Team Puerto Rico riding for a cause

NILES — Up to 40 nations will send teams to Buchanan to compete in the 2018 Motocross of Nations at RedBud MX this weekend.

For most of the teams, winning the MXoN title is top priority.

But for Team Puerto Rico, there is a bigger mission.

The team, which will consist of Ryan Sipes, Kevin Windham and Travis Pastrana, will be trying to raise money and awareness for the island that was ravaged by hurricane a year ago.

It has not been an easy ride for the team as it prepared for MXoN. Windham, who has not ridden at the professional level since 2012, was added to the line-up to replace Ronnie Mac.

No matter the hurdles, Sipes is stoked to be headed to Buchanan to race in his first MXoN and to help raise money for those who are still suffering in Puerto Rico.

“We really don’t have any goal of winning, but we are going to go and have a bunch of fun and get people fired up to raise some money and do some good,” Sipes said.

Sipes is not sure how the idea got started, but he had no trouble jumping on board.

“It was one of those deals that sounds like a crazy idea, but then you think about it and you think you can possibly do it,” he said. “He (Travis) just called me and said ‘hey, we need a guy and we want you to do it. We know you still race and we want you to be our guy.’ I said absolutely, I would never turn that down.”

Money will be raised through direction donations and merchandise sales.