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Women’s Motocross | Celebrating 40 Years
Words and photos by Christie Oliver
Video by Jordan Powell
With women’s pro racing on the edge of extinction, women put aside those frustrations and came out to Glen Helen Raceway from as far as Germany to celebrate 40 years of Women’s Motocross. The event featured former champions and current racers from the 1960’s to today for a little racing, autograph signing, and enjoying time with other women and fans that share the same passion.
Champions from the 1970’s such as Sue Fish, Carey Steiner, and Dede Cates were in attendance, as well as 1980’s champions Lisa Akin-Wagner, Mercedes Gonzalez, and Vicky Jackson. More recent champions from the ‘90s and 2000s included Dee Wood, Tania Satchwell, and Steffi Laier, and were also joined by current pros Sayaka Kaneshiro, and Jolene Van Vugt. These pros took to the track for a parade lap and short open ride session with other riders in the middle of the day between motos. The day’s racing was put on by CALVMX and included vintage bikes, ATVs and sidecars, and all levels of women’s classes, including a Pro class with a $1000 purse. Sayaka Kaneshiro and former champion Steffi Laier battled to the finish in both motos with Kaneshiro taking the overall win.
To any motocross female, the subject of pro racing and its slow departure from the National scene is a sensitive one. But when hundreds of people travel out to support an event, particularly for women’s racing and its long successful history, it exposes the proof that no one is going to back down and let women’s racing go away for good. Motocross girls are loud and tough, and they will race no matter what it takes.
The hot day concluded with an autograph session with the pros and a ceremony of history and accomplishments by the wonderful women of motocross in the Glen Helen/Troy Lee Designs Museum.