The Grand National Cross Country contender ranks have suffered another blow, as Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna has officially announced via a press release that Thad Duvall suffered a torn ACL at the opening round of the season last weekend in South Carolina. He will undergo surgery later this month.
Duvall suffered a crash on the opening lap of the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series opener two weeks ago in South Carolina as he was battling for the lead early in the race. After fighting through the pain for an hour-and-a-half, Duvall made the decision to pull out of the race and get his knee checked out by a specialist, who determined that surgery would be required to repair the ligament.
Duvall: “I had an awesome off-season and was ready to roll at the season opener but my knee had other plans after a first-lap get-off at Big Buck. I’ll be having surgery in a couple of weeks to fix my ACL. I hate to give up my run at the 2020 championship already but I know this needs to be fixed and healed up so I can be 100% for the second half of the season. I’m already looking forward to coming back strong and winning some races!”
Duvall was in contention for last year's GNCC title, scoring four race wins, until a knee injury sabotaged his title fight against Kailub Russell. He did sign a two-year contract extension with his team that will see him remain with the squad at least through next season.
Bollinger:“This off-season went very smoothly and I was feeling really good coming into the 2020 season. Unfortunately, I crashed in the third test at the National Enduro season opener and I tried my best to push through the rest of the day. After a week of intense swelling in my knee, I decided to get it checked out and now I will be heading into surgery next week. It’s a bummer for my team and myself as we had everything in place to be good year.”
Over at the FMF KTM factory off-road squad, the fears have been confirmed for rookie XC1 racer Ben Kelley. He announced on Instagram last week that the shoulder injury suffered right before the GNCC season opener would require surgery.
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The harsh reality that sometimes you have to pay to play. Unfortunately I had a crash while out training on the Monday before the season opener of @gncc_racing I dislocated my shoulder resulting in a torn labrum. I’m set to undergo surgery today to have it fixed and begin the long recovery process. It’s a bummer as this was shaping up to be another awesome year. Waving goodbye for now, but I’ll be seeing you all back at the races soon ?? ? @dchapman457
Kelley had become one of the hottest editions to the XC1 ranks in years, scoring back-to-back GNCC XC2 Championships. After clinching the 2019 XC2 title early, he jumped to the XC1 ranks and won the last two races of the season overall (Duvall and Russell did not compete due to injury, however).
The time frame for Duvall, Bollinger, and Kelley to return to action has not been announced.