Borich Wins Season-Opening River Ranch GNCC
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.
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.
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.
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.
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|
|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|