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Published on March 11th, 2013 | by Joe

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Borich Captures Win at River Ranch GNCC Season Opener

Rookie Brycen Neal Takes the XC2 Pro Am Win

River Ranch, Fla. (March 11, 2013) Four-time GNCC champion Chris Borich picked up where he left off in his championship winning season in 2012, capturing the win at Round 1 of the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series in River Ranch, Florida. In a hard fought two-hour battle to the finish, West Virginia’s Adam McGill and Ohio’s Walker Fowler rounded out Sunday’s podium behind Borich at the 4th Annual Moose Racing Westgate River Ranch GNCC.

Rookie Braden Henthorn grabbed the XC1 Holeshot

XC1 Pro class rookie Braden Henthorn grabbed the first holeshot of the 2013 season aboard his Team Woodhead/DeRisi Racing Honda machine, battling with teammate Eric Hoyland early on. However, it wasn’t long before the GNCC veterans of Lonestar Racing/Precision/ITP’s Adam McGill and reigning champion Chris Borich took over the lead battle, followed closely by fellow Maxxis-backed rider Chris Bithell. The trio flip-flopped for the lead throughout a majority of the two-hour race before Borich eventually set a pace that was hard to match up front.

Borich’s new Suzuki counterpart, Chris Bithell, made the switch to yellow in 2013 and the Pennsylvania boy held the pressure on Borich in the beginning of the race and the two began to gap the field around the halfway point. McGill eventually put himself between the Suzuki duo, where they remained until the checkered flag.

Borich and Bithell battled for the lead for a good portion of the race

AmPro Yamaha’s Walker Fowler experienced carnage in the first corner, setting the young Ohio native to the back of the pack right off the start. It didn’t take long for Fowler to push his way inside the top five, eventually contesting the podium battle by the end of the two-hour competition.

Pennsylvania’s Jarrod McClure debuted his all-new JB Offroad/Can-Am ride this weekend; staying inside the top five all day. McClure battled with Fowler early on before experiencing a small machine issue that caused his Can-Am team to fall back a few positions, maintaining fifth for the day.

Waynesburg Yamaha’s Jeff Pickens kicked off the season with a sixth place finish, edging out BNR’s Kevin Yoho, who is fresh off a pre-season injury that kept him off the machine for the weeks leading up to Round 1. Rookies Braden Henthorn and Greg’s ATV & Cycles rider Gabe Phillips made the jump to XC1 this season, finishing eighth and ninth respectively in their pro class debut at River Ranch. Yamaha/GBC/HMF’s Johnny Gallagher rounded out the top ten.

XC1 podium: (left) Fowler, (center) Borich, (right) McGill

GT Thunder’s Yamaha-mounted Brian Wolf stuck with the leaders early on aboard an all-new machine for this season but after an early crash, Wolf wasn’t able to finish the race.

The XC2 Pro Am division was all about the rookies on Sunday as Ohio’s Brycen Neal grabbed the win in only his second-ever Pro Am competition. Similarly, Florida’s Landon Wolfe finished on top of the podium in his second appearance in the Pro Am division, taking second place for the day. However, it was Ohio’s Josh Merritt who got off to an early lead in the five-lap race but Merritt began to drop back midway through the race, eventually finishing ninth in the class.

Pennsylvania’s Thomas Koontz Jr. seized the opportunity and grabbed the third and final position on the podium. Defending Pro Am champ Patrick McGuire struggled throughout the two-hour opener, ultimately finishing fifth behind Indiana’s Fred Marley.

XC2 podium: (left) Wolfe, (center) Neal, (right) Koontz

The 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series continues March 12 in River Ranch, Fla., with the 4th Annual Moose Racing River Ranch GNCC with bike racing. For more information on the series, visit www.gnccracing.com.

Stay up-to-date with exclusive content from the 2013 AMSOIL GNCC Series by following the series Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

XC1 Pro Results:

  1. Chris Borich (SUZ)
  2. Adam McGill (HON)
  3. Walker Fowler (YAM)
  4. Chris Bithell (SUZ)
  5. Jarrod McClure (CAN)
  6. Jeff Pickens (YAM)
  7. Kevin Yoho (YAM)
  8. Braden Henthorn (HON)
  9. Gabe Phillips (YAM)
  10. Johnny Gallagher (YAM)

XC2 Pro Am Results:

  1. Brycen Neal (HON)
  2. Landon Wolfe (SUZ)
  3. Thomas Koontz Jr. (HON)
  4. Fred Marley (HON)
  5. Patrick McGuire (YAM)
  6. Chad Jones (HON)
  7. Michael Lancaster (HON)
  8. Blake Kramer (YAM)
  9. Joshua Merritt (YAM)
  10. Randy Hamilton (HON)

XC1 Pro Standings:

  1. Chris Borich (30)
  2. Adam McGill (25)
  3. Walker Fowler (21)
  4. Chris Bithell (18)
  5. Jarrod McClure (16)
  6. Jeff Pickens (15)
  7. Kevin Yoho (14)
  8. Braden Henthorn (13)
  9. Gabe Phillips (12)
  10. Johnny Gallagher (11)

XC2 Pro Am Standings:

  1. Brycen Neal (30)
  2. Landon Wolfe (25)
  3. Thomas Koontz Jr. (21)
  4. Fred Marley (18)
  5. Patrick McGuire (16)
  6. Chad Jones (15)
  7. Michael Lancaster (14)
  8. Blake Kramer (13)
  9. Joshua Merritt (12)
  10. Randy Hamilton (11)

About GNCC Racing

The AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country series is America’s premier off-road racing series. Founded in 1975, the 13-round championship is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross-country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The grueling three-hour GNCC races lead as many as 1,500 riders through tracks ranging in length from eight to 12 miles. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. The series draws talent from all over the U.S., Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. GNCC Racing is televised weekly on NBC Sports and RacerTV.com. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.

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