Endurance: Down and Dirty Off-Road Racing

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Theresa Ortolani
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Nathan Kanney lost his spleen in Poland.

Kanney, the main subject of Theresa Ortolani??s Endurance,crashed his dirt bike during the 2004 International Six DaysEnduro race in Poland, but he kept going until he was pulledfrom the race and taken to the hospital. Doctors removed hisruptured spleen and told him he would have died if he hadstayed in the race any longer. That??s the MO of the off-roadmotorcycle world: unless you??re on the verge of death, youstay on the throttle. In an age where many high-adrenalinesports have become watered-down exercises in marketing,dirt bike racing remains intensely raw; a dangerous enterprisepopulated with a colorful, profane cast of daredevils. Ortolaniapplies an artist??s eye to this unforgiving sport and the riderswho pursue it, resulting in an unprecedented, behind-the-sceneswindow into this punishing competition.

Endurance offers embedded access and a scope that spansthree years of off-road racing. Ortolani began shootingKanney at a race in 2006 in which Kanney made GrandNational Cross Country history, and Ortolani becamehooked on a sport that is at turns beautiful and inescapablybrutal. Ortolani traveled thousands of miles, across theU.S. and Europe, in the process capturing Kanney??s ascentfrom underdog privateer to KTM Factory Team rider??anachievement that required beating world champions ridingbikes three times the cost of his.

Endurance includes photographs of Kanney??s world-championcompetitors and teammates including David Knight, JuhaSalminen, Mika Ahola, Anders Eriksson, Bartosz Oblucki,and Ryan Mills, with cameo appearances by Travis Pastranaand Carey Hart. Among the many interview subjects areNathan Kanney, Carrie Coombs Russell, Jason Weigandt,Jerry Bernardo, Jonty Edmunds, Jesse Ziegler, Steve Hatch,and Anders Eriksson.