AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC WXC Race Report

AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC WXC Race Report

TimeTuesday, June 27, 2017 | 8:55 PM
by:
TimeTuesday, June 27, 2017 | 8:55 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chelsea Taylor
(304) 284-0084
[email protected] 

AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC WXC Race Report
Angel Knox and Tayla Jones Come Out on Top

SNOWSHOE, W.Va. (June 27, 2017) – AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) racing continued this weekend, June 24 and 25, atop of Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia. Modeled after the famed Blackwater 100 race, the AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC is deemed “America’s Toughest Race” due to the rough and rugged 20-mile course. A total of 66 female competitors took to the mountain this past weekend, with Angel Knox and Tayla Jones coming out with the WXC class wins.

Angel Knox lead the way into the West Virginia woods on Saturday morning, with Dillinger's Celtic Pub’s Katelyn Osburn and Traci Pickens following behind her in second and third. Only a mile into the race Pickens faced some bad luck when a rock came up and ripped the canister off her goggles. “From that moment, I knew it was going to be a long race,” said Pickens.

The unique live engine start treated Angel Knox well, where she jumped out to the early lead.
The unique live engine start treated Angel Knox well, where she jumped out to the early lead. Ken Hill

Shortly after that, the frontrunners got hung-up, allowing for Kylie Ahart and Kara Merritt to move into the lead. Pickens and Knox quickly rebounded, but Osburn continued to play catch up. Pickens made the pass for the lead on Knox in the infamous Howard’s Hole, but Knox passed her back after she stopped and pitted for fresh goggles. Pickens got back around her as they raced down the ski slope, but Knox took back the lead once they encountered a bottle neck. After that, Knox continued riding her race upfront while the ladies behind her duked it out.

“I had a great race, I love Snowshoe,” said Knox. “It’s tough and you have to use your head. After the first lap, I rode alone and just tried to stay moving and make smart decisions, and not give up. It was a lot of fun.”

After a first lap crash, Angel Knox came back to take her fourth WXC class win.
After a first lap crash, Angel Knox came back to take her fourth WXC class win. Ken Hill

Lapped riders continued to keep the ATV WXC ladies on alert, where Pickens powered through in second. “Last lap was survival for me,” reported Pickens. “A rock ripped my rear brake pedal off and I had no rear brakes for the last lap. To be honest I loved the track – it was technical, rocky and your mind never got to rest, which made for a very interesting day of racing.”

Osburn continued working her way through the ranks and battled the last lap of the race with Merritt. “Kara Merritt and I battled back and forth for the third position on the last lap,” reported Osburn. “Both of our quads weren't 100%, she had clutch issues and mine was cutting out, so it was a survival of whose quad would make it to the finish first.” Osburn secured the third-place position in the Howard’s Hole right before the checkered flag. Merritt placed just off the podium in fourth, with Alicia McCormick rounding out the top five.

Racing continued Sunday with the bike division of the WXC, Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/KR4/Husqvarna Team’s Tayla Jones continued where she left off and jumped out to the early lead. Jones made a small bobble and lost the lead position on lap one. Fly Racing/Maxxis/Seat Concepts/KTM’s Becca Sheets capitalized on Jones’ misfortune and took command of the lead.

Becca Sheets finished a solid second place at the AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC.
Becca Sheets finished a solid second place at the AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC. Ken Hill

Cosner remained close to Sheets and made the pass for first in Howard’s Hole. From there, Cosner picked up her pace. Meanwhile, Jones was slowly catching back up to Sheets. Sheets and Jones were wheel-to-wheel as they approached a group of lapped riders. Cosner and Jones took the same line, while Sheets tried a different strategy. Unfortunately, Sheets’ line choice didn’t play in her favor where she lost nearly two minutes on Cosner and Jones.

After leading the first three laps of the race, Cosner lost her back breaks on the last lap where she struggled to hold onto the lead. After riding smart after her crash, Jones found herself back in the lead and Cosner felt the pressure from Sheets who was on a mission to recover from the bottle neck. Sheets moved back into second just before the finish line.

Jones claimed her seventh victory of the season, while Sheets and Cosner finished second and third. “Snowshoe was tough, but I am happy to be able to pull off another win in the crazy conditions,” said Jones. “The track was definitely one of the harder ones I've raced especially with all of the bottle necks out there.”

Bike WXC Podium: (2) Becca Sheets, (1) Tayla Jones, (3) Brooke Cosner.
Bike WXC Podium: (2) Becca Sheets, (1) Tayla Jones, (3) Brooke Cosner. Ken Hill

“I had some bad luck, but I rode really well,” said Sheets. “I was happy I was able to make up from the time lost because that's hard to do at Snowshoe”.

“It was an interesting day to say the least,” reported Cosner. “I still had good day overall finishing on the podium even though I was looking for a win.”

The 2017 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series continues in two weeks, July 8 and 9, with the Wiseco John Penton GNCC at Sunday Creek Raceway in Millfield, Ohio.

For more information on the series, visit the official website at www.gnccracing.com or call (304) 284-0084. Join the conversation on the series Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to always hashtag #GNCC.

AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC
Snowshoe, West Virginia
Round 8 of 13
June 24-25, 2017

WXC ATV Event Results:

  1. Angel Knox (HON)
  2. Traci Pickens (YAM)
  3. Katelyn Osburn (HON)
  4. Kara Merritt (YAM)
  5. Alicia McCormick (SUZ)
  6. Kylie Ahart (HON)
  7. Jaida Phillips (YAM)
  8. Kamren Bobb (HON) 

WXC ATV Series Standings:

  1. Angel Knox (155)
  2. Traci Pickens (153)
  3. Katelyn Osburn (143)
  4. Alicia McCormick (132)
  5. Kara Merritt (128)
  6. Kamren Bobb (89)
  7. Jaida Phillips (82)
  8. Melanie Sill (61)
  9. Megan Shepherd (52)
  10. Abbi Troy (39) 

WXC Bike Event Results:

  1. Tayla Jones (HSQ)
  2. Becca Sheets (KTM)
  3. Brooke Cosner (YAM)
  4. Taylor Johnston (KTM)
  5. Kendall LaFollette (KTM)

WXC Bike Series Standings:

  1. Becca Sheets (151)
  2. Tayla Jones (140)
  3. Mackenzie Tricker (126)
  4. Rachel Gutish (100)
  5. Brooke Cosner (86)
  6. Kendall LaFollette (80)
  7. Shelby Rolen (57)
  8. Taylor Johnston (32)
  9. Natasha Lachapelle (31)
  10. Rachael Archer (30) 

About GNCC Racing

The AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis 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 2,400 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., Central America, South America, 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.

About the American Motorcyclist Association

Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world's largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders' interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com. Not a member? Join the AMA today: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join.

-RP-