How well do you know Factory Beta/Stillwell Performance rider Cody Webb? His name is synonymous with Trials riding as he’s been riding trials competitively since he was ten years old! When he was 19 years old, Cody got his first dirt bike and two weeks later he went to an EnduroCross event, and almost made the main. He was hooked! Read more in Sydney’s interview with Cody, as they talk about his training, strategy to beat current undefeated champ Taddy Blazusiak, and why this year is going to be better since he and Beta have paired up with Stillwell Performance.
In anticipation for the start of EnduroCross Friday, what have you been doing for training to give you a leg up?
I have been trying to ride a lot of Moto type stuff, and turn tracks to get my speed up between obstacles. All the trials guys like to cruise between obstacle to obstacle when you watch them race. I am trying to get a little more of that Mike Brown attitude in between the obstacles, kind of like what Taddy does through the whole race.
As Taddy Blazusiak is going into this season undefeated, he is the one to beat. What is going to be your strategy to beat him?
Every race last year Taddy got the holeshot and ran away with it. There have been races in the past, say at X-games, where he struggled in his heat race and the LCQ. It seems like when he doesn’t get the start he wants, he kind of goes into panic mode cause he’s not used to being in that position. So I think the key to getting up there and battling with Taddy is just putting the pressure on, and more importantly, to go out there and get the start. Putting Taddy under pressure, and being right there to capitalize when Taddy makes a mistake. The guy has skills on a motorcycle. Trials and dirt bikes, he can do it all.
Have you ridden trials with Taddy Before?
He was always older than me, so I have never rode with him but I have seen him ride a lot at different events. When I was younger, he was a top 5 top 10 guy in the world. Pretty damn good. Americans pretty much suck on trials bikes.
Well, I think you’re American; you’re not exactly bad at it!
Yeah, it’s true. But then I go ride with the real guys I’m just a guy there trying but not getting it done. It’s cool for me because all the older riders like Graham Jarvis and Dougie Lampkin are riding off-road stuff now. Those guys growing up were my idols and who I looked up too because I didn’t follow any type of off-road racing just motocross when I was younger. I followed those guys [and looked up to them]. Now I have beat Graham at an outdoor event, and I have beat Lampkin a bunch of times. These [are the] guys that I used to look up too and now I am beating them, it makes me feel pretty good.
It should! It gives you the confidence to go out there and know that you are a viable contender. Especially since you have a solid strategy. If you just competed in trials when you were growing up, what peaked your interest in EnduroCross?
I would just watch Moto growing up. I didn’t even have a bike until I was 19. I grew up riding trials my whole life. I started riding competitively when I was 10. I always wanted a dirt bike, but my Mom wouldn’t let me because “they were too dangerous”. When I was 19 I bought my own, and I rode the EnduroCross event 2 weeks later and almost made the main event.
So then you knew you had the skills to keep going?
At the time I was relying on just my trials skills, I had no stamina whatsoever, relying on the fact that I could just make it around the track. Things have definitely changed, everyone’s much faster, people aren’t getting stuck everywhere like they used too.
You have a great backing from Stillwell Performance this year, how confident do you feel in the bike setup that you two have dialed in?
Last year, I had a good race bike set up for me, but I was unaware [that the suspension wasn't right] since I didn’t grow up riding a dirt bike or Motocross. I didn’t really have someone to mess with my suspension. I just had a set of stiffer springs, so there were a lot of times throughout the year that I was kind of overriding my bike. It couldn’t handle what I was throwing at it because the set up wasn’t right for EnduroCross. Now we (Factory Beta) are working with Alan, and we are also hooked up with Fox Shocks. They have us dialed in with some really nice shocks, and we are also running Ohlins forks now that Alan has really dialed in for me. It definitely brings more to the table for this year for me and for Beta. I feel like now I don’t have any excuses to not push it as hard as I can or be afraid of overriding the bike or making mistakes here or there. Last year I spent a lot of time thinking/hoping that I wasn’t going to get kicked over the bars or that something was going to break because I was bottoming out a lot. It was because I didn’t have the right set up and we didn’t know. Now we are working with Alan who has been doing this for years, and me bringing what I know from riding the trials bike and the off road world; I think we are going to have a good blend this year.
Thanks, Cody. Good luck in Vegas on Friday!