6-year-old Austin boy to compete in world's largest amateur moto - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

6-year-old Austin boy to compete in world's largest amateur motocross race

Coen Abel and his dad, Justin, practicing together Coen Abel and his dad, Justin, practicing together
Coen Abel Coen Abel

He's only 6 years old. But soon, he will be competing in the largest amateur motocross race in the world.

Coen Abel is from Austin, and will be heading into first grade at Blooming Prairie Elementary..

In his spare time, the 6-year-old practices riding his dirt bike, and the hard work has paid off. Coen has qualified for the 36th annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship. The event will take place at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. from July 31 to Aug. 5.

More than 22,000 hopefuls from across the country tried to qualify. Coen is among the 1,482 who did. The event features 38 different classes of competition. Coen will be racing in the 51cc Limited Class for his age group (4 to 6).

"It's really fun to battle my other friends that are almost as fast as me," said Coen.

The video above shows Coen practicing at Midway MX Park near Kellogg.

Coen has been riding dirt bikes since he was just 5 years old. He said going over a jump is "really fun and really cool" because "you're way up in the sky."

When asked what got him started, he replied, "I watched a bunch of videos, watching them race and my mom, my dad got me a battery-operated one, and I started riding that. And like three weeks later, they got me a GTR-50."

In fact, it was Coen who inspired his dad, Justin, to follow suit.

"I got him into riding. He got excited and he got a bike and he started riding," Coen explained.

Now, father and son routinely practice together as grandpa watches.

"His dad's out there because he's shadowing him. With all the other big bikes out there, that way they come across him first," said Coen's grandfather, Phillip Miller. "Him and his dad -- that's all they do. Their whole life right now is riding. It's great though because they're always outdoors." 

With the championship coming up soon, Coen has his eyes on the prize, saying he expects to be "third or second or first."

But for his family, the sport is about more than just the trophies. It's about spending time together and building a bond.

"If the sport's out of the ordinary, they probably like it. They like to golf together too, so they do a lot of stuff together. It's cool," said Phillip.

The championship will be broadcast live at www.RacerTV.com for 40 hours of coverage, according to a news release. Two highlight shows will air on NBC Sports Network in the fall.

For more information visit www.MXSports.com.

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