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Tyler Nelson has made a sweep through the classes since the inception of Quadcross Northwest, improving each year to jump into the next higher class. This year he takes on the ProAm bracket against some of the fastest competitors the series has seen to date. After a securing the points lead at the opening round of 2016, Tyler is looking to build on his success and stick to a game plan to ensure he can secure the top spot come the final round of year. Fighting through injuries and a other slight misfortunes, Tyler’s confidence helps to keep his program on track. We asked Tyler a few questions about the start of his season and off season to get to know him and his program a little better.
What can you tell us about your program this year?
Well, I hit sponsorship season hard this off season. I went after all of the best companies and each one of them stepped up in a big way for me which has allowed me to completely ditch the old bike set up and completely rebuild it to where it is now and I wouldn’t change a thing! (Stay tuned for bike build). On board my race program this year is Pit Traffic, Walsh Race Craft, BVC Racing, Campbell Racing Fabrication, ODI Grips, Maxxis Tires, Quad-Tech, Rath racing, Sunstar Chains & Sprockets, and Pivot Works.
What did you do in the off season?
Last year I was having an issue with my rotator cuff so right after the last round in Washougal I went in to shoulder specialist. From everything I had heard about my injury I was fully expecting shoulder surgery which would have likely put me out for close to a year. The doctor told me that it was minor enough that I could slowly begin rehab at my own discretion. I slowly eased my way back into things at the gym. It’s always discouraging when you’re lifting half the weight that you are used to and it takes a lot of discipline not to push it too much. I stayed on it through winter and have improved my diet, since the end of last season. I have put on around 15 pounds of muscle and improved my endurance by a mile. I still have to deal with the shoulder and it will become an issue when I am older, but it isn’t effecting my riding which is more than I could ask for.
What racing mistake had the greatest impact?
The biggest mistake in my racing career is the weekend before round 3&4 in 2014 I suffered a crash that left me with a broken right collar bone, a broken left scapula, and a dislocated left shoulder. This injury put me out for the whole season but taught me to appreciate what I am able to do and to be meticulous about my equipment.
Who had the greatest influence on your racing?
My dad is definitely the biggest influence, he may not know all there is to know about motocross but he has supported me before I was making my own money. Now all the money that goes into the bike is out of my own pocket and I am the only one who puts a wrench to it, but he has always been there and understood the hard work that goes into it and the potential I’ve always had.
Who do you look up to in the sport?
I started following Thomas Brown in 08-09 right before I really got into the sport, I found it beneficial to try emulate the riding style of someone who was faster than me and learn from what he does. And hey who isn’t going to look up to Ruby Davis? We both got into this around the same time and since then it seems like he’s consistently faced misfortune and consistently overcame, the dude is a true competitor.
What’s your first impression of the competition this year?
I’m super excited about the competition this year! I feel like every one of us that lines up at the gate has a chance to win. I think that ProAm is the most competitive class and made for the best battles [at Horn]. It’s only going to get better once Tristan Low is healthy.
What was the saddest day of your career?
Honestly I don’t know but I have never been so disappointed with a second place before the season opener.
Tell us about your expectations for the year and how they are shaping up so far. What are your goals for the year?
I’ve been putting the work in and I feel like I have what it takes to win. It’s only the first race weekend but I currently have a 7 point lead in ProAm. The first weekend went well as far as points are concerned, but I felt like I left a lot of time out there on the track and I know I can put down better lap times. My goal for 2016 is to win the ProAm championship and get myself to a point where I can run upfront in the Pro class.
Describe a typical day of training.
On the week days I put in at least two hours a day at the gym. I typically start with 20 minutes on the stair stepper and move to 20 minutes on the rower or some variation that gets me at least 40 minutes of cardio a day. Ideally I do double a race day in cardio. Depending on the day I’ll either move to light weight high rep front squats, light weight deadlifts, shoulders/back/biceps, or chest and triceps. I try to ride every weekend. I typically take it pretty easy. I’ve learned to ride safe in practice in order to stay healthy through the season. I do, however, make sure I take every practice moto I can take and ride until I get pulled off the track. Even when I’m exhausted and can’t hold on I just keep putting in laps even if it means I’m just rolling around and not hitting jumps.
What do you expect to be your biggest challenge this year?
It’s a long season and a lot can happen, my main concern is the bike failing on me which is why I spend so much time going over everything and doing everything in my power to keep myself from DNFing but there are so many moving pieces you still never know. Besides mechanical concerns, the competition is no joke this year. Every moto I’m going to have to bring it, but everyone who lines up against me should know I’ll always show up and be there til I pass the checkered.