OSSA USA rider Dustin Land at the UTE Cup

  • Posted on August 23, 2014

    August 16 and 17 2014

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    The Annual Colorado Ute cup was held this year in the beautiful La Garita
    Mountain’s in southern Colorado near the town of Del Norte. I arrived there on
    Thursday afternoon to get used to the altitude before the event and to get
    some practice in on the slick streams that I knew we would be riding plenty of
    during this event. The pits were very high in the mountains as it was over an
    hour drive of dirt roads, about 23 miles from the HI way to arrive at the UTE
    cup trial site at an elevation of around 10,00 feet! If you are not familiar
    with the UTE cup it is an event that challenges both endurance of the machine
    and rider, by covering close to 100 miles of loop, 80 sections and riding to
    altitudes of 13,000 feet over the weekend, it is a true test of machine
    reliability! The event has no classes, everybody rides the same lines, so the
    sections are set a little easier than what I am used to riding but this
    presents a whole new set of difficulties. In order to win this event you have
    to pretty much put in 2 days of near perfect riding, there are so many great
    riders at this event that are all capable of cleaning every section. So losing
    1 point can drop you as far as 5 places on the leaderboard, and it is very
    difficult to climb your way back up.

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    My Dad attended this event with me and we elected to camp at the trials site
    due to the time it would take to travel back down the mountain each day to the
    nearest motels and restaurants. We had a great time camping in the mountains
    together and enjoying the scenic views. This was his maiden voyage on his
    freshly restored 1976 Yamaha TY 250. He rode great on it all weekend and I
    enjoyed watching him ride it, he is very Salty on the old twin shocker for
    sure!

    Saturday started off great and the weather was perfect with the temps in the
    high 50’s which was a great relief from the triple digit temps we are having
    at home. I was putting together nothing but clean rides until I got to section
    8. It was a deep fast running creek section with lots of rollers that you
    couldn’t see under the water. When I went to do a floater turn to exit the
    creek up the bank I caught one of the rollers with the back wheel and dropped
    my first point of the trial. I didn’t let this one bother me to much because I
    knew there was a lot of trial left to be ridden. I finished off the first lap
    with clean rides and turned in a 1 point first lap. After grabbing a sandwich
    for lunch and a couple of Oreo’s I headed back out on the second loop. The
    first half of the loop were all going down creek sections, about 10 of them
    before heading high above the tree lines for the high altitude rocky sections.
    The creek sections were by far the most difficult because they were
    unpredictable at best. I made it to section 4 before dropping my second point
    after dropping off a large ledge in the creek into a deep water hole where
    another rolling rock grabbed my front wheel and through me into the right hand
    creek bank causing me to foot. I really buckled down after this point because
    I knew that 2 points would push me way down the leaderboards in this trial. So
    I managed to clean the rest of the second loop including section 8 that got me
    on the first loop, leaving me with a 2 point day. This had me sitting in 6th
    place. There were 4 clean cards turned in on Saturday, Ryan Young, Bailey
    Tucker, Dustin Hedwall and Steve Deines. Mike young finished the day on 1
    point and me with 2.

    Sunday I knew I had my work cut out for me if I was going to get back in
    contention for the win. It was another nice day with the occasional rain
    shower passing through that is normal for Colorado. The sections were more
    difficult on Sunday which was good because it gave me a chance to gain some
    points back on the leaders. On Sunday the second half of the loop was coming
    back up the streams and they were much more difficult, longer and deeper than
    the water sections we rode the previous day. I stayed clean all the way until
    section 12 which was obviously the hardest section of the day because there
    were riders standing all around and in this one studying it trying to find a
    line. It was a deep fast water section that was very rough and slick, and you
    couldn’t see anything under the water. I watched rider after rider push
    through this one with 3’s, so I knew this was my chance to make up some
    points. I put in what I felt was a great ride in this section making it half
    way through before dropping a single point when I wheel based in a whole in
    the creek. I managed to clean the rest of the sections and turned in a single
    point first lap. When I turned my card in I had a look at the scoreboard and
    was surprised to see that I was now tied for the lead as the best 1st loop
    score behind me was Ryan Young with 3. I now knew that I had to clean the 2nd
    loop in order to win the event. I stayed clean all the way to section 12 where
    I made it to about 5 feet before the exit and dropped another single point. I
    was a bit discouraged but quickly got my concentration back and cleaned the
    rest of the sections. At the end of the day I ended up tied with Steve Dienes
    for the overall win with 4 points over the 2 days, he beat me out by the 1
    clean tie breaker with 77 cleans to my 76 and Ryan young came in 3rd with 6
    points. But I was able to claim the win for Sunday as I only had 2 and Steve
    lost all of his 4 points on Sunday. In the end I walked away with the Top
    performance award for Sunday, The Top visiting Rider award, and the top Senior
    age 35+ award, which was my first senior award I have ever received and I am
    still not sure how I feel about that one Haha. I was also part of a sponsored
    team backed by Stan Hensley, that consisted of myself, Steve Deines and Dustin
    Hedwall, and am proud to say we took the 1st place sponsored team award, great
    job Guys!

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    I had a great time at this event and applaud the RMTA for putting it on and at
    such a great venue. My OSSA 300 worked flawlessly all weekend, the fuel
    injection was great at the high altitudes which required no adjustments at
    all, and it was great how consistent the bike stayed through all the different
    altitude changes we experienced on the 25 mile loops. As always I think
    LewisportUSA and OSSA USA for all the support, and I look forward to trying
    again next year to win the coveted UTE Cup trophy.

    Keep on trialin’ everybody and thanks again for reading my posts!
    Dustin