Dirtbikes revving their engines drowned out the bustle of downtown traffic at Eau Claire Market in Calgary. The rich smell of gasoline filled the air, this wasn’t your typical downtown commute. 

This was the Red Bull Outliers.

Hosted by Red Bull on Sept. 28, the Outliers are the first ever endurocross race to take place inside a Canadian city. Endurocross combines motocross racing with obstacles: there’s tires, logs, rocks and water hazards, as well as jumps, for racers to contend with.

Sporting winter jackets and mittens, spectators watched riders navigate the course as snow fell. The championships were scheduled for the next day but were cancelled due to extreme weather.

Lexi Pechout’s smaller build stood out in the starting lineup. She was one of the few females competing in the event, but racing in the men’s class is not new territory for her.

“I love riding dirtbikes, and I’m gonna show up and ride either way, if there’s a woman’s class or not,” she said.

“It’s riding at a different level, and you have to prepare yourself for the best.”

Outliers Photo 2 copyExhausts spew as racers line up at the starting gate. Photo by Bailey Gingras-Hamilton

Pechout said she was excited for the opportunity to race in her hometown and be cheered on by her friends, local fans and riders. Some of these fans are already hoping for the return of the Red Bull Outliers next year. Wearing a Yamaha Racing jacket, Wes Harder is one of the dirt biking enthusiasts — and riders — watching the event.

“I just gotta build up my skill level, I need another year of practice then I think I’ll be out next year,” he said.

Harder said the course and venue are his favourite parts about the race. The track was designed by Calgary based professional dirt bike rider Shane Cuthberson. Despite heavy snowfall in late September, the track held its own against the elements.

With $20,000 in cash prizes, this event had high stakes as well as energy. Final rankings from the Red Bull Outliers can be found here.

Calgary Journal was on the scene the day of the event take a look at what happened: 

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Editor: Chelsey Mutter | cmutter@cjournal.ca

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