California native Lance Coury is on one mission for the New Year, and that’s to prove to the freestyle world that he has what it takes to hang with the big boys of the sport. After a rather up-and-down year in 2010, Lance has set his sights on the future, and has been hard at work preparing for what he hopes to be a big year in 2011.
We sat down with the young ripper between riding sessions at his Wyvern training facility to see what he’s been up to since suffering a nagging injury that sidelined him from competition back in July.
Take us back to four months ago while you were training here at Wyvern for X Games and Red Bull X-Fighters… How did your injury come about?
We had an X Games course set up out here with a 120-footer. Even though X Games didn’t have one, we thought it would be good for practice purposes. I was the first guy to hit it, and I’ve flipped them plenty of times before, but the run-in was loose and I got some wheel spin coming up to it. I just barely came up short, but it was just enough to rip my arm out of the socket, and I hit my head on the handlebars pretty hard. I ended up getting a helicopter ride to the hospital with a dislocated elbow and nine stitches in my eyelid.
That had to be pretty disappointing with an X Games invite already in-hand…
Yeah, it was a huge bummer for me! It was just two weeks before X Games, and it was my first invite to compete there ever. The injury also kept me from competing in the rest of the X-Fighters tour. I tried my best to strengthen up before X Games, but with so little time to heal I had no choice but to pull out of competition. That’s just the type of risk we take in the sport, though, and now here I am back at it again.
With a couple months of downtime, how did you occupy yourself?
I went through a good amount of physical therapy to try to get my elbow healed up as soon as I could. Other than that I stayed fairly active in the freestyle community. I went to some contests and did some commentary and live chatting for ESPN. A big thing for me was attending riders’ meetings to see what the other athletes thought of the contests, and if there was anything I could learn for 2011.
We hear you’ve also become a businessman on the side with a new product launch. Tell us about your venture.
I just launched a new company called Moto-Gate, which is an expandable mesh tailgate with tie down hooks at each corner to keep everything you’re hauling secure. I actually had the idea about three years ago, and finally took the whole operation over with the help of my dad. With all that downtime I had while injured, and it being the off-season, I was able to put a lot of time into the business side of things, and it has really taken off. I’m stoked!
Anything big planned for the remainder of 2010?
A couple buddies and I put on a show at the “A Day in the Dirt” event at Pala for Moto-Gate. Also, there is an American Freestyle Motocross Association (AFMXA) contest at the end of the year that I’ll be handing out awards at and just being involved as much as I can. Other than that, I’m just hoping to have some fun and continue training for next year.
You’re heavily involved with the AFMXA… How did that come about?
When I found out about the AFMXA and what they were doing, I chased after it right away because I feel the sport really needs it. I won $1,000 for winning their Pro/AM contest last year. After getting the check, I made the decision to donate the money back to the organization. They were very appreciative of the gesture, and asked me to get more involved with them. Now I’m on the board of directors, giving them insight on what amateur freestyle riders are doing in the sport, and they have been really good about taking my feedback and putting it to good use.
What motivates you to give back to the sport and stay so active within it?
I don’t take any of this for granted, and I love the fact that my sponsors let me do what I love the most. Every day I come out here and push myself to further my career because I love it so much. In the end, I think people and sponsors really recognize that in me, and that’s why I feel like I should give back to the sport that has given me so much.
Looking towards 2011, what goals have you set for yourself?
I want to be a top-five rider in X Games and Red Bull X-Fighters, no doubt. If I can stay in the top-five at those contests I would be incredibly happy. I’m just really looking forward to 2011, and I can honestly say my riding is the best it has ever been.
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