The following press release is from GNCC Racing:
WASHINGTON, Georgia—The Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, concluded round three of the 2022 season in Washington, Georgia on Sunday, March 13, 2022. The Specialized General GNCC saw better conditions during the day on Sunday with sunshine and temperatures in the low fifties.
As the race got underway it was Cobequid Mountain Sports/GasGas Canada’s Tyler Medaglia grabbed the $250 All Balls Racing XC1 Holeshot Award. However, FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Josh Toth would move into the lead by the second corner and take off through the woods. Toth would hold the lead for the first two laps of the race but would soon be challenged by his teammate FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Benjamin Kelley.
Kelley would make the pass for the lead on lap three and continue to place a gap over the rest of the field. As the white flag flew Kelley would hold a 43 second lead and continue to push throughout the course until he was met by the checkered flag at the finish line to earn his third-straight win of the season. Toth would continue to battle behind him and hold onto second overall on the day, his first podium of the year.
“I’m feeling good and everything has been clicking so far, I think I learned a lot from last year,” said Kelley in a post-race statement from KTM. “It was a gnarly race out there today and I wasn’t really sure about my lines but it ended up working out. I started in third and we were just freight-training on the first lap – I was following those guys and Josh had a crash, so I moved into second. Josh snuck by me and got out front and I got back into second and it was cool, it felt like XC2 days. I tried to make a pass on him but he was riding good and we had the same lines, kind of. He caught a loose rock on a downhill, so I got a freebie pass and got around him. I was able to slowly pull a gap on lap five and just maintain it from there.”
“It felt awesome to be back up there riding with Ben,” said Toth in a KTM release. “I got off to a great jump and just rode my own race. I made a mistake on lap one and they got away but I just started following their lines to see where they were going – it was mayhem with all the ruts on lap one. I didn’t know what to expect coming into this weekend, I was exhausted but I rode my own race, gave it everything I had and I’m stoked to be in second.”
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Craig Delong would battle back from a seventh place start on the opening lap to round out the top three overall. DeLong continued to push throughout the three-hour race, moving up through the pack and coming through only 8 seconds off of second place as the checkered flag flew.
“I felt good,” Delong said in a post-race press release. “I had a slow start so I played catch-up and finally got riding good into the second lap. I hooked up with Trevor and we were going back-and-forth for a good bit before I got around him. I kind of rode by myself three-quarters of the way through the race and I was getting pit boards that I was closing in on Toth so I put my head down on that last lap I had a lot of fun. I wish I had started my charge a little sooner but you live and you learn, so I’m happy. I know I can run with these guys now, and I have the confidence moving forward, it’s starting to click now.”
After a good start and running in second place, Magna1 Motorsports/Husqvarna’s Jordan Ashburn suffered throughout the day to find a good pace as he slipped back to fifth for the majority of the race. As the white flag flew, Ashburn had caught and made the pass for fourth. Ashburn continued on towards the finish line but would be unable to make up any more time on the three up front.
Medaglia would fall back to eighth after earning the holeshot, but he would continue to push on. As he made his way back through timing and scoring, Medaglia would find himself sixth for the majority of the race. With just one lap remaining he would make the move into fifth in the XC1 class.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Trevor Bollinger was running at the front of the pack for the first half of the race as he made his way around in fourth and then third for a lap. Bollinger would continue to push in fourth place, but on the last lap would have a mishap putting him back to sixth in the XC1 class and eighth overall.
Coming through seventh in XC1 was Liqui Moly Beta’s Steven Holcombe. As the group came through on lap one, Holcombe was holding onto the fifth place position but would soon fall back to seventh. Holcombe would hold seventh for the remainder of the race as he came through just 1.7 seconds shy of sixth.
Rev Motorsports/GasGas Racing’s Grant Baylor would come through to earn eighth in XC1 with CEC Motorcycles/GasGas Scandinavia’s Rikard Hansson and AmPro Yamaha’s Todd Kellett rounding out the top 10 XC1 Pro finishers.
In the XC2 250 Pro class it was Tely Energy Racing/KTM’s Liam Draper jumping out to grab the $250 STACYC XC2 Holeshot Award. However, Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Lyndon Snodgrass would soon make the move into the lead for the first three laps of the afternoon race.
Behind Snodgrass was Coastal GasGas Factory Racing’s Ryder Lafferty running in second for the first half of the race. Lafferty was just 1.9 seconds off of first during those opening laps, but both Snodgrass and Lafferty would be challenged by AmPro Yamaha’s Mike Witkowski.
As the race wore on Witkowski would find himself making the move from third to first during the fourth lap of the race. Witkowski was not looking back after he got into the lead as he continued to push on coming through just 1.92 seconds ahead of Snodgrass to earn his third-straight win of the season. Snodgrass would finish second in XC2, with Lafferty holding onto third in the class.
In the FMF XC3 125cc Pro-Am class it was Precision Off-Road/FXR Moto/Bullet Proof Designs’ Dominick Morse battling for the class win, after Podium Works/ODI Grips/Scott Motorsports’ Shawn Myers Jr. grabbed the $100 Lojak Cycle Sales’ XC3 Holeshot Award. As he made his way into the lead with three laps to go, Morse would continue to push and place a gap over the rest of the XC3 competitors. Morse would come through with a two minute lead. Coming through to earn second was Carolina XC/Moose Racing/XC Gear’s Zack Hayes and FXR Moto/Action Extreme Sports Dakoda Devore battling back to finish third in the class.
Earning the Top Amateur honors was Team Green Kawasaki’s Grant Davis as he came through 18th overall on the day, earning the 250 A class win. Team Green Kawasaki’s Chase Colville would earn second Top Amateur with his 20th overall finishing position and second place finish in 250 A. Tely Energy Racing/KTM’s Bubz Tasha rounded out the top three Top Amateurs as he came through 24th overall and third in the 250 A class.
In the WXC class during the morning race it was Rockstar Energy Husqvarna/Surge Off-Road Coaching Team’s Tayla Jones fighting back on the last lap to make the pass for the win stick. This is Jones first win since the 2020 season at the High Point GNCC in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania. AmPro Yamaha’s Rachael Archer would hold onto second place after battling with Jones throughout the race. Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Korie Steede continued to hold third place for the duration of the race.
In the Youth race it was Nicholas “T-Rex” DeFeo earning his third straight youth overall win and YXC1 Super Mini Sr. class win. DeFeo was virtually untouchable as he made his way into the lead on the second lap of the race. KTM’s Peyton Feather would come throughout to earn second overall and in the YXC1 as Van Gosselin came through to round out the top three youth and YXC1 finishers.
The AMSOIL Moto Hero at The General GNCC was awarded to Dan Thompson, 36, of Phoenix City, Alabama. Thompson served in the Army as a Corporal, as he served with the Third Ranger Battalion. He was in the 75th Ranger Regiment based out of Benning, Georgia. He helped fight the war on Terrorism in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and was deployed seven times. Thompson will receive a $250 AMOSIL Shopping Spree, set of Kanati Truck Tires courtesy of GBC, 100% camouflage goggles and a commemorative American Flag from Columbia Sign & Co. along with a $200 Gift Certificate from them.
The GNCC Series will return to racing on March 26-27 with the Dunlop Tiger Run in Union, South Carolina. This event will feature round two of the Specialized Turbo eMTB GNCC National Championship. More information on the event can be found online.
For more information on the GNCC series, visit the official website at www.gnccracing.com or call (304) 284-0084. Join the conversation on the series Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to always hashtag #GNCC.
The General Results and Points Standings
Round 3 of 13 | Sunday, March 13, 2022
|1||Ben Kelley||02:42:17.434||Harwinton, CT||KTM|
|2||Josh Toth||02:43:27.219||Winstead, CT||KTM|
|3||Craig Delong||02:43:35.640||Morgantown, PA||Husqvarna|
|4||Michael Witkowski||02:45:24.278||North Liberty, IN||Yamaha|
|1||Michael Witkowski||02:45:24.278||North Liberty, IN||Yamaha|
|3||Ryder Lafferty||02:46:59.179||Millville, NJ||GasGas|
|4||Benjamin Nelko||02:51:47.060||Aliquippa, PA||Honda|
|1||Dominick Morse||02:58:49.658||Newark Valley, NY||Husqvarna|
|2||Zack Hayes||03:00:50.599||Sumter, SC||KTM|
|3||Dakoda Devore||03:02:46.010||Uhrichsville, OH||KTM|
|4||Jake Froman||03:03:30.695||Lynnville, IN||Husqvarna|
|5||Max Fernandez||03:06:12.308||Ottsville, PA||GasGas|
|1||Tayla Jones||02:02:12.556||Yass, Australia||Husqvarna|
|2||Rachael Archer||02:03:24.816||New Zealand||Yamaha|
|3||Korie Steede||02:08:46.118||Beloit, OH||KTM|
|4||Shelby A Turner||02:10:17.571||Barons, AB||KTM|
|5||Prestin Raines||02:13:15.779||Travelers Rest, SC||Yamaha|