Photos by Amy McConnell, XCountry Photos
It’s always an interesting adventure to compete at a brand new venue. When the 2012 Grand National Cross Country Series arrived at Park Mammoth Resort in the rolling hills of south-central Kentucky for the fifth round of the series, everyone was faced with trying to learn new trails and figure out an ideal machine setup. Racers and mechanics took their closest guess — because no pre-riding is allowed in GNCC racing — and then hoped for the best when the green flag flew.
Luckily the Team ITP riders had a number of options to choose from when it came to tires – from the Holeshot to the QuadCross XC.
Dave Simmons (Yamaha) captured yet another overall amateur morning race victory. On what turned out to be a mostly tight and technical course, Simmons led the way ahead of nearly 240 other athletes in a wide variety of classes. This performance marked the fifth time in a row he’s won the Super Senior 45+ class in 2012, and was his third morning overall of the season.
Also waving the flag for ITP and graybeards alike on this hot and somewhat dusty day was Glenn McConnell (Yamaha), who was once again victorious in the Masters 50+ and 16th overall. That’s four wins in a row now, and McConnell is closing in on the points lead despite skipping the season opener.
Also making a podium appearance following the morning race was Angel Atwell (Honda). She finished third in the Women’s division and was ninth overall, and currently holds second place in the season standings by just two points.
ITP’s top Youth division rider, Jordan Digby, was not in attendance at Mammoth. Unfortunately, Jordan crashed while racing at an ATV Motocross National the previous weekend and broke a leg. But he’s a tough kid and we’re sure he’ll be back soon.
Patrick McGuire (Yamaha) put in another great showing in the afternoon’s very competitive XC2 Pro Am class. The Valencia, Penn. native crossed the finish line in fifth place and now stands a close second in the points race.
Possibly the most disappointed rider in Kentucky was Adam McGill (Honda). He was running right up front in the premier XC1 Pro class after three of five laps when he was sidelined with mechanical issues. Even so, he’s still in championship contention, owning second place in points.
The series regulars now get to learn and explore another new venue with the Limestone 100 in Springville, Ind., May 12-13.