JOHNSON VALLEY, Calif. — Motorcycle Superstore rider Cody Webb gutted out a major extreme enduro victory Sunday by winning the 2013 King of Motos. The rising star showed veteran savvy, using a gentle touch on his bike as the race wound down in order to get it across the finish line first.
“It was hard and definitely difficult but luckily I came out on top,” Webb said. “I had a second surge of energy late in the race. My closest competitor got a flat tire with about 20 miles to go, and that gave me the opening I needed.
“I had my bike geared for the desert so I passed him like he was standing still and didn’t look back. I kept the throttle pegged trying to build the biggest gap I could. Next thing I knew my tire started getting wishy-washy but I knew the finish was pretty close. I pushed as far as I could, then babied it in from there. It held together for me.”
Webb, an accomplished trials and endurocross rider, conquered the grueling 160-mile course through the Hammers in 4 hours, 50 minutes and 38 seconds. Second-place rider Graham Jarvis eventually crossed nearly half an hour later with a 5:17:29.
“This is one of the top-two toughest races I’ve ridden,” Webb said. “Other one is in Italy where it’s cold, slow paced and icy. That one is pretty tough also; a different kind of tough. Out here in the desert it’s hot, dusty, never-ending horrible terrain.
“We had to make our way through a lot of rocky canyons with a lot of tough climbs. I battled with Graham quite a lot. There wasn’t any time to look at your lines, it was just ‘go’ and motoring through all the tough stuff.”
The race is unique as it features a “one rider, one bike” format, meaning no support staff was allowed. Even the prep work had to be done by Webb himself.
“It’s just you and your bike out there against the terrain,” Webb said. “Luck definitely favors the prepared. After racing in it last year, I knew what I was going to be like. I took some precautions this year and had the bike set up perfectly. It worked out great for me.”