On Sunday, at the inaugural Enduro X final at X Games 17, Ryan Hughes will be competing against his client Ricky Dietrich, the 2008 EnduroCross champion. Hughes, who won the 2004 EnduroCross in Las Vegas, the first ever held in the United States, was recently added to the 30-rider roster for this weekend's Enduro X.
A legend for his commitment and dedication to fitness, Hughes is also becoming a legend for helping X Games athletes earn medals. As the leader of Ryno Global, the parent company of his training, riding school, supplement and organic foods entities, his XG athlete client resume in recent years has included skateboarder Jake Brown, rally driver Ken Block and Moto X riders Robbie Maddison, Nate Adams, Jessica Patterson, Sara Price, Josh Grant, and Dietrich. A professional motocross/supercross racer since 1989, Hughes, 38, has won 125cc AMA MX/SX races, FIM World MX GPs, the Motocross of Nations and WORCS races.
Hughes has raced exactly two EnduroCross events in his career: the '04 win in Las Vegas and a ninth in 2005. Harkening back to '04, even though the sport was new to everyone, he couldn't help but feel a little overwhelmed. "I got on the floor of the stadium and I went, 'What did I get myself into? How do I get over this, how do I get over that?' I went out there, set the fastest time and won the main event."
When he realized EnduroCross was coming to X Games, by the time he called the X Games Enduro X Coordinator, Eric Peronnard, the spots were already filled. According to Hughes, "Eric said 'You haven't raced in a while and we didn't think you'd be interested.'" Hughes, who keeps his racing chops sharp whether he's competing or not, kept checking in with the promoters. When a spot opened, he was the first called.
Hughes will be competing on a GYTR/RynoPower/Fox Yamaha YZ250 (two stroke).
Having competed in so many different styles of motorcycle racing, his take on the toughness of EnduroCross? "The track is alive," he said. "It's continuously changing and even though you hit the same line the next lap there might be some more water on it, there might be some more mud on it. That rock might have moved. Then you have 10 other guys on there who are continuously changing lines and directions. You have to honor the track."