Dante Oliveira Wins Cache Valley WORCS, Re-takes Pro Points Lead
Preston, ID – Dante Oliveira made a late-race pass on teammate Taylor Robert and went on to victory during the Rocky Mountain ATV MC WORCS Series Presented by Polaris RZR and Dirt Bike Pro 450 motorcycle race at Cache Valley MX. Chance Hymas won the Pro 250 race and Evan Stice finished first in Pro Am. Brandy Richards kept her winning streak alive in Women Pro.
The event was held on a course set up on a motocross track, along with the surrounding alfalfa and corn fields, as well as a short woods and marsh section. It also featured an enduro section. The track sits in a valley surrounded by mountains and is nearly perfectly flat. That lack of terrain, combined with a slick racing surface made for a fast and challenging racing weekend.
In the Pro 450 race, Oliveira took the lead early, but lost it to Robert late in the race. The factory KTM teammates duked it out and Oliveira made a hard move stick and took the lead for good with two laps left in the two-hour event. Robert was second, ahead of the Husqvarna of Austin Walton. Cole Martinez was fourth on his Honda, followed by the GAS GAS of Giacomo Redondi. “He got around me on the right hander, and I bounced over his rear wheel, took the lead, and I put my head down for the last two laps,” said Oliveira who unofficially takes the points lead with his third win of the season. “It was brutal and this track was gnarly.”
Robert ran fourth early in the event, but quickly got going and made his way through the field. After the halfway point he was challenging Oliveira for the lead, a pass he finally made stick. Oliveira then made his move when Robert slid out in the field. He recovered to nab the second spot at the finish.
“I passed Dante and he wasn’t going to just let me have it,” said Robert. “He kept pressuring me and I tucked the front. So, he got by me and that was pretty much it. I rode great after the halfway point, and thought I had it, but I had too many mistakes.”
Walton got a decent start and stayed in third for most of the race. He had the speed to run up front, but reported issues with visibility in the dust. “I think I had the speed over Dante, but I couldn’t make a pass stick,” said Walton. “I’ll take this race to learn, so I won’t have that problem the next time. I felt good out there and rode well.”
Martinez battled Robert early in the race and ended up following the veteran racer to the front pack, but in the end, Martinez fell short of on where he wanted to finish as he was looking for the win. “I made a push on Taylor and then he picked it up,” said Martinez. “We battled our way all the way to the front. It was a good fight on a tough track.”
In Pro 250, Hymas took the lead in the second corner on the first lap and wasn’t headed from there en route to winning his second race of the season on his Kawasaki. Angus Riordan was second, ahead of Colton Aeck, both on KTMs. Points leader Mateo Oliveira experienced illness on lap eight and finished 15th.
“I got myself a pretty good gap, I won by a whole bunch, and it felt good,” exclaimed Hymas. “I live about an hour from here so this is like my home track. I loved the course setup. It had a little bit of everything.”
Riordan was gaining ground on Hymas throughout the race and had nearly caught him when the fuel breather on his KTM malfunctioned and was soaked in gasoline. Having to stop for fuel, he recovered to finish second, marking his best finish of the season. “I made it up into third on the second lap,” said Riordan. “I was chasing down Chance and I was slowly bringing it in, but I lost my fuel breather and fuel was spilling all over me. I love the track. It was really fun.”
A veteran racer, Aeck was astounded by the lap times of Hymas and Riordan. He took third on the second lap and stayed there for the remainder of the race. Though he didn’t win the race, Aeck knows that consistency is king in racing, so he’s just fine with his third podium of the season. “These kids are super talented,” said Aeck. “They pretty much put on a clinic for me today. I just stayed consistent, put in some good laps, and tried to minimize my mistakes. Podiums win championships.”
In Pro Am, Stice took the lead early in the race on his Honda. A charging Brandy Richards was quickly at his rear tire, and he held her off throughout to score his second victory of the season. Richards was second on her KTM, ahead of the GAS GAS of Dallas Sherpa. Points leader Alex Morgan was fourth on his Husqvarna.
“We had a DNF at Taft, so this really helps out my points situation,” said Stice. “Brandy was ripping and really kept me honest. I got off to a pretty good start and just kept ripping.”
Richards qualified for the event by winning the Women Pro race, she scored her second consecutive Pro Am podium. After starting up front she followed Stice throughout the race. “I felt phenomenal in the Women’s race, and today I started up front and stayed there,” said Richards. “I was pushing all race, but Stice wouldn’t let me get quite close enough. It was a good race.”
Sherpa returned to WORCS competition here after missing the last round. He rode his beloved GAS GAS to his first podium of the season. “Having fun and being smooth was the name of the game for me today,” said Sherpa. “I just rode my race and ended up third.”
Richards started first and dominated yet another Women Pro race. Kaitlyn Jacobs was second on KTM. Mika Diaz finished third in her return to WORCS competition after a five-year hiatus. Richards has really come into her own as a rider this year. Stepping up to a 350cc KTM has helped, but it has also had its drawbacks.
“I don’t have to ride the 350 as hard into the RPMs, but it has definitely beat me up this year with a broken wrist and some broken ribs,” said Richards. “I’ve gotten faster, so now I have to work on staying off of the ground.”
WORCS now heads into its annual summer break. The series is scheduled to return to action September 10-12 in Wickenburg, AZ.