Troy Lee Designs on Podium at Anaheim Opener
The start of the supercross series is always chaotic and stressful. Months of hard work boil down to a tangible moment when the gate drops and it’s difficult to ignore the pressure and stay focused on the task at hand. Most riders struggled with the opening round jitters and the TLD camp wasn’t immune. Team leader, Cole Seely, couldn’t find his rhythm all day during practice and his teammates Jessy Nelson and Christian Craig had some of the same issues. Fortunately, when the gate dropped and it counted they performed.
The first heat featured Cole Seely and supercross rookie Jessy Nelson, who showed that he thrives on pressure by pulling the holeshot and running up front for almost a full lap. Seely was just a couple spots back, and moving forward. Both riders worked out the kinks from practice and were turning great lap times. At the checkers, Nelson held off Seely for second as both riders earned good gate picks for the main event.
In heat two, Christian Craig had his problems early. He started about mid-pack but a first lap crash kept him from transferring to the main directly. He would be forced to the LCQ, where a second place finish secured his spot in the final.
The main event started with another Jessy Nelson holeshot. You couldn’t miss Seely in his bright TLD gear right there at his rear wheel as they rolled through turn one. As the pack shuffled together exiting the corner Nelson made a mistake and went down hard with several other riders. It was definitely a disappointing moment for Jessy who was looking forward to backing up his heat race ride. Jessy eventually rejoined the race, and finished 18th on the night.
Meanwhile, Seely lost a spot to Tomac and Roczen early and settled into third. For a while he had Jason Anderson right on him but he was able to slowly open up a cushion and ride a comfortable race. Craig rode the best he could after suffering a bad start and crossed the line in 12th position. Cole Seely would start his championship run with a 3rd place finish.
As the team heads for Phoenix the riders hit reset and go into round two a little more relaxed. Look for Nelson and Craig to put up much better numbers and see if Cole Seely can grab the red plate in the desert this Saturday.
The team’s lone amateur rider, Shane McElrath, was busy preparing for his supercross debut in 2014. Shane won three of four main events in an Arenacross event in Tennessee. Look for Shane to line up at Hangtown this summer.
TLD would like to thank all of our team sponsors: Lucas Oil, American Honda, PPG, Red Bull, Adidas, Oakley, Seaspan, Fender®, Seaspan, Pro Tork, Dunlop, Renthal, Alpinestars, MavTV, ODI, McQueen Racing, Method Race Wheels, Sol Republic, GoPro, Shock Doctor, Pro Circuit, Showa, VQ OrthoCare, Couts Heating & Cooling, Specialized, Kasey Kahne, Enjoy, VP Racing Fuels, DubyaUSA/Talon, Moto Tassinari, PixelMags, ARC, Braking, Boyesen, Caprillo, Moto Brew, Vortex, Cycra, Mammoth Mountain, DID, Dirt Star, Hinson, Twin Air, Pacific Collision Centers, Sports Care Center, Elrod Racing, and New Era.