Taft's Nicole Madsen is going back to the X-Games and she'll be back in the spotlight and national television Saturday night.
She's going to be riding in the women's moto-X event, competing against some of the top female riders around. Her race wil be on television on ESPN at 8:30 p.m.
Madsen, 20, made her X-Games debut last year in the endurocross.
She had to qualify for that race.
This year, she was invited to the prestigious event.
All she had to so was submit a video showing her skills in both supercross and off a freestyle ramp. That was enough to impress the X-Games people, and Madsen got a spot.
Madsen said moto-x is similar to supercross but it has a freestyle jump in the middle and its run on a smaller course, much like the arenacross races she learned to race on here in Taft.
“I like it,” she said. “Its pretty challenging. I like being indoors where everybody can see everything.”
Madsen started her racing career right here in Taft, racing in the Taft Arenacross Summer Series and and Honolulu Hills.
Racing on the tight arenacross course at Franklin Field Arena helped hone her skills for the pro circuit, especially in supercross and the moto-x events.
“(Moto-x) is like arenacross and Taft Arenacross definitely helped out,” Madsen said.
Then she moved up to the WORCS Series and became a two-time national champion, winning women's A and B divisions.
She had placed third twice in the WORCS Women's pro series.
She's being racing this year in the Geico Endurocross Series and is currently seventh in the standings.
When she debuted in the X-Games last year, she actually held a lead for a time in the endurocross event but got hung up in the wood chips.
“Anything can happen with endurocross,” she said. “I lot of its luck, but of course you've got to be in the right place at the right time.”
Madsen, 20, has been racing pro for several years, and is now riding on a factory-backed Huskvarna 250.
She raced most of her career on a Yamaha before the factory ride with the Husky.
She got her start not only racing at Honolulu Hills but with a sponsorship from the course, too.
That relationship continues.
“Anytime I want to go out there to ride they've got open arms,” she said.