Taylor Robert Dominates Sprint Hero Finale, Shondeck Nabs Championship

Peoria, AZ (4/15/2018) –Taylor Robert returned to off road competition for the first time since breaking both arms and dominated the Sprint Hero race at Canyon MX. Robert, who was injured in February, won all 12 tests on the weekend to score the victory on his Red Bull KTM, ahead of Cole Shondeck, who clinched the championship. Dalton Shirey rounded out the top three.

Riders competed on full-length loops called “tests.” Riders were started on each loop in 20-second intervals and were challenged to run a full-out lap, followed by a break. This event featured motocross tests on the facility’s motocross track. The enduro test was an ISDE-style track with single track, virgin trails, and a copious mix of terrain. There was a special section that went down into a wash and up the other side. A few of the Pros quickly figured out how to jump the entire thing, making for spectacular air

Robert had only been cleared to ride a few days prior to the event. Looking at the unique format, he figured it would be a nice way to return to competition without overstressing his body or risking further injury. Plus, it was his home track and the same place he sustained his most recent injuries.

“It felt really good to be back on the bike in my natural habitat,” said Robert. “It was a perfect way to get back into racing because you only have to run for five or eight minutes at a time and then you get to take a break. I really enjoy this style of racing.”

Shondeck finished second and edged out Justin Jones by two points to take the championship. Jones was leading the points going into this round, but a mechanical issue made him miss the final test on Saturday, which cost him the championship.

“Taylor won them all and put a spanking on us, but I got a few seconds which was cool,” said Shondeck. “It was easy to make a lot of mistakes, but you could also make up a lot of time. I fell in one of my tests, rode hard after that and I had my best time of the weekend.”

Jones just missed the championship, but said he thoroughly enjoyed the series. He said the Canyon race brought out a lot of pros and the competition was fierce, something he likes. “This is my favorite type of off road racing,” said Jones. “I think I would have been there, but that’s racing in general, so I’m looking forward to next season.”

Shirey participated in his first Sprint Hero race and he was competitive enough to snag the final spot on the podium. He enjoyed the instant gratification of knowing almost immediately where he made up, or lost, time on the track.

Destry Abbott finished fourth, just missing the podium by 20 seconds. Abbott, 45, said the format suits his age and health limitations. He was happy with the results and hopes the series will continue next season.

“I’m going to be 46, I’m still doing chemo and dealing with cancer, so I can’t be too disappointed,” said Abbott. “I think the series is awesome, and I hope Sean sticks with it. I want to see the series grow because it’s awesome. I would like to do some WORCS and some Hare and Hounds, but my body won’t work for two hours at that pace so this format is perfect for me.”

Mitch Anderson completed his sweep of the Open A title chase, winning here. The CST KTM rider said the series was perfect for up-and-coming racers like himself.  “I had a really good year and put it all together,” said Anderson. “I’m happy to see the speed is there, and I’m looking forward to moving up to Pro soon.”

The inaugural season of the Sprint Hero Racing Series was a success, and each round attracted more racers, so next year the series should be bigger and better as Shondeck plans to return to defend his number one plate.