Chris Borich begins his quest for his fifth straight AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series championship this weekend at the season-opening Moose Racing Westgate River Ranch GNCC.

Borich’s closest pursuer in 2012, Ohio’s Walker Fowler, returns to the front line this year aboard an all-new AmPro Yamaha team. As a rising star in the GNCC ranks, Fowler has chalked several wins throughout his career-including one win over Borich last season-but the young gun has found that beating the champ isn’t an easy feat. It’s also not one that Fowler plans to back away from any time soon.

Adam McGill GNCCWest Virginia’s Adam McGill switched to a privateer-backed effort in 2012, causing a little bit of stress on his final results due to mechanical failures along the way. However, McGill managed to grab a race-win late in the season to give him fourth place overall in XC1 and a high level of confidence leading into the new season. McGill returns aboard his Lonestar/Precision/ITP Honda with high hopes of contesting for the championship.

Pennsylvania’s Chris Bithell will make his debut aboard a Bithell Racing Suzuki machine in 2013, a pretty drastic change from the last couple of seasons with the Factory Can-Am squad. However, a change in pace may be just what Bithell needs to put him over the edge for race wins this season.

Taylor Kiser reports that he will not be lining up for the season opener in his home state this weekend, and as of right now he does not have plans to contest the XC1 championship in 2013.

One rider that will be contesting the championship for sure is Ohio’s Jarrod McClure, who put in a solid sixth place finish behind Bithell last season. McClure will debut his new ride with the JB Offroad/Can-Am team this weekend and looks to be a podium contender all season long.

BNR’s Kevin Yoho, Yamaha/GBC/HMF’s Johnny Gallagher, GT Thunder’s Brian Wolf and Waynesburg Yamaha’s Jeff Pickens rounded out the top ten in 2012 and all riders plan to return for battle this season.

DeRisi Racing’s Braden Henthorn will make his XC1 class debut this season, while XC2 Pro Am champion, Offroadmotorsports rider Patrick McGuire, will return to defend his title in 2013. Waynesburg Yamaha’s Gabe Phillips will join the XC1 ranks after recovering from an injury that kept him out of most of the 2012 season.

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