Taylorsville, NC – Round three of the AMA Hard Enduro series headed east to the Brushy Mountains of North Carolina for the Battle of the Goats. What is already one of the most challenging rounds of the series was compounded with torrential rain. The course and conditions would have only 22 riders being able to complete one full loop and only 10 to complete the entire two-loop course in the allotted 6 hours. Cody Webb would finish p2 with Cooper Abbott finishing p8. Results Link Hard EnduroCody Webb just after the start of the muddy prologue Photo courtesy of Patsy Davis Photography Riders would wake up to heavy rains on Saturday morning. Forecasters were calling for an end of the rain by 1:00 PM, which was the start time for the afternoon prologue for the pro riders. Unfortunately, their predictions were off and the prologue would commence with a downpour. Riders were lined up in rows of five with one-minute starting intervals between each row. Seeding was randomized, and thus, Cooper Abbott was on row four and Cody Webb would be behind him on row five. Cody Webb was at a bit of a disadvantage as he only arrived in North Carolina that morning.He did not have a chance to walk any of the course as the morning prior, he and his wife welcomed a baby daughter into the world. Cooper Abbott was able to get the hole-shot for his row four start and maintain a lead until the first named obstacle, Chicken Fight Hill. He would get hung up on a risky line but he didn’t lose much time in the matter. Cody Webb also got a great start through the endurocross track and over to Chicken Fight. From there, he would put in a charge. By lap two of two, he was sitting in second position physically on course. By the end of the prologue, he will have made up more than five minutes on row one and finish first physically as well as on adjusted time. Trystan Hart would finish p2 :35 seconds adrift. Cooper Abbott would finish p12. Cooper Abbott on course during his prologue run Photo courtesy of Patsy Davis Photography Riders were hoping for better conditions for Sunday’s main race due to the difficulty of this course even in prime conditions. While slightly improved, they still had to contend with cake batter-type mud in most places on the course. The main event was a 17-mile undulating course that would take riders through creek beds, up waterfalls like “Wentzle’s Waterslide” and on steep climbs like “little Romaniacs”. Then the riders would have to do it all over again for a second lap and all within a six-hour cutoff. While Cody was the top qualifier, he didn’t get the jump he wanted and was buried in his five-man group coming into the endurocross track. Mistakes early would have him p3 and almost 3:00 minutes down to the top two riders of Trystan Hart and Ryder Leblond. Cooper Abbott meanwhile, would get another great jump from his row three position and would be the first through the EX track and into the woods. Cody Webb on course early in the main event Photo courtesy of Patsy Davis Photography As the riders came back through the endurocross track, which was one-third of the loop, it would be Trystan Hart with three-minute advantage over Leblond who had his own three-minute gap to Webb. Will Riordan, who was the third fastest qualifier from the day prior was a minute back from Webb. Cooper Abbott moved up to ninth place at this same point on course. Webb was essentially riding “blind” as he did not get to walk the course to see the main obstacles. This was causing the mistakes to pile up, but he would put his head down and fight on. After one lap, Hart would extend his lead on Leblond to six minutes. Leblond had also extended his margin over Webb to almost four. Lap two would be a different story for Webb as he now knew what to expect. With that, he was able to catch Leblond and battle with him for a portion of the second lap. As the riders reemerged from the forest, it was Hart with 9:50 advantage over Webb, who moved to p2. By the next checkpoint, that would drop to just over 6:00, and then to a low of 4:30. Unfortunately, Webb ran out of track and had to settle for p2 on the day. Abbott would come across the line in p8, bettering his qualifying position by four places. Cooper Abbott on course in the main Photo courtesy of Patsy Davis Photography “I rode like an idiot on lap one,” said Cody Webb. “I was at a bit of a disadvantage as I wasn’t able to walk the course, but for a great reason. My wife and I had a baby girl on Friday morning,” continued a smiling Cody Webb. “Lap two, I was able to ride like I am capable of. I was given splits to Trystan, and I kept surprising myself to hear how much ground I was making back. In the end, it wasn’t enough but I gave it my all. I am looking forward to the next round already,” concluded Webb. “I have never ridden on anything like this before,” said Cooper Abbott. “Out west, if you miss your line a little, you can adjust. Here, if you are off-line in the slightest, you have to watch out because there will be a tree there to greet you. The conditions were gnarly today with the mud and the slick roots and rocks. I learned a ton and I am ready to put that knowledge to the test at the next round in PA,” concluded Abbott. Battle of the Goats Podium Photo courtesy of Sherco USA Supported Rider Hallie Marks finished p2 in Pro Women. Supported rider Logan Bolopue finished p5. Branden Petrie of Sherco Enduro Racing finished p10 giving Sherco four riders in the top 10.