Whether you still think of it as a sport for kids (or, secretly, for rednecks) you should know: there's a tremendous amount of athleticism required to participate in Motorcross.
It’s physically demanding. Dangerous. Badass. During the race, for 30 minutes plus two additional laps, racers throw around 220-pound bikes like rag dolls and make it look effortless. (Trust us, it’s not.) They race around mile-long loose-dirt, sand, or clay tracks, with dramatic elevation changes and technical jumps and divots. Loosing control means flipping over and risking a multi-bike pileup.
Racer Ryan Dungey, 22, led Team USA to three victories at the Motocross of Nations (think Motocross Olympics) and won every major Motocross title by age 21. To top it off, he took the trophy at the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 450 Class Championship, and is expected to win his last race September 8, which airs on NBC Sports Network at 11 p.m. Dungey got this far, not on raw talent like many of his competitors, but on hours of training and careful diet-scrutiny.
Men’s Fitness wanted to know exactly what it takes to be a winning dirtbike racer. So we sat down with Motocross’s king of the track to find out.