Brand new season, same old results for Chris Borich. The four-time GNCC champion opened the 2013 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series with a victory at the Moose Racing Westgate River Ranch GNCC in River Ranch, Fla. In a hard fought two-hour battle to the finish, Adam McGill and Walker Fowler rounded out Sunday’s podium behind Borich.

XC1 Pro class rookie Braden Henthorn grabbed the first holeshot of the 2013 season aboard his Team Woodhead/DeRisi Racing Honda machine, battling with teammate Eric Hoyland early on. However, it wasn’t long before the GNCC veterans of Lonestar Racing/Precision/ITP’s Adam McGill and reigning champion Chris Borich took over the lead battle, followed closely by fellow Maxxis-backed rider Chris Bithell. The trio flip-flopped for the lead throughout a majority of the two-hour race before Borich eventually set a pace that was hard to match up front.

River Ranch GNCC XC1  HoleshotXC1 rookie Braden Henthorn grabbed the holeshot in the season-opening River Ranch GNCC.

Borich’s new Suzuki counterpart, Chris Bithell, made the switch to yellow in 2013 and the Pennsylvania boy held the pressure on Borich in the beginning of the race and the two began to gap the field around the halfway point. McGill eventually put himself between the Suzuki duo.

Chris Bithell River Ranch GNCCChris Bithell and Chris Borich do battle in the Florida woods.

AmPro Yamaha‘s Walker Fowler experienced carnage in the first corner, setting the young Ohio native to the back of the pack right off the start. It didn’t take long for Fowler to push his way inside the top five, eventually contesting the podium battle by the end of the two-hour competition.

River Ranch GNCC XC1 PodiumChris Borich (center) celebrates his XC1 victory with Walker Fowler (left) and Adam McGill (right).

Pennsylvania’s Jarrod McClure debuted his all-new JB Offroad/Can-Am ride this weekend; staying inside the top five all day. McClure battled with Fowler early on before experiencing a small machine issue that caused his Can-Am team to fall back a few positions, maintaining fifth for the day.

Waynesburg Yamaha’s Jeff Pickens kicked off the season with a sixth place finish, edging out BNR’s Kevin Yoho, who is fresh off a pre-season injury that kept him off the machine for the weeks leading up to Round 1. Rookies Braden Henthorn and Greg’s ATV & Cycles rider Gabe Phillips made the jump to XC1 this season, finishing eighth and ninth respectively in their pro class debut at River Ranch. Yamaha/GBC/HMF’s Johnny Gallagher rounded out the top ten.

GT Thunder’s Yamaha-mounted Brian Wolf stuck with the leaders early on aboard an all-new machine for this season, but after an early crash Wolf wasn’t able to finish the race.

River Ranch GNCC XC2 PodiumBrycen Neal (center) is joined on the XC2 podium by Landon Wolfe (left) and Thomas Koontz Jr. (right).

The XC2 Pro Am division was all about the rookies on Sunday as Ohio’s Brycen Neal grabbed the win in only his second-ever Pro Am competition. Similarly, Florida’s Landon Wolfe finished on top of the podium in his second appearance in the Pro Am division, taking second place for the day. However, it was Ohio’s Josh Merritt who got off to an early lead in the five-lap race but Merritt began to drop back midway through the race, eventually finishing ninth in the class.

Pennsylvania’s Thomas Koontz Jr. seized the opportunity and grabbed the third and final position on the podium. Defending Pro Am champ Patrick McGuire struggled throughout the two-hour opener, ultimately finishing fifth behind Indiana’s Fred Marley.

2012 GNCC XC1 Standings 2012 GNCC XC2 Standings
Pos. Rider ATV Points Pos. Rider ATV Points
1. Chris Borich Suzuki 30 1. Brycen Neal Honda 30
2. Adam McGill Honda 25 2. Landon Wolfe Suzuki 25
3. Walker Fowler Yamaha 21 3. Thomas Koontz Jr. Honda 21
4. Chris Bithell Suzuki 18 4. Fred Marley Honda 18
5. Jarrod McClure Can-Am 16 5. Patrick McGuire Yamaha 16
6. Jeffrey Pickens Yamaha 15 6. Chad Jones Honda 15
7. Kevin Yoho Yamaha 14 7. Michael Lancaster Honda 14
8. Braden Henthorn Honda 13 8. Blake Kramer Yamaha 13
9. Gabe Phillips Yamaha 12 9. Joshua Merritt Yamaha 12
10. Johnny Gallagher Yamaha 11 10. Randy Hamilton Honda 11

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