Sturgess Cycle National Track Tour: Gopher Dunes



The Gopher Dunes track in Courtland, Ontario is arguably the toughest (and roughest) track in Canada. 

By Danny Brault
Photos by James Lissimore

Gopher Dunes—you either love it or you hate it. Often cited as the “Toughest track in Canada,” Gopher Dunes has left quite a mark on the Monster Energy Motocross Nationals since the series started stopping there in 2005. The track is unlike anything else found on the tour or, in Canada, for that matter. Sure, there are other sand tracks across the country, but none with the same never ending sand found in the tobacco town of Courtland, Ontario.

Leading up to the Gopher national, the track doesn’t look like anything to be scared of. Frank Schuster and his son, Derek, have every inch of the circuit lined with banners and hay bales and there isn’t a bump or hole to be found anywhere on the track. That is until the Sand Monster awakes on Sunday morning and riders begin churning up the soil. Slowly, but surely, deep whoops, berms and holes form everywhere on the track, turning Gopher Dunes into the front lines of some Middle East war.

The 2-5-9 (formerly known as the 2-2-4) is a fan of the Gopher Dunes track. For me, there's nothing better than slamming into a big sandy berm. Although, after 30-minutes, it's not quite as much fun!



Mason Phillips (7) tries an outside line while chasing Ryan Millar (501). Finding smooth lines is the key at Gopher Dunes. Or you can just smash through every single bump like Kyle Keast does. That works too.

We all know that the rougher a track becomes, the more fitness comes into play. As Evolved Nutrition’s Drew Robertson says on the Moto Show, it’s the work that riders have done back in January that proves valuable at Gopher Dunes. You can never count out the local guys either; Kyle Keast, Chuck Mesley, and Ryan Gauld have all landed on the podium at the Dunes national in the last three years, and Pierce Chamberlain and Jason Burke ride strong there as well.

Okay, let’s jump on the bike and take a lap around the Gopher Dunes track!

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