Posted at: 11/19/2013 7:46 PM
Updated at: 11/20/2013 10:43 PM
By: Laura Kennedy
The Amsoil Duluth National is just over a week away, and snocross riders like Tim Tremblay can already feel the adrenaline rush.
"I can't wait to race out there," Tremblay said. "The first race is always nice. You've been waiting the whole summer for that first race, so I can't wait to be in Duluth."
There is not a lot of snow on the ground at this point in November, so snocross teams go to Planet X in Aurora to get their bodies and sleds in shape for the season opener in Duluth.
"You need these days where you're sore and tired and you really don't want to go out there and ride but you push through," said Robbie Malinoski. "It's huge."
Many of these racers compete in motor sports year round, but Malinoski and fellow pro Levi LaVallee have found there is no real substitute for riding on snow.
"You use a lot of muscles that you never use through the summer and it's hard to simulate," Malinoski said.
"We've been riding on wood chips and everything else," laVallee said. "You can do a lot of things to cross train, but being on snow is the only way to get true, accurate testing."
Malinoski, Tremblay and teammate Darrin Mees swept the Duluth podium last year. The Scheuring SpeedSports riders are hoping for another strong finish.
"When you prepare yourself and you win the first race it means you did everything right, you know, your training and the sled and everything," Tremblay said.
"Last year was a pretty special year and those don't happen all the time," Malinoski said. "We're there for the long haul. We're going for the championship."
LaVallee says the first race can be tricky. Riders want a good start to the season, so everyone is fighting to win.
"I've unfortunately fell a couple of incidents in the past," LaVallee said. "I blew my knee out in the first race, I've been tipped over, a lot of different things. So one you want to do well there, but two you just want to make it through Duluth."
When the green flag flies next weekend, it could be anyone's race.