The AMA EnduroCross Championship gets underway in Daytona this Friday and for the first time in seven years Taddy Blazusiak won’t be on the start line. 

As a five-time champion and the most successful rider the series has ever known, Blazusiak has made the tough decision to finally step away from it all.

After such a long time chasing the championship trail in the US, the KTM rider now looks to change things up for 2015 and beyond. Ahead of this season’s opener in Daytona, Taddy explains why he’s missing out on endurocross and what lies ahead for him…

“Endurocross have given me so much – it’s made me who I am – so stepping away was a very hard thing to do. But I’ve achieved way more racing that series than I ever thought possible. I never imagined I would win one title let alone five in a row. Honestly, I wouldn’t change anything about it.

“On one hand I’m kind of sad that I’m not going to be on the start line this Friday but on the other hand I’m also relieved. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved every minute but it’s been hard work too.

“I’ve been pretty much jet lagged for the last seven years racing that series. Dealing with the nine-hour time difference and taking in over a dozen trans Atlantic flights each year has been exhausting. Mixing it up with SuperEnduro has kept me racing solidly – without break – for a very, very long time.

taddy blazusiak 1024-103334-finland© Lynn / enduro21.com

“You know, it’s so hard to say who will win. Obviously Cody Webb starts as favourite – he’s the defending champion and he’s coming off the back of a solid SuperEnduro series. He’s ready to go. But there’s so many other guys too. It’s anybody’s title to win. I’m happy to watch it happen.

“Missing out on racing the AMA EnduroCross Championship is giving me the opportunity to do more things. Stuff I’ve had to put on hold. I’m getting back into extreme enduro – Erzberg is top of that list – and I’m also going to give some Enduro World Championship races a go too.

“I’ve wanted to return to Erzberg for the last three years but my schedule hasn’t allowed that to happen. I race to win and in the past I just haven’t been in a position that would allow me to be ready to fight for victory at Erzberg. That race is very special to me – it’s where my racing career began – so I’ve got to return in the right way.

“Since I’ve stepped away from extreme enduro the sport has really exploded in a big way. There are so many cool races I want to try. I also want to do a couple more EWC events. I enjoyed my one-off ride in Italy last year and I think I surprised myself by just how competitive I could be. I really feel that with some more specialised training I can surprise a few people.

“But right now it’s about wrapping up the SuperEnduro series. It’s been a great season with some close battles and winning four overalls in a row was awesome. I think I’m 42 points in front heading into the final round in France so if I can win my sixth straight title there I’ll be more than happy. After that I’m going to take a little breather, regroup and then plan my next mission. I’m looking forward to what lies ahead this year.”