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Fox Racing Canada Presents The 2020 Golden Elbow Awards- Amateur Rider Of The Year: Sebastien Racine

When you look back at this past year in Canadian motocross there are many great stories and many great performances. In both the amateur and pro classes, we all witnessed riders push their limit on the racetrack while battling for moto wins and championships. Even though it was a shorter season than we’re used to seeing, it didn’t lack any of the great race action that we’ve been accustom to seeing in Canada. As I’ve done for the past six seasons, this is the time of year that I sit down to compose my annual Golden Elbow Awards that celebrate the memorable moments from the past year. Whether it was Dylan Wright’s Championship-winning rookie season in the 450 class, or Jess Pettis returning from injury to captured his second 250MX Title, there were multiple moments worth talking about. With just a few days remaining in 2020, let’s finish up this year’s Award winners.

Amateur Rider of the Year: Sebastien Racine

We’re extremely lucky in Canada to have a plethora of young fast amateur riders who have either had a lot of success thus far, or are on the verge of it. Names like Dexter Seitz, Evan Stewart, Blake Davies, Braxton Zeitner, and Dylan Rempel are all riders that we should keep an eye on in the coming years. However, when choosing the Amateur Rider of the Year I went back to the Walton TransCan results and decided that Sebastien Racine was an obvious pick. Not only did Racine go 9 for 9 in his motos at the TransCan, but he did so in a dominant fashion and he also took home the prestigious Fox Canada Bronze Boot Award.

Seeing as we both live in Ontario, I’ve been lucky enough to have watched Sebastien Racine grow up and transform himself into the solid young racer that he is today. I remember quite well the first time I saw him race several years ago at Sand Del Lee. With my son being a year younger than Sebastien they were lined up together in the 50cc class that day. When the gate dropped Racine took off and dominated the moto and I recall thinking just how good his raw speed and technique was. You could tell this kid had a bright future!

Well, since that day Racine has progressed nicely through his amateur career, winning races at each level along the way. But as he prepares to enter the 2021 season as an Intermediate rider, I also like that he’s had to face some adversity as well. There’s been a few unfortunate injuries that he’s had to recover from, he’s had some heartbreaking situations that have cost him Championships, and he’s also had to race against some pretty stiff competition each year.

When we talk about the development of young athletes we use terms like ‘progression’ and ‘foundation building’ as items they need to focus on. On a rider’s journey to the pro class, there are no shortcuts along the way. If you want to be ready for the dog eat dog world of pro-competition, you not only have to possess a certain number of skills, but you also have to have a good foundation of experience to survive. This is why I believe amateur riders shouldn’t rush their way to the pro class. Take your time, race and train as much as you can, and build as much physical and perhaps more importantly, mental strength as possible. This is exactly what Sebastien Racine has done, and when he enters the pro class in 2022, he’ll be as prepared as possible.

Another good attribute that Racine has, and I think it sometimes gets overlooked with young riders, is his ability to enjoy his time at the track with his family and motocross buddies, but when it comes time to race he’s able to flip a mental switch and be completely focused. This is a very difficult and delicate thing to teach a young rider as you want them to have fun and you don’t want to put pressure on them. That is why I’m impressed with Sebastien, the focus is there, and the pressure he feels comes from within. This kid wants to win every race he lines up for! So with all of that in mind, this is why I’m picking Sebastien Racine as Amateur Rider of the Year for 2020. I cannot wait to watch him as well as all of our other top amateur riders in 2021.

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