Justin Barcia Looking to Defend Bercy Crown, While Teammate Eli Tomac Fired-up for France
The event, a series of three complete races on consecutive nights: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, awards both individual nightly trophies and an overall “King of Bercy” crown that goes to the best racer of the entire weekend. Last year, Barcia won two of the three main events to earn the King of Bercy title in his first appearance at the historic race. Tomac will be competing in Paris for the first time.
Unfortunately, due to passport complications, stablemate Kevin Windham, who offered to jump into the fray after Christophe Pourcel was injured in Las Vegas two weeks ago, could not get his documents in order in time and will not be able to participate.
“Being King of Bercy was one of the coolest things I’ve accomplished in my career,” said Barcia, who rode the momentum of his Bercy success to the 2011 Supercross Lites East title in the U.S. “When you go back and look at the guys that have won it before, you see some of the biggest names the sport has ever known. To be alongside them in the record books is very cool.
“Now the trick will be to win it again. I know I’ll have everyone’s attention so it will be a battle from the drop of the gate. I think I’m ready. I’ve had a lot more time on the 450 and I feel very comfortable with it. I’m ready to get back in that crazy stadium and pump those fans up again.”
Like Barcia, Tomac will be running a Honda 450CRF in Bercy. This will mark just the second time Tomac has competed on a 450cc machine although he’s been practicing quite a bit on the more powerful bike at Honda’s test track in California.
“I’m ready to get after it,” said Tomac, the first pro to win his debut race in MX competition. “I’m not going to totally judge where I stand with this bike, no matter if I win or lose, because the Bercy track is different that what we’re used to in America, but it’ll be good to get more time on the bike. You always learn stuff whenever you’re in a true race situation.
“That Monster Cup race was a good warm-up for this event. That was a different kind of course also. I’m anxious to get there and see the layout and familiarize myself with everything. My dad (mountain bike legend John Tomac) told me the fans in Europe are extra crazy because he’s been over there a couple of times, so it should be pretty cool to see.”
Action begins Friday evening at Omnisport Paris.