The winner of the Mammoth GNCC may not be able to compete due to immigration issues.
Team WMR Off-Road XC1 rider Rory Mead must leave the US today due to Immigration rules and may not be able to compete in this weekend's Indiana GNCC. According to US Immigration Service rules Rory is allowed to stay in the US for one year but only for three months at a time. He is required to leave the country every three months and that means just before this Sunday's race in order to keep his current status. A full Visa application was submitted to authorities when he first arrived in the States however as of now the permanent visa has not been issued.
Mead will fly out today to Ireland to visit some family and try to make it back by Saturday night so he can attend the next round. "It's a real shame that I have to jump through these hoops but I want to do all I can to be able to race the rest of the season. I feel bad for my team and sponsors and it's a real bummer that after winning the last race and feeling like I have found my speed I may not be able to defend it this weekend" says Mead.
As we all know US immigration is not known for its swift execution and Rory is a victim of that red tape. Any logical thinker would assume that a world class athlete such as Rory should be allowed easy access to the States so they can compete and support local US business. All of Rory's sponsors benefit from his efforts and when the US cannot expedite a visa in cases such as this it just serves to hurt US business as well as the rider himself.
Everyone at Team WMR is doing everything they can to get Rory back by this weekend but there are no guarantees he could be held up trying to enter the country and miss the race. The plan is to make sure he is at least ready to go by the next rounds in WV and make it to the summer break that should give Uncle Sam enough time to stamp his papers.
Team WMR Off-Road will have his bike ready to go this weekend in Indiana hoping that he will able to keep his momentum going and keep or improve on his 4th place overall standings.