Borich and McClure join Neal on the XC1 podium
The stage was set for another incredible round of the 2018 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series, an AMA National Championship as the red clay of Georgia awaited round three, The Maxxis General. The series returned to a once annual stop on the circuit, which has plenty of history throughout its legendary clay, in Washington, Georgia. This weekend the GNCC featured sections of the Aonia Pass Motocross track, and plenty of challenges usually found at a GNCC event. The Monster Energy “Monster Mile,” which showcases an element not usually found at any other round of racing, was also showcased as one of the toughest parts of the course. After a few showers impacted the morning races, the sunshine appeared offering slick and sticky mud conditions for the Pro ATV race.
Maxxis/Fly Racing/Ye Olde Cycle Barn’s Chris Borich would rocket off the line as the XC1 Pro class poured on the power. Borich would claim the $250 Wiseco XC1 Holeshot, and lead the field into the woods. For the first half mile the course was tight, with limited passing options, but Bneal Motorsports/CST Tires/Houser racing’s Brycen Neal would challenge Borich. Neal took the lead and set the pace for the next two hours being pursued relentlessly by Borich and the remainder of the XC1 class.
When the white flag came out signaling the final lap was underway, it appeared Borich was going to shadow Neal and stick a pass when the chance came. As the pair raced into the Monster Mile, they were bar-to-bar and rubbing wheels as they raced out back out of sight. Back into the woods, Neal who had to ride playing defense as the last few miles were run could make no mistakes. When they hit the motocross section Borich gave it everything he had in attempt to overtake Neal, however he could not make the pass as Brycen Neal turned the last corner claiming his first career ATV overall win.
In third, JMR/ATVriders.com/Maxxis’ Jarrod McClure had been running up front all race and worked himself into the final podium position. Coming through the class after a mid pack start, McClure ran down the leaders and was within seconds of battling with them. Lappers seemed to find their way in front of McClure pushing his efforts to getting through as the leaders pulled just far enough ahead that the race ended before a final press for the lead could be mounted.
Cole Richardson was back in the hunt aboard his AmPro Yamaha at round three, after having to sit out the 2017 season as an injury healed. Cole’s drive to get back where he feels he belongs will take time, however his march to the top five came at this round. Richardson has his spirits high and his determination to get back to finding the podium finishes, which he was accustomed to in overdrive. Richardson rode a strong race and would collect the fourth place spot.
Defending National Champion, Walker Fowler of WFR/GBC/Fly Racing/Yamaha was looking at making this a clean sweep of the season after loosing only one round in 2017. Fowler had collected the first two wins of the season, however would find trouble here at The General. A crash early in the race set the champion back and forced him to spend the remainder of the race playing catch up in a race that wasn’t slowing down for anyone. Taking the fifth position may be manageable as far as championship points go, but it doesn’t sit well with Fowler who will be eager to get back to his winning ways at round four.
The XC2 Pro-Am was action packed all day in Georgia. At the start of the two-hour was it was Austin Abney who would grab the $100 All Balls Racing XC2 Holeshot award. Taking the class win would be John Glauda Jr, who worked his way through the 13-mile course. Matthew Lindle, who now holds the points lead by 2, followed Glauda in for second with Brandon Icard rounding out the podium with his third place finish.
The 10 a.m. morning race could have gone either way as the 4×4 Pro class was eager to claim the top three spots over the hard charging WXC class. If rain fell it was said that the 4×4 riders would have the edge, and after a few morning showers this was exactly how it would play out during the course of the two-hour morning race. The 4×4 Pro podium would see returning champion Kevin Cunningham take his Can-Am ATV to his third win of the season with Landon Wolfe earning his second-straight podium finish. Rounding out the podium in third and joining Cunningham and Wolfe was Robbie Pecorari.
The WXC ATV class would see 10-time champion, Traci Pickens claim her second win of the season. Returning for her first round of GNCC in 2018 was Angel Knox, she would finish out the day in second. After winning the Women Amateur ATV National Championship last year, Sadiee Gorrell clinched her first-ever WXC class podium at The Maxxis General GNCC with a third place finish.
The youth racers would catch the first burst of rain at their 8 a.m. start, however they seemed to handle the added element like the future champions they are. After a very intense hour of racing, Layne McCormick would emerge victorious taking the win with Keaton Henderson placing second and Brayland Sekura crossing the finish line in third.
After three rounds of racing we have some major changes as Brycen Neal now has a taste of victory, which he has sought after for so long. After holding off Chris Borich for an entire race, Neal has shown that he is indeed ready to challenge for wins at every round. Neal wasn’t the only rider seeking success for they’re off-season efforts, Chris Borich also looked sharp, fast and just as crafty as ever. With Walker Fowler off the box this round, the will to succeed will be stronger than ever as we head into rounds that offer a very even playing field for the XC1 class.
The 1 p.m. ATV Pro race was broadcast LIVE in its entirety on RacerTV.com and can be viewed as archived video online by visiting the GNCC LIVE page online. A highlight show featuring the event will be aired on the NBC Sports Network on Sunday, May 6 at 5:00 p.m.
The 2018 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes with the FMF Steele Creek GNCC on April 7 and 8, in Morganton, North Carolina.
2018 GNCC National Championship Standings
- Walker Fowler (76)
- Brycen Neal (71)
- Chris Borich (64)
- Jarrod McClure (58)
- Adam McGill (56)
- Cole Richardson (47)
- Devon Feehan (39)
- Johnny Gallagher (35)
- Martin Christofferson (30)
- Westley Wolfe (29)