Kailub Russell Crowned GNCC Champion

Cycle News Staff | October 28, 2013
Kailub Russell wins his first XC1 Overall National Championship at the Ironman GNCC. Photography By Ken Hill

Going into the 19th running of the Ironman GNCC in Crawfordsville, Indiana, October 26, only two points separated leader Kailub Russell from his FMF/KTM teammate Charlie Mullins and the 2013 Grand National Cross Country Series Championship. In the end, Russell would not be denied – overcoming a 15-second penalty on the starting line and ultimately finishing 36 seconds ahead of Mullins to win the race and his first GNCC Championship.

While Mullins led the way early on in the season, Russell started charging back around the midway point of the season, winning five races in a row and overtaking the points lead in the championship at round 10 at Unadilla. But Mullins kept him honest until the final round, staying within two points of Russell.

And it was Mullins who led early at the Ironman GNCC after Russell’s error of starting his bike before the green flag, which incurred a 15-second penalty at the starting line. Those 15 seconds didn’t hold back Russell for long, as he caught up and led the field by the end of lap one. The two teammates battled back and forth a few times, but Russell would end up on top and Mullins in second.

Two-time GNCC Champion Paul Whibley finished in third, grabbing his second podium finish in a row after coming back from injury. Rory Mead followed in fourth and Whibley’s teammate Jordan Ashburn finished in fifth.

Also a first timer was 16-year-old Grant Baylor who finished 18 points ahead of Jason Thomas to clinch the 2013 XC2-class Championship.

While Baylor was crowned champion, Andrew DeLong went on to claim his seventh XC2 win of the season. Scott Grills finished in second and Shane Hufford Jr. rounded out the podium in third.

2013 Ironman GNCC

XC1 Event Results:

1. Kailub Russell (KTM)

2. Charlie Mullins (KTM)

3. Paul Whibley (YAM)

4. Rory Mead (KTM)

5. Jordan Ashburn (YAM)

6. Ricky Russell (YAM)

7. Takeshi Koikeda (HON)

8. Adam Bonneur (KAW)

9. Justin Bonita (KTM)

10. Chris Bach (KTM)

XC2 Event Results:

1. Andrew DeLong (HSQ)

2. Scott Grills (KAW)

3. Shane Hufford Jr (KTM)

4. Jason Thomas (KTM)

5. Layne Michael (HON)

6. Grant Baylor (KTM)

7. Ian Blythe (KTM)

8. Travis Coy (KTM)

9. Ryan Lojak (YAM)

10. Derrik Allen (YAM)