2023 US Hard Enduro Series round three, Battle of the Goats, sees Trystan Hart notching up his third win of the season ahead of new dad Cody Webb.

The Battle of the Goats in Taylorsville, North Carolina is regarded as one of the toughest enduro races in North America. The Brushy Mountain Motorsports Park has been the home to this hard enduro race since 2015 and though they missed a year in ’22, the promoters came back with a bang this year.

What is already one of the most challenging rounds of the series was compounded with torrential rain. The course and conditions saw only 22 riders completing one full lap and only 10 the entire 17-mile course in the allotted six hours.

The race consisted of two qualifier races on Saturday and an epic six-hour main race on Sunday. The first qualifier was mostly amateurs with the second featuring the expert and the pro riders and both being held on the same four-mile course.

B-Class points leader, Braxton Hintze of HTR Gas Gas, won the first qualifier, finishing two laps in 1 hour and 16 minutes. Only 22 amateurs finished two laps of this qualifier, while 64 finished one lap out of the 140 riders who started in this race.


The majority of the action of this race for the spectators was on a steep and rocky Chicken Fight Hill, which had dozens of riders pushing up and flipping bikes down.

As riders prepared for the second qualifier it rained hard for about 15 minutes, making the course slicker still. Cody Webb of FactoryONE Sherco ended up winning this qualifier, finishing two laps in 40 minutes.

Saturday’s two qualifiers placed riders in their starting rows for Sunday’s main event where rows of five started one minute apart. A unique part of the Battle of the Goats main race is the course splits off to an added difficult section on the second lap, adding time to their lap.

First lap nails it for Hart

For the main, FMF KTM’s Trystan Hart took the holeshot ahead of Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Ryder LeBlond with FactoryOne Sherco’s Cody Webb not far behind. On the first lap, the course was shorter and avoided lappers meaning Hart came in with 1 hour 33 minutes on the clock, with LeBlond behind by six minutes and Webb another five minutes back.


With Hart clear out front, Webb and LeBlond were battling back and forth throughout the race, swapping positions several times based on difficult sections or lappers.

Hart held his lead the entire race though, working patiently through the amateurs and limiting his mistakes. At the finish, Hart crossed the line first in just over three and a half hours with Webb in second, six minutes behind and well clear of LeBlond in third completing the race in just over four hours.

New dad Webb stronger as the race progresses

On “Upper Chicken Fight”, LeBlond was caught behind a large group of amateurs and took a line that cost time. Webb grabbed the opportunity to pass for second on a different line.

Webb finished lap one 11 minutes behind Hart, but started creeping up on the leader, getting within five minutes from Hart.


“I rode like an idiot on lap one,” said Cody Webb. “I was at a bit of a disadvantage as I wasn't able to walk the course, but for a great reason. My wife and I had a baby girl on Friday morning.”

“Lap two, I was able to ride like I am capable of. I was given splits to Trystan, and I kept surprising myself to hear how much ground I was making back. In the end, it wasn't enough but I gave it my all. I am looking forward to the next round already.”

2023 Battle of the Goats results: 


The infamous Wentzel’s Waterslide was popular with spectators. The 200-foot rock slab with running water did not stop most of the pro racers, but there were several bikes made the journey back down without their riders.


In the Pro Women’s Class, Bailey Lerwill of HTR Gas Gas won her first ever race in that class. Hallie Marks and Georgia Eversole finished in second and third, respectively. The 2023 Battle of the Goats was a success and they returned with a strong showing.


The AMA USHE Series continues on May 6-7 at the Fallen Timbers Hard Enduro, in Little Hocking, Ohio.


More information: www.ushardenduro.com


Photo Credit: Bri Musgrove

Words: Matt Musgrove