TOUGH LIKE TOTH
Josh Toth put his Connecticut rock-riding skills to good use en route to an impressive victory at the third annual Tough Like RORR extreme race in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania. Toth beat out KR4 Husqvarna’s Grant Baylor by four minutes and 18 seconds to claim the win, while Beta USA’S Jordan Ashburn finished another eight seconds back for third. Toth collected a nice $4,000 for his efforts.
The two-day event, which is quickly becoming America’s answer to the Erzberg Rodeo, consists of two races on Saturday and one race on Sunday morning that serve as a prelude to the $12,000 Tough Like RORR finale held Sunday afternoon. Only the 50 fastest riders from the first three races qualify to participate in the final race, which is run on a treacherous 12-mile course that features numerous rock fields, vertical climbs, and dastardly downhills with names like “Sickness,” “Stairway to Heaven,” “Cruella da Hill,” and “Land of Confusion.”
Solid Performance KTM’S Jesse Groemm grabbed the early lead at the start of the finale; however, when Groemm got hung up in the rocks, Toth took the opportunity to move into first place, and from there the Ampro Yamaha rider slowly stretched his
lead until the finish.
“It’s awesome to get this win, not because of the money but just because of how tough this race is,” said Toth, who will serve as a member of the US Junior Trophy Team at this year’s International Six Days Enduro in France. “This is one of the toughest races I’ve ever ridden. Making sure you don’t get off line and get stuck is a big part of doing well at this race because if you get off line and get stuck in the rocks, it takes so much energy to get going again that you simply run out of steam. I got hung up in one big valley with big cliffs on each side, but luckily there was a guy there who was also stuck and he helped me get going again without losing too much time.”
In addition to steep and tricky climbs, the course featured plenty of rocks. In fact, Toth said he thought there were more rocks than dirt on the final 12-mile course.
“I tried to conserve energy, but the better pace you can run the better off you are because if you go too slow, the rocks just beat you up so bad,” Toth said. “Up on the top ridge, the course is out in the sun and the rocks have decent traction, but down in the wooded area, the rocks are all wet with wet leaves all over, so there is zero traction. You end up pushing a lot.”