Do you realize what happened last weekend in Zolder? Of course, Belgium won the Motocross des Nations, and this is very important, historically. But something even more rare, and significant, happened at Zolder.
Muhammed Ali never got to fight Joe Lewis. Wilt Chamberlain never confronted Shaquille O’Neal on the basketball court. Wayne Gretzky never took the ice against Bobby Orr. Rod Laver never battled Pete Sampras on a tennis court. Certainly, the prime years of each of these atheletes’ careers were decades apart.
With great justification, you could opine that the two greatest outdoor motocross riders in history, each in their prime, faced off at Zolder last weekend. Ricky Carmichael and Stefan Everts are those two riders. Although Carmichael beat Everts in a semi-final race, Everts clearly suffered from arm pump, and was passed by more than just Carmichael. In the final, it was different. Although his team would take the overall victory, Everts lost the battle with Carmichael, without excuses. Everts stated after the race: “I didn’t have any problems with my riding in the final . . . I got the holeshot and rode at my own pace . . . Ricky was faster than me today.”
Will there be a rematch next year? We certainly hope so.