He’s 6’2; his bike is bright orange, and screams like a two-stroke banshee even as many of his enduro competitors, a long time hold out of the two smoker, are switching to four-strokes. The newly married 27 year old BC resident contests the big bike class and in the two seasons has earned himself the title of Canada's King of E3.
"Yeah, I don't know about King," says the modest KTM rider. "I just love the bike; it's got the best of both worlds. Lots of bottom end, tonnes of power, but it's light, and feels light, like a two stroke should."
Nelson's style is a combination of fineness and smash, totally in line with his description of the 300. “It’s pretty much the perfect bike,” says the BC native. “It’s got all the power you could ever need, but it’s still a two-stroke, so it’s light and easy to handle.”
The quiet and humble rider has quite an impressive resume: ISDE medalist, 4th place finisher at Xtinction in 2010, 2009 3rd overall Pro at the CECs, 2nd overall in 2010, 1st in E3 and in 2011 amidst stiff competition Nelson finished 2nd overall and remained the reigning champion of E3. He’s also participated in events the EnduroX at Montreal Supercross in 2009 and 2010, the Desert 100 in Odessa, Washington and many high profile races in British Columbia.
“Yeah, I had a bit of a bad run at the Desert 100,” Geoff admits. “My bib turned to dust at about the half way point. Making it worse: I was running 4th when it happened! My tire came off the rim and my race was over.”
The multiple Six Day medalist looks back on his fourteen year career, with it’s many highs and lows, fondly. The BC native has been on two wheels since he was 3 years old, racing since he was 13. “I don’t know what I’d do if I weren’t a dirt bike rider,” said the Orange warrior. “I’ve been doing it for so long; it’s just part of my life.”
This past summer life changed, for the better, when Nelson married his long time girlfriend, and biggest fan, Madelynn. “I can’t race without her any more than I can race without my bike.”
It wasn’t all that easy, as the E3 class had some big hitters who previously hadn’t been there. "There were a couple guys who jumped on the big bikes, like Chris (Van Hove) and Ryan (Graffunder). It's nice to see the class grow a bit,” said Nelson, who took home every E3 victory this year.
“I've got a lot of #2s behind Bobby,” said the 300 specialist. “I was really happy when I got my first overall against him in Labelle this year. He’s an amazing rider; really fast and very focussed. To beat him was an incredible thrill and felt pretty awesome.”
“I love it there,” the 27 year old admitted. “It's been really good to me. I got my first overall day win there last year, and I got my first overall weekend there this year. Plus, the town really opens itself up to us, which is nice.”
The next week Nelson, along with the rest of the KTM and Husaberg riders, was treated to the big rig lift style when Andy White pulled out all the stops, sending the 53 footer to Moto Park to show some love for the off roaders.
“It was amazing the support Steph and Keith gave us,” said Nelson. “It was awesome to get the full factory treatment like that.”
Other year highlights include riding Xtinction, the Canadian hard enduro event set in Patricia, Alberta. “It’s really weird terrain there,” said Nelson. “I ride hills and mountains all the time, but it’s nothing like this.”
While Nelson’s 2012 plans are still up in the air, he is sticking with his 300 XC, joining Bobby Prochnau on the RTR Performance/KTM team. His other sponsors are still up in the air for the time being, but his goals are clear: podium at the Desert 100 in Odessa, Washington; finish top 5 at Xtinction and win; win as many local races as possible, and take every E3 victory at the CECs, as well as capture as many overalls as he can.
“I don’t know,” said Nelson. “If there’s time and the schedules work out, I might go down to the States and do a GNCC, WORCs or something else that looks fun.”
Geoff would like to thank his 2011 sponsors:KTM Canada, Royal Distributing, Parts Canada, Thor, Alpinestar, Dunlop, Scorpion Racing and CTS Suspension.