GNCC Racing

Tuesday Toolbox: Josh Toth

Tuesday Toolbox: Josh Toth

Tuesday, March 12, 2024 | 5:50 PM
Tuesday, March 12, 2024 | 5:50 PM Let’s go way back to the beginning. When did you start riding? What was your first bike? When did you start racing?

Josh Toth: I started riding around 3 years old on a jr 50.  My dad had already started getting my older brother Jake into riding and a bit of racing, so as soon as I was old enough, I was going to the races! I think I was 4/5 years old at my first race. 

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Josh Toth makes history earning the first-ever overall win from the XC2 class.
Josh Toth makes history earning the first-ever overall win from the XC2 class. Ken Hill

Diving right in, Sunday was a day for the history books. Never in the history of GNCC has a rider won an overall from the XC2. We’ve had plenty of podium finishes in the overall in the past, but an overall winner from the XC2 puts you in the history books forever. Walk us through the race, what clicked for you to capture the first ever overall win from the XC2?

Yeah, I don’t think it’s sunk in yet! It’s kind of surreal because I’ve been as close as anyone to doing it in the past. Snowshoe 2017 I started on the front row and had the physical lead with just a couple miles to go when Ricky Russell passed me for the win, I ended up 2nd overall by 7 seconds. 

You’ve always stood out as one of the best technical riders we’ve seen in years. Outside of a couple times when Johnny G and I gave you the “announcer’s curse” at Howard’s Hole a few years back as we were praising you. That was on us, we’ll take it. And it was just a little dab anyway, most riders would be stoked to get through that section with one or two dabs. Haha! What do you attribute your riding skills to?

I always love the technical GA track and have been on the overall podium my last couple times racing there so I was excited when I heard it was going to be a wet one. I always love the technical GA track and have been on the overall podium my last couple times racing there so I was excited when I heard it was going to be a wet one. I had a great ride going in Florida last week that ended early, so I was just so fired up this week for some redemption. I didn’t get a great start and fell in a mud puddle on lap 1, but just put my head down and focused on my riding all day. I was stoked to be able to ride like I know how for the whole race and not let any outside pressure affect my race.

Toth atop the podium with his overall winner trophy.
Toth atop the podium with his overall winner trophy. Ken Hill

The “New England Rippas” as we’ve called you guys for years take great pride in seeing guys like yourself and your buddy Ben Kelley succeed at this level. For several years the two of you were linked together. I remember when I first came on the scene in 2017 and through about 2019 it seemed like you and Ben were trading off wins in the XC2 class. You both set off on different paths over the last couple years, but there’s a lot to be said about the success you’ve both had. I saw on social media, Ben posted about being excited for your win. Have you had a chance to catch up with Ben after the win?

Haha yeah, I’m not sure if you and Johnny G have a voodoo doll in the booth or something? Haha! Growing up in New England we had more rocks than dirt, so I was forced to be a bit gentler on the bike, I think. Many people attribute it to “talent”, but I believe it’s been an accumulation of riding many hours, being open minded to learn new techniques and spending the time to apply it. Many riders just say that they’re not good at something, rather than facing it and trying to improve. I hear it all the time “I’m not a good mud rider...”/ “I can’t jump”… but most riders don’t get out of the comfort zone to become a better all-around rider. I did get a text from Ben congratulating me on the win but haven’t spoken to him much yet. He’s one of my best friends and has been since we were kids, it’s so rad to join the official Overall club with him, and Johnny G! It’s pretty crazy knowing what the 3 of have been through, together and in our own lives, to make it this far in the sport! Haha. As much as we get grouped together as the same person, we’ve definitely got our own personalities, and brothers for life. 

You’re running what we’ve been calling the “Ryan Sipes” schedule. Race what you want and where you want. I’ve mentioned it before, when we first heard Ryan doing this instead of focusing on one specific series, I thought he was nuts and it’ll never work. Obviously, I was VERY wrong. And I couldn’t be happier I was wrong too. There’s something to be said about someone who takes control of their own journey and does their own thing. And not passively trail-riding either. You’re obviously putting in the work and having success in various disciplines. What led to your decision to take on the hybrid schedule?

Yeah, I’ve always dreamed of racing Motocross growing up and Enduro GP whenever I would catch footage of those races. I got kind of tied down to racing GNCC, which was incredible for my career, but deep down I wanted to race all kinds of events. When Sipes came out with the General program, I was so jealous to be honest Haha. I asked him lots of questions on how to make it work, and eventually I took the leap to build my own program to go after these events. I couldn’t see a flaw in his program, he was getting his sponsors so much more publicity, while doing what he loves. I’m fortunate that Enduro Engineering took interest in having me on their team to contend in a full NEPG series, and what I want outside of those. The feedback I’ve received since going on my own has been awesome, I’ve traveled so many new places, met so many new people and got some results I’m proud of! 

Related question, in addition to GNCC, where can expect to see you throughout the rest of the year?

I’ll be racing full NEPG series, 6 GNCC, 4 US Sprint enduros, 1 enduro GP, 2 US Hard enduros, 3 Jday Offroad GP, 2 AMAWHS, and hopefully 1 Pro motocross + ISDE. 

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Toth on his way to earn the win in Georgia.
Toth on his way to earn the win in Georgia. Ken Hill

Are there any races here in the states or around the world you’ve got in mind that you’d like to race in the future?

I have quite the bucket list of events to do Haha. I’d like to race more enduro GP, I’m excited to try my first one in Wales later this year. I’d also like to race Erzberg, Weston beach race, an MXGP. I’m going to try for them next year! 

What does training look like for you since you’re focused on so many disciplines of racing?

Training now a days is mainly just maintaining fitness, I spent all winter riding bikes, so my base is really good at the moment, and with over 30 events to race this year I do a lot of traveling and just riding in between. Outside of dirt bikes I ride MTBs to train and work on bike skills. I try to focus on the discipline that I’ll be racing next, like get the intensity up before enduros and feeling sharp going into the weekend. Going into a hard enduro I have to remind myself to slow down and not rush it, trying to keep the heart rate low and balance up. 

We’ve talked enough about racing. So when you’re not at the track or training, what does your free time look like? What do you like to do for fun?

I’m not sure what else I do; I’m consumed by bikes! I’ve actually got a mini ramp at my house, so I’ve been skateboarding some more. It’s different enough from bikes to break it up, I can get such a good workout spend hours going back and forth, with plenty of room for improvement. I think it really helps my coordination, balance, and signal to the muscle in my legs. After injuring my leg several times in years past it’s cool to be able to skate and get things working again! 

Toth battling through the muddy, slick Georgia clay.
Toth battling through the muddy, slick Georgia clay. Ken Hill

I know you don’t do this alone, who are the sponsors and people you’d like to thank?

Absolutely, there’s many people that support me that make this schedule possible! Enduro Engineering, Bells Electric, GSD2 racing, Carolina Pedal Works, Steve Hatch Racing, 100 Percent, Seven, Dunlop, ODI, Sunstar, Braking, Rabaconda, POD, Alpinestars, Arai Helmets, Defeet, FMF, XC Gear, Adept, Trailjesters