Talk about a streak-breaking GNCC round. The inagural Mammoth GNCC in Park City, Kentucky was molded out of virgin terrain to fit the 5th stop of the series. It was rocky, tight, nearly dry and the FMF Power Point hillclimb challenged even the most experienced of racers. Many expected FMF/KTM's Kailub Russell to run away again with the win, but things went a bit differently. Read on for a breakdown of the XC1 class.
WMR Off Road's Rory Mead displayed another excellent ride leading the race from lap 2 to the finish. But can we place our bets on Mead? At the opening round he took 3rd, but has been all over the map since, including this weekend's win. Could it be that the 2-stroke he switched to this race has been the missing link from the beginning? After this weekend, it could be so.
Where was Kailub Russell? Well...there's really no specific cause for the lack of his podium appearance this weeeknd. Russell struggled from the beginning with a bad start and couldn't seem to recover, finding himself making more mistakes than wanted. By lap 4/5 it looked like he was finally on the move and found his groove, but by then, it was too late for him to move up 7 positions to mark another consecutive win. Maybe it was the mental aspect that discouraged him, or a new place, either way we hope he gets it together by Indiana.
Paul Whibley is about as consistent as it gets. He's 5 for 5 in the holeshot department but isn't one to carry away with the lead off te holeshot. Being an experienced rider, he rides smart and squeezes his competitors for all they have in the last few laps. Does he have the erratic speed to jump ahead from his holeshot and push far ahead of the pack?
Someone is catching onto Whibley's strategy. Charlie Mullins has figured out Whibley's "hammer down" at the last minute style and is beginning to feed off him. Stashing some energy in his reserve tank, Mullins made it impossible for Whibley to pass.
Joining in on the streak-breaking party, Thad Duvall took a sour 12th at The Mammoth. He worked his way up from 8th to 5th near the end lap hoping to capture another 4th, but his wheel put the E-Brake on. After his dad switched out a trashed wheel, he was able to limp the bike in at 12th place.