Off-Road Racer Chris Blais Overcomes Injury, Now a Can-Am Factory Racer
To say off-road champ Chris Blais has been dealt a tough hand would be an understatement of immense proportions. Having become a major name in the world of motorcycle racing, he competed in and won numerous events like the Baja 1000, San Felipe 250, and Tunisia Rally. After becoming the first first American to score stage wins at Dakar and earn an overall podium, a crash while he was pre-running for the ‘07 Vegas to Reno event left him with a spinal cord injury and no feeling below the waist.
In the face of this adversity, the man was determined to work with, instead of against, the new situation in which he found himself. At the time, UTVs were just finding their ways into desert racing and Blais felt they could provide a way to get back into the sport that he so dearly enjoyed.
In short order, he found success with four-wheel desert racing, winning the 2010 WORCS UTV Class 1 Championship along with numerous other victories in series like the DP4 Off-Road series and Best In The Desert (BITD). This lead Blais to join the Can-Am Factory Racing Team, making him one of the most successful adaptive athletes in off-road racing history. Last year, Blais went back to the Vegas-to-Reno BITD race, this time in his Can-Am Maverick X3 and won the race which ended his two-wheel racing career back in ’07.
The film above is part of the Can-Am 72 Hours series, one which profiles riders like Blais and amplifies their successes. In this new episode, jump in the cockpit with Blais as he prepared to compete against off-road riders in the longest one-day race in the US. Even though the viewer knows his victorious outcome in this competition, the film still makes for a compelling watch as it takes us through the man’s incredible journey.
More by Matthew Guy