Cycle News

Cycle News 2019 Issue 50 December 17

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

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Page 123 of 189

VOLUME 56 ISSUE 50 DECEMBER 17, 2019 P123 I t started out as a great year for Colton Haaker. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna racer was defending his FIM SuperEnduro World Championshipin Europe, which came down to the last race of the final round in Bilbao, Spain with his archrival, Cody Webb, also in a position to nab the title. But in the last race of the night, where Haaker had to finish fourth or better to claim the championship, his race suddenly unraveled in the final laps. Webb ran off with the lead as Colton slipped back in the field to fifth, and after Webb took the checkers and saw Haaker was still struggling on the track, he be- gan celebrating what he thought was his world cham- pionship. But thanks to Haaker's Husqvarna teammate Alfredo Gomez, who pulled to the side in the last turn allowing Haaker to pass, the defending champion was able to regain enough ground to clinch the title. Haaker was crowned, and Webb was incensed. The video footage of the last lap went viral and spurred a social media outcry that went on for weeks, accusing Haaker of team tactics. The backlash ef- fectively upended Haaker's engagement with fans, and saw the once outgoing and uninhibited athlete withdraw from his social feeds and stop producing his famous vlogs. Haaker stayed quiet about the incident and carried on with his season, but more drama was ahead, this time with the demise (albeit temporary) of the AMA EnduroCross Series. SUCCESS BY JEAN TURNER PHOTOGRAPHY BY HUSQVARNA MOTORCYCLES & AMA ENDUROCROSS/JACK JACKSON The 2019 season was full of unexpected highs and lows for three-time national and three-time world champion Colton Haaker.

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