Photos by D. Raffan and S. Howie
A little background on the group: as mentioned in his feature from February, Cole Dobovich, who was a contender in the A class last year, has moved up to the Pro class and will be contesting the E2 class. Ben Rego, who has been a staple competitor in E2 for the past two years will make the move to E3 aboard the big TE 300. Fryberger, well, he'll continue to make championships difficult for the likes of Scotty Kinkakin in the EVet class.
The guys were in great spirits when I caught up with them on the Easter long weekend.
Left to Right: Lee Fryberger (#96), Cole Dobovich (#88) and Ben Rego (#77)
IMX: Hey guys, and thanks for making time for me.
CGRT: No problem.
IMX: So, Cole - last time we talked you had just found out you were going to be racing in the Pro class and you weren't really sure how you felt about it. Has it sunk in yet?
Cole: *laughs* Not really! But I mean, yeah, it's going to be a challenge, which is good. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little afraid...
Ben: But you're racing against the clock, so you don't have to worry racing against me! *laugh*
Cole: *laughs* Yeah. But I'm just going to try my best. I'm going to try to hit all the CMRC and CMA races here at home and we'll see how well I do with the Nationals.
Rego will be exchanging his FE450 4-stroker for a TE300 for 2012.
IMX: Fair enough. And what about you, Ben? Heard you made the switch to the 300, how's that treating you?
Ben: Oh I love it. It's just amazing. I'm really hoping to get on the top of the podium in E3. I'm hoping to do the WEC series here, the nationals, and hit up some Endurocross events. I think Seattle and the Vegas finale, and maybe the Idaho round if I can swing it.
IMX: Awesome. That's some confidence you've got there. Are you doing anything different this year?
Ben: I'm working with Body By Vi, from ViSalus, so I'm going to be in better shape this year for sure.
IMX: So you're saying you weren't in shape the last two years?
Ben: *laughs* Well, the last two years yeah, I've been turning it up. But the first year, back in 2009, I wasn't. And it was the race style, doing three tests and then getting a rest, which really drew me to the CECs over some of the other races.
IMX: So are you doing anything else different to train this year?
Ben: Well, right now I'm just riding some moto. We've got about 5 feet of snow still, so I'm still sledding too. My plan is to work out more, and just keep riding and keep having fun.
IMX: Awesome. So, Fry, your team roster this year is...
Lee: *laugh* Well, Ben and Cole will be doing the nationals, and I plan to as well. I'm not going to speak for Shane - I don't know what his plans are and he's been pretty tight lipped about his goals. I believe he's going to be spending more time with his kids and family this year, doing more local races and putting some focus on the Endurocross. You'll have to talk to the Moose himself to get the details.
Shane "Moose" Cuthberston is keeping his plans close to his chest.
IMX: Sounds good and fair enough. So what about you? I hear Xtinction is off for 2012, what kind of plans are you coming up with?
Lee: Well, yeah. It's a lot of work to set up an event like that, and the land takes a beating. We're getting set up for 2013 already, so things should be good as far as that is concerned. This year I think the big thing will be toughening Cole up a bit - making sure he's ready for the Pro class.
IMX: Don't work him over too hard; might scare him off.
Lee: Naw, he's a good kid. Good head on his shoulders. He just needs a little more confidence to run with the big guys. You can't scare him anyways.
IMX: Any other big news?
Lee: Oh yeah! We're working with Moto Nation for some Sidi Boots, which I've been buying for years. They're really comfortable and we're very excited to have them aboard. We're also happy to be working with Gamma Sales, which will be Fly Gear and Dragon Goggles and a new suspension company: Pro Action.
IMX: Someone more local?
Lee: Yeah. Scott and everyone over at Rocher's did an amazing job, but there was just so much involved with the logistics of sending things out and being without. Pro Action is local, he can come to the track and we can spend a day doing set up. Well, you know what it's like.
IMX: *laughs* Oh yes, I know. Anyone else?
Lee: So many people are responsible for making things happen. We're still working with Pro Moto Billett - a relationship we started down in Idaho. Their head office is right near where they have the Boise Endurocross, and we've got a good relationship going, and growing, with them.
IMX: Sounds great! I'll have to make it down for an EnduroX one of these days.
CGRT: Yeah! You definitely should!
IMX: Probably need to get on that passport thing though. *laugh* Well, thank you very much for your time, guys, I know you're pretty busy.
Lee: Well, Cole and I are pretty much set to go for tomorrow. Benny's got some work left to do.
Ben: *trademark Ben laugh in the background*
Lee: We should have an official team press release to send to you soon. And we're going out with Doug (Raffan), you met him at Xtinction, and we're going to do a whole day of photo shooting and video capture.
Alberta isn't known for being super warm in April and even "Ivan" and the "Giant Killer"
need to warm up every now and then
IMX: Sounds fun. Love days like that. Can't wait to see the pictures and videos!
Lee: We'll keep you in the loop.
IMX: Cheers and happy Easter.CGRT: Happy Easter!