Russell and Duvall battle hard for entire three hour Maxxis General GNCC race but Russell takes his third win of 2018.

 

Round three of the 2018 Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series at Aonia Pass MX, Georgia proved to be another close race between Kailub Russell and Thad Duvall.

The 2018 Maxxis General boiled down to a tight finish with Russell crossing the line 2.4 seconds to earn his third-straight win of the season just ahead of Duvall. 

Meanwhile in the XC2 250 Pro Class, Ben Kelley took his second-straight win ahead of Pascal Rauchenecker.

 

GNCC Maxxis General 2018 Pro XC1 Kailub Russell Enduro21 560

Photo Credit: Ken Hill

 

XC1 Pro class

Russell got a good jump off the line and the holeshot award but as riders came around for lap one, Ricky Russell was out front.

After holding off the rest of the XC1 Pro class, misfortune would strike the Yamaha rider and he would have to retire for the remainder of the race. 

Behind the leading duo Steward Baylor Jr. made his way through the pack, ultimately pulling ahead of Trevor Bollinger at the end of the three-hour race. S. Baylor would end the day on the podium in third place while Bollinger would hold on to finish fourth just one second back at the line.

Josh Strang started mid-pack but worked his way through the field and run in the fourth place during lap four before dropping one place to fifth at the flag. 

XC2 250 Pro class

Fresh off his first XC2 250 Pro class win of his career at the previous round, Ben Kelley made it two in a row to claim the class win and sixth overall.

After an early battle with Josh Toth and Pascal Rauchenecker, Kelley was able to pull away in the late stages of the race to claim the win. Rauchenecker would hang on to finish second place in the XC2 250 Pro class and ninth overall while Factory GasGas/FAR’s Nick Davis would claim his first podium finish of the season in third. 

 

GNCC Maxxis General 2018 Pro XC2 podium Enduro21 560

Photo Credit: Ken Hill

 

XC3 Pro-Am class

The XC3 Pro-Am class would see an all-out battle in the early stages of the race as Jacob Rowland grabbed the XC3 Holeshot and lead the opening lap. As the race wore on, it would be a three-rider battle between Jason Raines, Cody Barnes and Jesse Ansley.

When the flag flew, Barnes took his first FMF XC3 Pro-Am class win ahead of Raines and Ansley in second and third, respectively. The FMF XC3 Pro-Am class has seen three different winners in three rounds thus far in 2018, making it one of the most exciting classes to watch. 

 

GNCC Maxxis General 2018 Cody Barnes Enduro21 560

Photo Credit: Ken Hill

 

Women’s class

In the morning amateur race defending WXC class champion Tayla Jones came away with the win, continuing her win streak in the 2018 season.

Former WXC champion Becca Sheets put together an excellent performance challenging Jones for the lead throughout the middle portions of the race. In the end Sheets took second place.

Rachel Gutish would round out the WXC class podium in third while Sportsman A class rider, Zach Beverly rounded out the overall podium in third. 

Youth race

In the 8am youth race Peyton Whipkey claimed the YXC1 class and overall win. Whipkey remains undefeated so far in 2018, as he has claimed the class and overall win in all three rounds. Tyler Palmer would ride to his first overall podium of the 2018 season as he claimed second place in the YXC1 class and second place overall. Max Fernandez would round out the podium in third place overall. 

The 2018 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes with the FMF Steele Creek GNCC on April 7 and 8, in Morganton, North Carolina.

 

GNCC Maxxis General 2018 Pro XC1 trevor bollinger Enduro21 560

Photo Credit: Ken Hill

 

XC1 Open Pro Event Results:

  1. Kailub Russell (KTM)
  2. Thad Duvall (HQV)
  3. Steward Baylor Jr (KTM)
  4. Trevor Bollinger (HON)
  5. Josh Strang (HQV)
  6. Jordan Ashburn (BET)
  7. Layne Michael (HQV)
  8. Grant Baylor (KTM)
  9. Jesse Groemm (KTM)
  10. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)

 

Overall National Championship Standings:

  1. Kailub Russell (90)
  2. Thad Duvall (71)
  3. Steward Baylor Jr (67)
  4. Trevor Bollinger (51)
  5. Ben Kelley (47)
  6. Josh Strang (44)
  7. Layne Michael (40)
  8. Pascal Rauchenecker (37)
  9. Josh Toth (31)
  10. Craig Delong (28)

 

XC2 250 Pro Event Results:

  1. Ben Kelley (KTM)
  2. Pascal Rauchenecker (HQV)
  3. Nick Davis (GAS)
  4. Craig Delong (HQV)
  5. Evan Smith (HQV)
  6. Jonathan Johnson (YAM)
  7. Ryder Lafferty (KTM)
  8. Jonathan Girroir (SUZ)
  9. Tegan Temple (KTM)
  10. Zack Hayes (KTM)

 

XC2 250 Pro Series Standings:

  1. Ben Kelley (75)
  2. Pascal Rauchnecker (61)
  3. Josh Toth (55)
  4. Craig Delong (51)
  5. Liam Draper (35)
  6. Austin Lee (34)
  7. Zack Hayes (31)
  8. Evan Smith (31)
  9. Ryder Lafferty (30)
  10. Jonathan Johnson (29)