Riding with an injured shoulder, which would require surgery just days later, FMF KTM’s Kailub Russell claimed a record sixth Grand National Cross Country Championship title with a runner-up finish at the Powerline Park GNCC, the next-to-last round of the GNCC series in St. Clairsville, Ohio.
Kailub Russell Chalks Up Another Title
In the meantime, Thad DuVall claimed his second win in a row following an impressive charge from last place after a first-lap encounter with Russell left the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider on the ground. Russell and DuVall came together just after the start, which pushed DuVall off his line. In the following turn, DuVall’s front wheel caught Russell’s rear wheel, throwing DuVall to the ground and causing him to rejoin the race in last place.
Amazingly, DuVall was able to work his way into a battle for the lead with Russell by the halfway point of the race. When Russell tipped over in a mud hole on the final lap, DuVall took the lead for good, finishing the race with a 51-second advantage over Russell for the win.
With one race to go, Russell had amassed an insurmountable 35-point lead over DuVall, which was more than enough to secure the title one race early.
Ben Kelley has been turning heads with his recent performances and finished third overall from the XC2 division for the second race in a row. As usual, the Trail Jesters Racing KTM rider spent most of the race battling with his roommate Josh Toth. Toth finished second in the XC2 class and fourth overall after Grant Baylor was able to wedge himself between the two Connecticut riders for third in the XC1 class and fourth overall.
Thad Duvall Gets The Win
Kelley was able to pass Toth on the final lap when the FMF KTM rider bobbled on the creek jump. From there, Kelley was able to work his way into third overall on adjusted time at the finish.
Grant Baylor overcame a slow start to the three-hour race to finish fourth overall.
Tely Energy Racing KTM’s Steward Baylor nipped Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna’s Josh Strang for a mere four seconds to claim fifth, while JCR Honda’s Trevor Bollinger finished eighth another two seconds back.
Beta USA’s Jordan Ashburn and Coastal Racing Husqvarna’s Craig DeLong rounded out the top 10.
In the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class, FMF/Maxxis/RPM KTM’s Jesse Ansley continued his dominance of the class by claiming his sixth win of the season. Coastal Racing/Husqvarna’s Alex Teagarden finished second, just two minutes ahead of Tely Energy KTM’s Zach Nolan.
Fly Racing/Maxxis/Seat Concepts/KTM’s Becca Sheets took her second win in a row in the WMX class, beating out KR4 Husqvarna’s Tayla Jones by almost two minutes for the win. The win gave Jones the WMX GNCC title for the second year in a row.
Third went to Beta USA’s Rachel Gutish.
2018 GNCC Championship
St. Clairsville, Ohio
OVERALL RESULTS: October 14, 2018
- Thad DuVall (Hus)
- Kailub Russell (KTM)
- Ben Kelley (KTM)
- Grant Baylor (KTM)
- Josh Toth (KTM)
- Steward Baylor (KTM)
- Josh Strang (Hus)
- Trevor Bollinger (Hon)
- Jordan Ashburn (Bet)
- Craig DeLong (Hus)
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