Home-state hero Nathan Ferderer took down over 20 of the Midwest’s heaviest-hitters to win the AA class at the first-ever Frostbuster Grand Prix. The opening round of the new Timbersled Border Battle XC series presented by Custom Outfitters, the Frostbuster lived up to its name with 22” of snow covering the eight mile hare scramble loop just 10 days prior to race day. 

Event staff worked feverishly to remove snow from the single track using snow blowers and shovels to clear miles of uphill and downhill trail. And while slick frost remained a concern, Mother Nature made good on her earlier transgressions, delivering sun and seventy degree temps the week of the race, leaving trails in near perfect condition.
For Ferderer, the win meant $1,000 in his pocket along with a 50 pound, handmade Sasquatch trophy and also marked another weekend in which the Checkpoint Off-Road/KTM rider kept his name in the spotlight, having already scored an ISDE qualifier win and national enduro podium this season. 

Drew Higgins slices a piece of chocolate cake that was in the deep freeze just one week ago.

Airgroup/Enduro Engineering/Husqvarna rider Drew Higgins made the trek north from Texas and grabbed the holeshot on the two hour race and proceeded to battle with Sterling, Illinois’ Cody Barnes at the front of the field in the early going. Higgins had a fall near the end of lap one setting up a race-long dual between Barnes and Ferderer.

“It was a fun day at the Frostbuster,” said Ferderer. With a record size AA line for D23, I was happy to start in 6th place. I made a few quick passes and by mid lap one I was third behind Cody Barnes and Drew Higgens. Drew tipped over near the end of lap one and we made our way through. I followed Cody until mid lap two when he made a mistake and went off-course. Once out front I was able to control the pace. Cody followed me closely as we worked our way through the many lapped riders. Cody passed me when I stopped for fuel, but I quickly passed him back when he tangled with a lapped rider. With three laps remaining I was then able to get a few lapped riders between us and pull away. I really enjoyed the soft soil conditions in the woods and the dust in the open didn’t bother me. Very happy to take home the cool Squatch trophy and the big cash payout. I’m looking forward to round two of the Border Battle, I haven’t raced in Rhinelander, Wisconsin since 2009!”

Illinois’ Cody Barnes made a surprise visit to Minnesota and challenged for the win throughout the day, finishing second overall.

Barnes would finish second overall with local supercross ace Jerry Robin rounding out the podium in third. Higgins would recover and finish fourth, followed by GasGas-mounted Nick Swenson in fifth. Swenson had a big get off of his own on the moto portion of the course when he cased a double and Supermaned into the sand exiting the track.

Multi-talented Jerry Robin (9047) was last to leave the AA row but quickly raced through the pack to finish on the podium in third.

Andrew Smith was one of several riders who came up from Missouri. Smith, racing in the Vet A class, cracked the top 10 overall and took home a Squatch trophy of his own for winning the A Overall. Multi-time Pro snowmobile XC champions Zach Herfindahl was seventh. Herfindahl just finished up his snow season last week and was putting his first hours on a new GasGas.

Andrew Smith was one of several Missouri racers to compete. Smith won the Vet A class, taking top overall honors in A and cracking the top 10 in AA.

The event featured a $3,000 purse paying back 10 places and was shared among racer from five states. District 23 has always held a prominent spot in the off-road world but the Frostbuster set what many long-time members are calling a new record with 477 total entries. 

477 riders and over 1,500 spectators took advantage of a perfect spring day to participate in the first round of the new Border Battle XC series.

Promoter RideX365 brought a big-time feel to the weekend with a massive vendor row and cross-promotion between well-known woods racers and some of the top snowmobile racers from the region who often cross-train on bikes. The event was held at ERX Motor Park, a 400 acre multi-sport racing facility that hosts regional snocross, short-course truck and UTV racing, Monster trucks, concerts and rodeos. The addition of off-road motorcycles was a perfect fit with their existing amenities and close proximity to the Twin Cities metro which is home to a large percentage of D23 racers.

Retired national pro snocross champion Robbie Malinoski (365) digs for an inside line off the start of the Vet A race.

Amateur racers negotiate a series of log jumps off the start of the race.

The ageless Matt Stavish jumped into AA and made a solid showing with a sixth place.

Factory Arctic Cat XC snowmobile champion Zach Herfindahl pins it through the “dune” section of the course leading to the moto track. Herf finished 7th in AA.

25 AA riders leave the snow-lined start of the Frostbuster in front of a packed house at ERX Motor Park.

Jayme French grabs the holeshot in 200A on his way to a class win.

Racers enter the short course truck track for a quick sand spring back into the woods.

Ferderer hoists the unique Frostbuster trophy flanked by runner-up Barnes (L) and Jerry Robin (R).

Next up for the series is the Sugar Camp hare scrambles in Sugar Camp, Wisconsin on August 19. Racers from all classes in the three round Border Battle XC series are competing for a Grand Prize TImberlsed Snow Bike kit based on their class finishes plus bonus rider points.

Overall Results 

1. Nathan Ferderer   MN    KTM
2. Cody Barnes       IL    YAM
3. Jerry Robin       MN    YAM
4. Drew Higgins      TX    HUS
5. Nick Swenson      MN    GG
6. Matt Stavish      MN    KTM
7. Zach Herfindahl   WI    GG
8. Chaz Herzog       MN    YAM
9. Andrew Smith      MO    KTM
10. Matt Lindberg    MN    KAW

All Results

For more information, go to: BorderBattleXC.com

Series sponsors: Timbersled, Custom Outfitters, RideX365.com, Klim, Enduro Engineering, Northway Sports, Muddy Bikes, Bell, Fasstco, Woodies Racing/Sunoco Race Fuel, AMSOIL, Action Graphics, EKS Brand, Kenda, Schilleman Bus Service, American Metalcraft Inc.

Series Schedule
August 19 – Sugar Camp, WI

October 7 – ERX Motor Park Elk River, MN

Media Contact: Gary Walton – gary@ridex365.com