Kirkland tops XC2 class at Yadkinville GNCC
It was a great weekend for the FRE/KTM ATV GNCC Team as all three riders battled for podium positions throughout their respective races at the sixth round of the GNCC Series at the Yadkin Valley Stomp resulting in a win for XC2 rider Josh Kirkland, third for Women’s rider Angel Atwell and fifth for XC1 rider Bryan Cook.
The Women’s race was up first. Atwell nailed the holeshot but was quickly passed by a hard charging Traci Cecco. As they neared a group of lappers on the second lap, Atwell took a wider line around them and allowed Kristen Atwell to move into second. On lap three, Atwell regained the lead after the pit stop. The three ladies remained close throughout the remainder of the race. On the final lap Atwell and Cecco went into the same line only big enough for one quad. Unfortunately, Atwell got pushed off the track and dropped to third when she reentered. She finished the race third overall. Now six rounds in, Atwell and Cecco are tied for the points lead with one race drop.
The afternoon race conditions were much worse than the morning race – very dusty with hard visibility. Cook had a great launch off the line and came around the first turn in third behind Donald Ockerman and Taylor Kiser. Cook moved into second behind Ockerman on the first lap. Both Cook and Kiser decided to pit after the first lap due to the dusty conditions. Kiser edged out Cook as they reentered the track from the pits. Both riders charged hard and were able to catch and pass Ockerman on the next lap.
On the final lap, the top five riders Kiser, Cook, Chris Bithell, Adam McGill and Chris Borich all remained close. Bithell was able to move ahead of Kiser and Cook and took over the lead. A mistake by Cook near the end of the final lap allowed McGill and Borich through and dropped him to fifth overall for the race.
The XC2 class was the highlight of the day for the FRE/KTM Team with Josh Kirkland starting the race off with a much needed holeshot in the dusty conditions. The leaders went into the woods behind the XC1 line and dust played a major factor. The thick dust and herd of XC1 riders ahead had trampled banners and made the course marks unclear. Soon the lead group of XC2 riders had missed a section and ended up in front of the XC1 riders. The race continued as officials decided how to properly handle the situation.
Kirkland rode an amazing pace and stayed within the top XC1 riders for the entire race. He led the XC2 class from the start to the finish for an easy win. At the end of the race the officials decided to enforce a two minute penalty on several riders for the mistake at the beginning of the race. After the penalty, Kirkland still comfortably took home his first victory of the 2010 season. Kirkland is now 13 points down from the point leader heading into the seventh round.
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