Tucker Hibbert in training
Practice In Private
Tucker Hibbert says preparation is the key to his unparalleled success in snowmobile racing. Normally secretive, Hibbert opened his high-altitude training grounds for a sneak peak into the most decorated rider in snocross history. The day begins early at Hibbert's Colorado training ground. He drives the snowcat down to the track before dawn to begin the day's track preparation.
Hibbert is already grooming the track as the sun starts to rise.
Grooming and racing go hand in hand; Hibbert says he feels almost as comfortable behind the controls of the cat as the controls of his sled.
Home Away From Home
The Hibbert rolling entourage includes the full tractor trailer, an external trailer, two team trucks, a quad, the sleds, a few snowcats and other heavy equipment -- all assembled from the team's home base in Minnesota to their temporary home in Colorado for the week.
Crew members (left to right) Steve Houle, Kevin Krocak and Kirk Hibbert tune sleds early in the day to prepare for the day's testing.
Crew chief Kirk Hibbert unloads the practice sleds as Tucker Hibbert finishes the morning grooming.
Tucker Hibbert suits up for the first practice as Kirk Hibbert and Steve Houle talk about the day ahead.
Off And Running
Hibbert starts practicing with the snowy peaks looming in the background.
Hibbert's week before X Games is all about adjusting the performance of the sled to Colorado's altitude and snowpack conditions.
Kirk Hibbert and Steve Houle examine performance data from the sled after each phase adjustment to perfect the day's tuning.
Kirk Hibbert's years of race and tuning experience lend a significant advantage to Tucker's program.
Mandi Hibbert looks over pictures from Tucker's youth while the crew continues work in the trailer.
Tucker's intensive training schedule keeps him in top form for X Games Aspen later this week.
Robby Dahlen times Tucker's laps as he continues to refine the new machine's performance.
Locals Scott Turan and Matt Reed drop by the trailer between training laps to visit with Dahlen and Hibbert and share a laugh.
Little notes around the trailer help the environment feel like home; here, encouragement from family friend Kate Sandberg (pictured) and other reminders -- along with the omnipresent sponsor Monster -- keep the team focused and lighthearted.
Suspension tuning on the new sled is a critical aspect of the week.
Constantly modifying and tuning, head mechanic and former racer Garth Kaufman machines a special part.
Garth Kaufman reinstalls equipment on one of the sleds for more testing.
Every Ounce Of Daylight
Hibbert rides well into the sunset hours, maximizing testing during winter's shorter daylight.
Mandi and Tucker share a lighthearted moment in the trailer. Having family as a part of the crew provides great balance for the program.
Ready To Race
All the weeks of testing and training lead up to one of the biggest weeks of the year for the team, X Games Aspen.