Amateur motocross riders compete at nationals
Sep 13, 2018 10:32AM
● By Jana Klopsch
Riverton’s Cierra Candelaria competed at the Amateur National Motocross Championship in Tennessee finishing 19th overall. (Photo courtesy of Tiffany Candelaria)
By Greg James | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship included three riders from Utah. The prestigious national race is held every year at country singer Loretta Lynn’s ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
“I love the adrenaline that comes with the sport,” said 14-year-old Tayler Allred. “The results are up to me.”
Tayler is a three-time champion. She won the girls junior division (ages 9–13) in 2016, the girls (ages 11–16) in 2017 and the girls division again this year which was held July 30–Aug. 4. Loretta Lynn’s is the largest amateur race in the country.
She is not alone. Cierra Candelaria finished 19th overall in the same division, and Tayler’s younger brother, Jace, finished 19th in the 85cc 9–11 division.
“It takes a lot to stay fit to race as much as I do,” Candelaria said. “When I race, it is challenging. My parents tried to get me to do dance, but I always just wanted to be on my motorcycle.”
Candelaria has raced at nationals for three seasons.
“This is like a motocross vacation,” Tiffany Candelaria said. “It is like the Super Bowl of motorbikes. CC (Candelaria) got involved when she was 3 or 4. She would always sit on the bikes. She races almost every other weekend. I have no idea what we spend to keep her racing,”
Tayler and Candelaria have been competitors since they were 6 years old. Now, they race as opponents on a national level.
“We became friends and hung out at the races,” Tayler said. “She is older than me, but we grew up together at the track.”
Both families vacation around where their kids are racing. Tayler and Candelaria can race in the girls class until they are 16.
“It is the best feeling in the world just to know that I am one of the fastest riders in the nation,” Tayler said. “The title of a national champion is incredible.”
The three racers compete on motocross tracks all across the United States. The typical racing surface has jumps, bumps and ruts. The grueling 20-minute races require the riders to be physically fit.
“I train every day at the gym and ride two to three times a week,” Tayler said. “I train a lot in Preston, Idaho, at Cache Valley MX. I do cardio and some weight lifting to stay in shape for my racing.”
Jace recently turned 12 and is a student at South Hills Middle School in Riverton. His older sister Tayler is in ninth grade at the same school. They began racing when they were 4 years old.
“I am so amazed by my kids,” Sabrina Allred said. “There is nothing better than seeing my kids do what they love at such a great level.”
Candelaria is 16 years old and is a junior at Riverton High School.
“It is the highest of highs and the lowest of lows when we are racing,” Tiffany said. “If things are going well, we love it and spend lots of time together as a family. She also gives up a lot with friends and hanging out time. She is a great student and a pretty busy girl.”
For a rider to qualify to race at the ranch, he or she must advance through a two-tier race network—first at area qualifiers and then onto a region qualifier. Some riders travel all summer to try to earn a position at the amateur nationals.
The ranch hosts roughly 40,000 family members for the event. It is a week-long activity with many family-based outings. Only qualified riders in each class can race at nationals. The race has been held for 37 years. For five days, the competitors race in several motos scoring for the overall championship.