Wrapping up his second consecutive FIM SuperEnduro World Championship on Saturday night in France, 18 March, Colton Haaker has firmly established himself as the rider to beat in his sport…
As debut rides go, Colton Haaker’s foray into the SuperEnduro World Championship was a bit of a shocker.
During March 2015, the Californian first dipped his toe in European waters at the season’s ending race in France.
He almost didn’t make the main event that night and if I remember correctly I’m pretty sure he got lapped by Jonny Walker who won.
The expectations “we” had of him prior to France didn’t really materialise. Bike issues, an injury, jet lag and culture shock turned out to be a number of legitimate reasons why things didn’t got to plan.
Fast forward the clock 24 months and things were drastically different for Haaker’s return to French soil on Saturday.
Confidently winning his second straight world title, with his first AMA EnduroCross Championship sandwiched in between them, shows just how strong and at the top of his game Haaker has become.
In some ways the manner in which Haaker rebounded from that dreaded night in 2015 really shows the true qualities of him as a rider, athlete and ultimately world champion.
There’s no two ways about it, when it comes to indoor enduro Haaker is the guy everyone is now trying to beat.
But that’s not down to chance. Instead it’s taken a lot of bloody hard graft.
Just one look at his endurocross compound will tell you how serious Haaker takes his sport. It’s the track of dreams for any aspiring rider and one which must send doubts into the validity of his competitors’ own training grounds.
He’s built himself the tools to get his job done that in a way mirrors those who are at the top of their game in supercross and motocross.
Committing to a track in his backyard that’s meaner and nastier than anything a race organiser will throw at him has given him a “next level” sort of confidence heading into every race.
It’s clear he’s firmly stomped that negative night in France to the kerb time and time and now time again.
In the battle of You versus Can’t, Haaker’s winning and we can be sure there’s still a lot more victories to come.