AMSOIL GNCC Racing WXC Highlights

AMSOIL GNCC Racing WXC Highlights

The 2017 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) series, presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, came to a close this past weekend, October 28 and 29, in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Despite the chilly temperatures, the AMSOIL Ironman GNCC boasted the largest rider turnout of the season with 2,398 total riders, 96 of which were female.

The ATV WXC championship was still up for grabs between Yamaha’s Traci Pickens and Pirate MX/Axis/Texiera Tech’s Angel Knox with only one point separating the pair as they lined up on Saturday morning. With two former champs going head-to-head all eyes were on the second row as the green flag waved. Pickens was the first to the holeshot line, with Knox and Ye Olde Cycle Barn’s Alicia McCormick in tow.

Knox made the move for the lead two miles into the race, but unfortunately came together with Pickens on the hill climb and her bike flipped resulting in a broken clutch. This mechanical issue took Knox not only out of the race, but also out of contention for the championship. McCormick was right there to steal the second-place position back and rode on the rear wheels of Pickens until her quad shut off at a creek crossing and wouldn’t fire back.

Shortly after getting back on track, McCormick was passed by Dillinger’s Celtic Pub’s Katelyn Osburn on the second lap where the two took opposite lines up a hill. Once they came back together, they duo battled and Osburn eventually passed Pickens until she was plagued by a mechanical issue. Pickens then continued to grow her lead, while McCormick reinjured her hand that she had hurt in West Virginia and limped her way to the finish. At the end of the two-hour race, it was Pickens crossing the line victorious and claiming her 10th WXC National Championship on a tie breaker. McCormick and Maxxis/WIXC/TA Motorsports-backed Andrea Berger rounded out the podium.

“That had to be one of the most difficult races I ever had to finish,” explained Berger. “I am definitely not in cross-county shape considering I just finished up the motocross season. I also want say I was fortunate enough to not have any quad issues or problems, which seemed to help me in the long run.”

“If you would have told me in the beginning of the season I would be a 10x WXC champion, I would have never believed it,” said Pickens. “But now that is has happened, it feels really good. I may be 41, but I hope that this championship inspires women to have goals, to not live life on a time line, and to never be too busy to have fun!! A huge shout out to my husband who in my eyes won 2 championships, it’s not easy getting two race machines ready, but he did it!  We are husband and wife champions!”

Come Sunday, the WXC girls lined up alongside the Industry Expert class featuring top names such as Jason Raines, Kyle Dangler, Dick Burleson and Troy Lee. After sitting out most of the season due to an ACL tear, RPM/KTM’s Rachel Gutish jumped out to the early lead, but Fly Racing/Maxxis/Seat Concepts/KTM’s Becca Sheets made quick work and made the pass for the lead on the famous Ironman Raceway motocross track.

Sheets began to pull away from Gutish and The Motorcycle Shop/Kenda/Bell/V3 Off-Road’s Brooke Cosner, the duo found themselves in a close battle in the first half of the race until lapped riders came into the picture. With over 900 riders on the 12-mile course, lapped riders quickly became the main obstacle over the hill climbs and mud holes. Gutish reported that her speed, strength and stamina are back to where they should be after her injury, but she lacked the ability to cope with the lapped riders while Cosner easily navigated her way through.

Meanwhile, Sheets struggled through a couple crashes earlier in the race but was able to regroup before the other ladies caught up. Sheets focused on competing with the Sportsman A riders, and raced her way to the overall win. “Riding with the Sportsman A guys made for a really fun race and I am pumped to get the overall for two years in a row at the biggest race of the season,” said Sheets.

“Finishing off the final race with a podium finish is always a good way to end the season, and it’s even better to do it in front of a home-state crowd,” reported Gutish.

The 2017 WXC champion and Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/KR4 Arrive-N-Ride/Husqvarna’s Tayla Jones once again competed in the three-hour pro race in the FMF 125 Pro-Am class. Jones had her best finish in the class with a fifth, and will return to the WXC line-up next year as she looks to defend her title. 

For the first time ever, the NBCSN highlight show will showcase the WXC ATV class and the “pink” race for October’s breast cancer awareness month. The show will air on Sunday, December 10, at 5 p.m., with a repeat on Wednesday, December 20, at 4:30 p.m. To view the full results from the Ironman GNCC, click HERE.

 

AMSOIL Ironman GNCC
Crawfordsville, Indiana
Round 13 of 13
October 28-29, 2017 

WXC ATV Event Results:

  1. Traci Pickens (YAM)
  2. Alicia McCormick (SUZ)
  3. Andrea Berger (YAM)
  4. Katelyn Osburn (HON)
  5. Kamren Bobb (HON)
  6. Megan Shepherd (HON)
  7. Angel Knox (HON)

WXC ATV Series Standings:

  1. Traci Pickens (176)
  2. Angel Knox (176)
  3. Katelyn Osburn (167)
  4. Alicia McCormick (159)
  5. Kara Merritt (143)
  6. Kamren Bobb (142)
  7. Jaida Phillips (125)
  8. Melanie Sill (73)
  9. Megan Shepherd (52)
  10. Abbi Troy (49) 

WXC Bike Event Results:

  1. Becca Sheets (KTM)
  2. Brooke Cosner (YAM)
  3. Rachel Gutish (KTM)
  4. Allison Bradshaw (YAM)
  5. Allie Spurgeon (YAM)
  6. Sarah Redel (YAM)
  7. Taylor Gray (YAM)
  8. Olivia Judy (KTM)
  9. Christy King (HON) 

WXC Bike Series Standings:

  1. Tayla Jones (180)
  2. Becca Sheets (174)
  3. Mackenzie Tricker (166)
  4. Brooke Cosner (159)
  5. Rachel Gutish (118)
  6. Kendall LaFollette (80)
  7. Shelby Rolen (74)
  8. Taylor Johnston (46)
  9. Allie Spurgeon (42)
  10. Natasha LaChapelle (31)

For more information on the series, visit the official website at www.gnccracing.com or call (304) 284-0084. Join the conversation on the series Facebookpage, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to always hashtag #GNCC.

About GNCC Racing

The AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis is America’s premier off-road racing series. Founded in 1975, the 13-round championship is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross-country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The grueling three-hour GNCC races lead as many as 2,400 riders through tracks ranging in length from eight to 12 miles. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. The series draws talent from all over the U.S., Central America, South America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. GNCC Racing is televised weekly on NBC Sports and RacerTV.com. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.

About the American Motorcyclist Association

Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders’ interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com. Not a member? Join the AMA today: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join.

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