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The city of La Tuque is located in north-central Quebec, Canada, on the Saint-Maurice River, between Trois-Rivières and Chambord. The name La Tuque would appear to be the translation of an Indian name describing a rock formation that resembled a tuque, or hat, above the falls on the Saint-Maurice. The Haut-Saint-Maurice area offers hundreds of miles of well-maintained and signposted off-road trails, as well as many welcoming relay stations. The ATV and snowmobile trail that crosses the city provides access to numerous tourist products and services.

In the racing community however, the city of La Tuque is best known for “12 hours of La Tuque endurance race”, which today has grown to be the biggest off-road event in Canada. This year marked the 13th edition of the race, which was held from the 15th-18th of May 2014. The 12 hour endurance race hosts a wide range of off-road race competitions; QUAD, SIDE-BY-SIDE, ENDUROCROSS, PITBIKE and EXTREME CROSS but for this article I will focus only on the SIDE-BY-SIDE competition.

This year saw the biggest participation in the SIDE-BY-SIDE category with 22 teams entered in the race. The SIDE-BY-SIDE category is a 2-hour race, which takes place over 2 days. The SIDE-BY-SIDE category is divided into the following classes: OPEN 600-850, OPEN 851-1000, STOCK 600-850 and STOCK 851-1000. Although there are 4 distinct classes, all teams participate at the same time and are scored according to their lap times in respected classes. The winner of each class is determined by their cumulated times over the 2-day period.

Saturday morning the teams got a chance to run practice laps on the track and qualify for start positions for the first leg of the race that would be held later in the afternoon. The weather on Saturday morning was miserable, raining and cold. However, this didn’t stop the pilots from scoring good race times and all qualified for the first leg.

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By the time the first leg of the race rolled around on Saturday, the weather had greatly improved and the conditions were perfect as the pilots lined up for the start of the first leg. Almost immediately at the start of the race, #1 Derek Murray from Can-Am X-Team experienced a real bad rollover, happy to report that besides some bumps and bruises, Derek was all right. Can-AM X-Team dominated the race in the OPEN 851-1000 class while CFMOTO Racing was dictating the pace in the OPEN 600-850 class.

During the first leg of the race, #5 Yani Desjardins and #11 Martin Horik from Can-Am X-Team really put on a show for all the spectators with some fierce battles and some action packed moments.

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By the end of the first leg, here where the leaders: OPEN 600-850, #52 Jason Thorne, OPEN 851-100 #5 Yani Desjardins, STOCK 600-850 #29 Francis Villeneuve and STOCK 851-100 #555 Davik Ivichek.

Sunday morning finally rolled around and once again all the pilots lined-up for the final leg of the SIDE-BY-SIDE race. The race immediately exploded in action and once again, #5 Yani Desjardins and #11 Martin Horik from Can-Am X-Team where in a heated battle. In the OPEN 600-850 category #52 Jason Thorne and #26 Ken McDonald where assaulting the course in an intense confrontation between 2 pilots from CFMOTO RACING.

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Midway into the final leg, #5 Yani Desjardins damaged a rear CV joint and #11 Martin Horik grasped this opportunity to take the lead and never looked back. Meanwhile #26 Ken McDonald assault on #52 Jason Thorne and finally got the best of him and #26 Ken McDonald took and held the lead. In the STOCK 600-850 and STOCK 851-1000 both pilots #29 Francis Villeneuve and #555 Davik Ivichek held the lead throughout the entire race.

22 teams entered this grueling race and only 10 teams crossed the finish line. We would like to congratulate not only the teams that reached the podiums but all the participants.

FINAL RESULTS

STOCK 600-850cc 1- Francis Villeneuve / 2- DNF / 3- DNF STOCK 851-1000cc1- Davik Ivichek / 2- Sébastien Lévesque / 3 – E.Madero, R.Fawcett
OPEN 600-8501- Ken McDonald / 2-Alexandre Debanne / 3- Jason Thorne OPEN 851-1000cc1- Martin Horik / 2- Yani Desjardins / 3- Diane Rossi
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