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Kailub Russell wins GNCC Opener | News

Factory KTM's Kailub Russell has won the opening round of the Grand National Cross Country Championship while Kawasaki's Josh Strang and Husqvarna's Tayla Jones scored top-three results.

Russell would lead the XC1 race from start to finish, after gaining a lead of over one-and-a-half minutes by the time they completed lap four out of six. Russell would continue to turn the pace up, and by the time the checkered flag flew, Russell would hold a lead of one minute and 51 seconds. Russell earned his 61st career victory, and his last “first-race” win ever.

Coming through in the second place position was Coastal Bi-Con Racing’s Ricky Russell. After completing the first lap of racing Russell was just 1.9 seconds behind the leader, however as the race wore on Russell would fall back to over a minute-gap. Russell remained focused and pushed through the three-hours of racing to earn second overall and a podium finish to start off the season.

Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Josh Strang had a strong performance at round one of the 2020 GNCC season. Strang would come through sixth on the opening lap, but by the time the race reached the halfway point he had worked his way into the final podium position. Strang would continue to push, and hold off his fellow XC1 Open Pro competitors, taking home a third overall at the season opener.

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What a fun race, rough but fun! Really happy to land a 3rd at the opening round! Lots of love from the team and the SC fans! 📸 @dchapman457 Shout out to @gncc_racing and the crew for putting together a fun track, best big buck dirt in a long time! – @teambabbitts @racekawasaki @monsterenergy @sidimotousa @xbrandgoggles @flyracingusa @procircuit78 @pod_active @maurer44 @faroffroad @dougdouchette @mrs.cameronstrang @totalcyclistcoachingandcamps @png_living

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As the 10 a.m. race started it was Rockstar Energy/LanMills XC Tayla Jones getting the jump off the line first and earning the Trail Jesters $100 WXC holeshot award. Jones would hold the lead on the opening lap, but as the WXC riders came through timing and scoring on lap two it was BABS Racing Yamaha/Maxxis’ Becca Sheets with the lead.

Sheets would hold onto the lead for the remainder of the race, earning the first WXC and 10 a.m. overall win of the season. Jones would cross the line second in South Carolina followed by AmPro Yamaha’s Rachael Archer rounding out the WXC class and 10 a.m. overall podium.

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Round 1 is in the books and it started off great with the holeshot!! Went downhill from there with a couple wrecks including a big one busting up my bike and body a bit but nothing too major. Ended up coming back to 2nd by the finish which I am happy with and getting some solid points to start the season. A big thank you to all the people in my corner this year, I couldn’t do it without all the support. Shoutout to @bauer651 for the race day support, @maurer44 for building me and incredibly awesome race bike and @alliespurgeon for making me super fit and strong and everything else she does for me. – @dchapman457 📸 – @husqvarnamotorcyclesusa @rockstarenergy @lanmillsxc @officialmooseracing @shawwines @engineice @alpinestars @oakley @seatconcepts @ridedunlop @wp_suspension @xcgear17 @hbdmotografx @promotobillet @renthal_moto @fmf73 @motorexusa @p3carbon @g2ergonomics @vpracingfuels @imsproducts @prox_racing_parts @motionpro @motool @giantbicycles

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Kawasaki’s Lydon Snodgrass raced to a fifth-place finish in the XC2 class and was 12th fastest outright.

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Round 1 of the GNCC is done with! I finished 5th in xc2 class & 12 OA Made it a little hard coming through the pack after a bad start.. I’d like to think I could do a little better! Keen to have another go in 2 weeks time 🤘 Big thanks to everyone supporting me! @faroffroad @dougdouchette @maurer44 @mrs.cameronstrang @teambabbitts @joshstrang @babbittsonline @procircuit78 @worksconnection @xcgear17 @flyracingusa @gallbrosmedical @xbrandgoggles @racekawasaki @png_living @sidimotousa @pedalworkshky @uswemotosports

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XC1 Pro Event Results:

  1. Kailub Russell (KTM)
  2. Ricky Russell (HQV)
  3. Josh Strang (KAW)
  4. Steward Baylor Jr. (SHR)
  5. Jordan Ashburn (KAW)
  6. Grant Baylor (SHR)
  7. Layne Michael (YAM)
  8. Andrew DeLong (HON)
  9. Evan Earl (KAW)
  10. Chris Canning (KAW)

*Overall National Championship Standings:

  1. Kailub Russell (30)
  2. Ricky Russell (25)
  3. Josh Strang (21)
  4. Steward Baylor Jr. (18)
  5. Michael Witkowski (16)
  6. Jordan Ashburn (15)
  7. Grant Baylor (14)
  8. Layne Michael (13)
  9. Jonathan Girroir (12)
  10. Craig DeLong (11)

XC2 250 Pro Event Results:

  1. Mike Witkowski (YAM)
  2. Jonathan Girroir (KTM)
  3. Craig DeLong (HQV)
  4. Jonathan Johnson (HON)
  5. Lyndon Snodgrass (KAW)
  6. Cody Barnes (BET)
  7. Liam Draper (KTM)
  8. Ryder LeBlond (KTM)
  9. Thorn Devlin (BET)
  10. Simon Johnson (KTM)