GNCC Racing

Paul Whibley Snowshoe Race Report

Friday, September 19, 2008 | 12:00 AM

Race Report: GNCC, Rnd 10 Snowshoe, West Virginia
Rider: Paul Whibley
Team: FMF Suzuki
Bike: Suzuki RM-Z 450
Result: 2nd
The Snowshoe GNCC is a one of a kind race.  With the picturesque setting in the mountains and ski lifts floating over the track allowing for a unique view of the racing.  Most spectators get a very different view of the race than the actual riders.  That is unless they venture into the woods to witness the struggle of the riders as they claw their way through the numerous bogs and push and heave over the slimy rocks and roots.  Any spectators that do brave a look into the woods often get drafted into dragging bikes out of the slop by exhausted riders and return from the woods looking like they raced themselves.
With space at a premium on top of a mountain a unique start system was adopdted. Riders were released in groups of five, ten seconds apart, with a live engine start on a tarmac road.

I holeshot and led the first lap.  Midlap I crashed on a gravel road.  I picked my bike up and 2nd still hadn't past me.  Later I also lost the track deep in the woods and some spectators had to point me in the right direction, allowing the others to catch up.

Early in lap two Knighter caught me and I elected to let him by.  I wanted to follow him and learn from the master in these conditions.  Thad Duvall also came by on a mission.  He had started twenty seconds back and had caught us and took the lead. 

I followed Knighter and picked up on some good lines and passed him back mid race.  We got into a brief battle before he pulled away to chase down Thad.

We had pulled a big lead over 4th place and there was no danger of being caught, although I still pushed on wanting to take that no. 1 spot.

In the end I took 2nd in class behind David Knight and 3rd overall behind Thad Duvall from the XC2 class.

I was pretty happy with this result as last year Knighter blitzed everyone by twelve minutes at this race.  For Thad and I to be up there challenging him was cool.

1st- D. Knight
2nd- P. Whibley
3rd- N. Kanney