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REAL Athletes"
                                       Team USA wins Again!

The results are in and Team USA has secured its 17th Motocross of Nations victory.  And, the strange part is,
they did it without winning a moto.  On this day World Champion Stefan Everts won the battle, going 1-1, but
the U.S. did enough to win the war.  Here are the final Team Standings:

1.  USA  15 points
2.  Belgium  22 points
3.  New Zealand  35 points


The combined motos turned out like this:

Moto #1 - MX1 and MX2

Stefan Everts and James Stewart get out front early with Stewart running a close second.  Stewart then lost
the front wheel over a berm and crashed knocking him back to around 6th place.  Everts takes off and
Villopoto works up into second place on his 250F.  The two front runners maintain their position for most of
the moto until Stewart works back up to second place which is how they finish.

1st - Everts
2nd - Stewart
3rd - Villopoto


Moto #2 - MX2 and Open

This was the best race of the day.  Ivan Tedesco got the holeshot with the top 250F / MX2 riders bunched up
behind him - Townley, Pourcel, Villopoto, and Cairoli.  Tedesco led for a good portion of the moto with the
250 riders constantly swapping places behind him.  Eventually Villopoto moved into second place, but then he
jumped off of the track and rode through the banners and over a hay bail which allowed Cairoli and Townley
to get by.  Cairoli took off in pursuit of Tedesco and eventually passed him to take over first place.  Villopoto
moved into third and eventually passed Tedesco.  From that point on it looked like Tedesco was fading fast.  
His fitness looked suspect, but it was understandable since he really hadn't raced since the supercross
season.  By the end of the moto, Tedesco was cruising in sixth place.  When the race ended it looked like this:

1st - Cairoli
2nd - Villopoto
3rd -Townley
6th - Tedesco

Team Points going into the final race:

1st - USA - 13 points
2nd - New Zealand 31 points
3rd - Italy  34 points
4th - South Africa  43 points
5th - France  45 points
6th - Belgium  49 points


Moto #3 - MX1 and Open

As the final race approached, it was clear that the Americans held the upper hand in the team standings.  
They only needed to avoid trouble and finish somewhere near the front and they would win.  However,
individual pride would be on the line, and Stefan Everts wanted to go into retirement with one final win.  As the
final moto exited the first turn, Everts was about 5th place or so and Stewart had gotten a poor start and was
a couple of spots behind.  But, Stewart eventually latched onto the World Champion and they worked their
way through to the first two positions.  Along the way they swapped positions a few times, but Stewart couldn't
shake the Champion, and Everts made his way past into first place.  He pulled out a couple of seconds on
Stewart which is where he remained for the rest of the moto.  Stewart looked to be riding conservatively (for
him) as the moto progressed because he knew that Team USA had the win if he finished second.  Even
Roger DeCoster looked fairly calm as they interviewed him on the television broadcast, commenting that
James should remain in second to secure the win.  Meanwhile, Tedesco was riding several places back in the
8th - 9th - 10th place range.  A spirited ride was put in by the Italian, David Philippaerts, who led the race for
awhile before finishing with a strong third place.  In the end, Everts cruised past the finish line in first, to the
cheers of the crowd, but the Americans secured the team victory with Stewart's second place.  Here are the
final results:

1st - Everts
2nd - Stewart
3rd - Philippaerts
9th - Tedesco

Team Standings

1st - USA  15 points
2nd - Belgium  22 points
3rd - New Zealand  35 points
4th - Italy  37 points
5th - France 48 points
6th - Great Britain  55 points


This year's event provided some great racing action with Stefan Everts going into retirement on top.  
Congratulations to him as he proved what a great champion he truly is.  Team USA did what it had to do to
secure the victory.  It wasn't spectacular, but it was effective.  I guess we can all wonder how the individual
standings would have differed if RC was healthy and had competed.  I have a feeling that the GOAT would
have put on a riding clinic for the rest of the world.  If we look back at the final few national races, RC was
beating Stewart quite comfortably, and when he got hurt, he had just passed James into first place at Glen

But, I guess it doesn't really matter now as Team USA accomplished what it set out to do.  Now, we can look
forward to next year's
Motocross of Nations which will be held in the U.S. at Budds Creek.  No matter who
rides for the U.S. next year, I suspect they will be favored and have a great home track advantage.  But, from
the looks of today's race, there are several great riders from Europe and around the world that are ready to
challenge the U.S. in the near future.

Don't forget -
Moto X Fitness will have an in depth report on the Motocross of Nations direct from
England coming within the next couple of days.  So, be sure to check it out!

Here it is -
The Motocross of Nations - Full Report with Photos direct from England!  Check it out!
2006 Motocross of Nations
James Stewart
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