Dirt Rider - - Tear Offs -

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.”

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