By Nick Thiel
This week's preview is all about the Beauty and the Beast that is Washougal. The absolutely beautiful landscape that has hosted a National since the mid-80's can be treacherous as well. Just ask the likes of Trey Canard, who has suffered not one, but two broken femurs there. The beautiful tree line brings the challenge of intense shadows. The deceiving dirt can be slicker than an ice skating rink come mid-day, which usually demands extreme patience from all the riders.
There will be the return of a few riders and the re-shuffling of others. Lets see what this week's Washougal National has in store for us.
Cole Thompson will have a new ride this weekend
Lets get into the guts of the hopscotch. We have 450 rookie sensation Cole Thompson, who is moving over to the Star/Valli team for the remainder of the outdoors. He'll be racing a 250 bike for them, as their entire 250 squad (Swanepoel, Cunningham, Peters) is sidelined with injuries. They're also snagging their 450 rider Ryan Sipes to ride the 250 for the weekend. Ryan’s outdoor season hasn’t really gone as planned, so the move down could be a great thing.
Ivan Tedesco will make his return this weekend after he broke a rib and lacerated his kidney at the Red Bull Budds Creek National.
Tedesco's back in the fold for Washougal
What about the return of the local hero Josh Hill? Josh has had a rough go of it the past couple years. He tried twice and got hurt both times coming back for supercross. He's been spending the majority of the past couple months off the radar in the Northwest, ripping laps and training hard. He showed up last week in SoCal to spin some laps and was right on pace for a top ten in the race he entered there. The Hart and Huntington team brought the semi out and are supporting Josh one-hundred percent this weekend. Josh is one of the most talented kids to ever throw a leg over a dirt bike, and I hope this weekend goes great for him.
The deceiving conditions at Washougal are always tough. The dirt looks like it would be Velcro for your wheels, but it's exactly the opposite. Patience from the riders this weekend will be key to being on the podium, especially for the 250 riders who are defying the limits each and every weekend.
Barcia wil try once again to cut into Baggett's points lead
Tyla Rattray remains one of the intriguing storylines in the 450 class
So be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Thompson in the lites class aboard the Star/Valli Yamaha and his new teammate Sipes moving down to join him. The patience needed from the riders will play a factor in who ultimately prevails for the top spot on the podium. And of course you'll all be cheering for the hometown hero Josh Hill - if you can make it to the track, that is.
Well, that’s it for this week's preview. Hope everyone in the area is able to make it out to the picturesque raceway that is Washougal this weekend. If not, be sure to keep up with us on twitter: @allisports and @americanmx.