Kanney and DuVall follow GNCC racers Paul Whibley, Robbie Jenks, Charlie Mullins, Rodney Smith and Jason Raines, who competed in the AAGP in 2006 and 2007. Whibley won the 2006 edition, and Mullins came out on top in 2007.
"I like traveling and experiencing new things, so it's cool to get the chance to compete in Japan," said New York's Kanney, who lived in Italy and competed in the World Enduro Championships in 2007. "I have an open mind about it. Ask me if I will like anything about it, and I will say yes. Ask me if I will not like anything about it, and I will say no."
"It will be neat to get away from everything here and see something totally different," says DuVall. "I've heard the people over there are nice and they will help us out, although I don't know if I'll even be able to talk to anyone. When we get out there on Sunday, though, hopefully me and Nate will be battling and we can win another one for the GNCCs."
DuVall will travel with his father, Chad DuVall, a former pro GNCC ATV Champion, and Kanney will be joined by motocross jack-of-all trades Jerry Bernardo on the trip. GNCC organizer Racer Productions will also send Director of New Media Jason Hooper on the trip to produce photos and video.
JNCC President Masami Hoshino sees the continued cooperation of Japanese and American racers as a way to boost racing in Japan. "I cannot show my appreciation enough for the GNCC Series," says Hoshino. "They have also chosen great racers from GNCC for the AAGP, so in Japan, enduro riding will rise. Nate Kanney and Thad Duvall are great racers."
In exchange, two top JNCC riders will travel to the US to compete in the first two rounds of the 2009 GNCC tour, on March 3 and March 8.
The three-hour AAGP follows the same format as an American GNCC round, and the race winner receives 100,000 YEN. The racers head to Japan on Wednesday, October 29. Look for updates all week long on GNCCRacing.com.
About GNCC Racing:
The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country series is America's premier off-road racing series. The 13-round championship series is produced exclusively by Racer Productions and has run since 1973. Cross country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The nearly three-hour long GNCC races lead as many as 1,800 riders through tracks ranging from eight to twelve miles in length. With varied terrain including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. GNCC Racing airs weekly television shows on the Versus network.. GNCC featured sponsors include Can-Am, Parts Unlimited, Moose Racing, Maxxis, Pirelli, Wiseco, Acerbis, Elka, Geico, Klotz, FMF, ITP and Weekend Warrior, and riders compete for over $3 million in series prizes and contingency money. Associate sponsors include Alpinestars, Cometic, HiPer Technology, Laegers, Moose Utility Division, The National Guard, Powersport Graf X, REM, Scott, Thor, Tire Balls, Twin Air, Ogio, Rekluse, and MotoTee's. For more information log on to www.gnccracing.com.