behind Villopoto) in the Supercross Championship. Not bad for a guy who goes back and forth from wearing moto gear to business attire as the only rider/team owner in the series. If you look to road racing, you also find a horde of deserving riders: There's Casey Stoner dominating MotoGP in the final season of 800cc racing; you see Carlos Checa (who is almost as old as Hancock) winning his first World Superbike title; there's Josh Hayes taking a second successive AMA Superbike crown Think of it this way… just imagine if Villopoto wins another Supercross or motocross championship. In 2025. 164-165 Backpage.indd 164 '' and won another. And for that he's our 2011 Cycle News Rider of the Year. I'm fully expecting the inbox of my e-mail to start filling up with "How in the hell is Ryan Villopoto not your Rider of the Year?" blasts and that's fine. Villopoto has all the credentials as the current fastest motocross rider on the planet and he very easily could have been Rider of the Year. But Hancock's story is a better one. Think of it this way… just imagine if Villopoto wins another Supercross or motocross championship. In 2025. You can't take away from the season Villopoto had and he's 12/12/11 2:28 PM

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cycle News - Cycle News 2011 Issue 50 Dec 13