GNCC Racing

AMSOIL Ironman GNCC Women’s Race Report

AMSOIL Ironman GNCC Women’s Race Report

Friday, November 9, 2018 | 11:50 AM
Friday, November 9, 2018 | 11:50 AM

AMSOIL Ironman GNCC Women’s Race Report
Champions Pickens and Jones Win Final Round 

CRAWFORDSVILLE, IN. (November 9, 2018) – The last race in the 2018 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series, an AMA National Championship, took place on October 27 and 28. Named after the late, great “Ironman” Bob Sloan, the race is now in its 24th year on the GNCC circuit. Ironman is one of the most popular tracks in the series, while featuring creek crossings, elevation changes, flowing trails and gigantic grass track sections. Also, as an added bonus select parts of the Ironman Pro Motocross track are incorporated into the race course.

Traci Pickens jumped off the line to earn the holeshot, before taking the final checkered flag of the 2018 season.
Traci Pickens jumped off the line to earn the holeshot, before taking the final checkered flag of the 2018 season. Ken Hill

Though the weather was a little chilly, and some sections of the trail were muddy, overall conditions were reasonable for October in Indiana. The course developed ruts in almost every corner and became rougher as the laps ticked off. In the premier women’s classes, the two 2018 champions, Traci Pickens and Tayla Jones, each earned one final win to cap off their season.

Traci Pickens took the holeshot in the WXC ATV race, and led for the majority of the event. Alicia McCormick was second off the line, while Megan Shepherd was able to pass Sadiee Gorrell for third place in the first big cornfield before entering the woods. However, the latter got back around when Shepherd made a mistake on a hill and then got high-centered in a rut, dropping back to last.

Speaking of getting stuck, McCormick found herself stuck just after the motocross track on the second lap, losing sight of Pickens and getting passed by Gorrell, Katelyn Osburn and Kara Short. Osburn and Gorrell both made it around Pickens briefly when she got stuck in a bottleneck.  Osburn held onto the lead until she pitted for goggles, however a promising battle between the two of them was cut short just a few minutes after when Osburn’s motor blew. Osburn said, “It was a very upsetting day, but on the bright side I was already dialed into second place for the year so this didn’t hurt me in points.” With Osburn out of the race, and McCormick over two minutes back after getting unstuck and fighting her way through the crowd, Pickens had an uneventful remainder of the race. 

Traci Pickens (center), Alicia McCormick (left) and Kara Short (right) made up the WXC ATV podium on Saturday.
Traci Pickens (center), Alicia McCormick (left) and Kara Short (right) made up the WXC ATV podium on Saturday. Ken Hill

Though McCormick was pretty far back from the leader, she also had a solid lead over third-place finisher Short, who in turn gapped Gorrell and Shepherd by minutes while they struggled with bad brakes and log crossings, respectively. Shepherd’s problems ended up costing her more than Gorrell’s did. She finished three minutes down from Gorrell, which gave Gorrell third place in series points for the year, with the numerical tie between the two broken by their overall finish at Ironman. Jaida Phillips was also struggling with lappers and treacherous spots in the course, getting stuck twice during the race. Though she moved up from 8th to 6th by the time the checkered flag waved, there was enough distance between her and Shepherd that they were never within sight of each other.

The Girls (8-15) ATV championship was resolved at Ironman. Morgan Johnson won the race and the title, while Alexis Keyes took second in both. Likewise, Andrea Rodgers took third at Ironman and third in the championship. Indiana native Stephanie Parks won her second race of the year in the Women’s class, which was good enough for a third place finish in series points. Sydney Sams finished second and won the title this year. Hailey France from Crawfordsville, Indiana, rounded out the podium, while Hannah Hunter finished second in points despite a DNF at Ironman. 

Though Rachael Archer is now back home in New Zealand and Maria Forsberg is also back home in Washington State, there was a semi-new face on the line Sunday morning at Ironman. Annalisa Davis, the 2018 Women’s class champion, wrapped up her title last round. This left her free to step it up to the WXC class and allowed her to test the waters for a possible WXC debut next year. 

Tayla Jones (center), Becca Sheets (left) and Rachel Gutish (right) rounded out the WXC bike podium on Sunday.
Tayla Jones (center), Becca Sheets (left) and Rachel Gutish (right) rounded out the WXC bike podium on Sunday. Ken Hill

Mackenzie Tricker was also back in action, though presumably still suffering some side effects from the injury that kept her from racing last round. Off the start, Tayla Jones, Becca Sheets, Mackenzie Tricker and Rachel Gutish were nose-to-tail as they headed into the woods. Brooke Cosner’s string of bad luck this year remained unbroken. Cosner’s foot would get caught up while heading into the woods behind the others, and despite the pain she managed a fifth-place finish, which was very impressive under the circumstances.

Eden Netelkos seemed off to a promising start, coming through the scoring zone in sixth, though Shelby Rolen and Korie Steede were not far behind. Steede tried her best to ride a clean race once the lappers came into play on the second lap, which allowed her to make a pass on Netelkos. Meanwhile Rolen began to have clutch issues, and was passed by both Shyann Phelps and Annalisa Davis, which dropped her into tenth. Ultimately Rolen would be unable to finish the race due to clutch issues. At the front of the pack, the lead swapped frequently between riders with Jones, Sheets, Gutish and Tricker all leading at various points. The gap between them and their positions varied wildly as they encountered bottlenecks and became entangled with riders in other classes or went down trying to pass too quickly. With that being said, up until the final lap the gap between the top four was never greater than roughly 35 seconds.

Tayla Jones took home the final WXC win of the season.
Tayla Jones took home the final WXC win of the season. Ken Hill

On the last lap, Sheets and Jones pulled a minute-plus gap over Gutish, who made several mistakes trying to catch back up after an altercation with a lapper. Meanwhile, Tricker, despite having her own struggles getting through the riders, was close behind. With the moto track as the final section, it was truly a toss-up as to whether Tricker, aided by her motocross background, would be able to make up those last few seconds. The riders came in neck-and-neck, but Gutish just barely managed to hold on to the last podium spot. Though Jones had a slightly larger gap over Sheets when the checkered flag waved, it remained a close race between the two right up until the end. Jones tells us “I am pumped to end the championship with another win, and I am already looking forward to 2019!” 

Though this is the end of the GNCC season, three of those top four riders from Ironman – Sheets, Jones and Tricker, will be representing their home countries at the upcoming ISDE in Vina del Mar, Chile, which begins on November 12th. Best of luck to these three!

The Girls (8-15) bike class win was taken by Indiana-native Brooklyn Horstmann. This is Horstmann’s first-ever GNCC girls class win! Haley Phillips finished in a close second, and wrapped up third place in series points, while Paige Berryman, who normally competes in YXC1 ATV racing placed third in her first bike race of the season. Girls 2018 class champion Prestin Raines competed in the YXC1, where she finished 7th and 23rd overall. Jocelyn Barnes finished second in series points this year, though she was not present for Ironman. Sarah Redel took home a dramatic, nearly six-minute win in the Women’s Bike class over second-place Olivia Judy. Perennial Women’s class rider Heather Cosner was back in action this weekend, taking home the final podium position. Annalisa Davis is the 2018 Women’s class champion, followed by Olivia Judy and Abby Defeo. In Women’s C, the Phillips rivalry finally came to its conclusion for 2018, with Alli Phillips taking the race win and class championship over Alexis Phillips, who finished second in both. Minnie Hansen was third in points for the season, but did not attend Ironman. The third place spot at the Ironman was earned by Kirstyn Adams. 

Addy Nible led the way in the Women's UTV race, and clinched the Women's UTV National Championship this season.
Addy Nible led the way in the Women's UTV race, and clinched the Women's UTV National Championship this season. Ken Hill

Addy Nible was both the winner of GNCC’s final UTV race as well as the women’s class champion for the 2018 season. Sarah Golden placed second at Ironman and in the class, while Vickie Fowler rounded out the podium, again in both the race and in class points. Meanwhile in the single-seat UTV race, Nible took home a seventh-place finish and Becky Widdicombe took 12th. 

For more information on the GNCC series, visit the official website at 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.

Crawfordsville, Indiana
Round 13
October 27 and 28 

ATV WXC Pro Event Results:

  1. Traci Pickens (YAM) GBC / Yamaha / Fly Racing
  2. Alicia McCormick (SUZ) Ye Olde Cycle Barn
  3. Kara Short (HON) Veterans Family Racing
  4. Sadiee Gorrell (YAM) Maxxis / Fivesixo Graphics / Custom Axis / Pierce Performance
  5. Megan Shepherd (HON) Stewart Boys Racing
  6. Jaida Phillips (YAM) GBC/Rekluse
  7. Andrea Berger (YAM)
  8. Katelyn Osburn (HON) Spider Graphix 

ATV WXC National Championship Final Standings:

  1. Traci Pickens (270)
  2. Katelyn Osburn (227)
  3. Sadiee Gorell (167)*
  4. Megan Shepherd (167)
  5. Kara Short (164)
  6. Jaida Phillips (142) 

Bike WXC Pro Event Results:

  1. Tayla Jones (HQV) KR4 / Husqvarna
  2. Becca Sheets (KTM) Fly / Maxxis / Seat Concepts / KTM
  3. Rachel Gutish (BETA) Beta USA / Braaap Shop / Fly
  4. Mackenzie Tricker (KTM) Trail Jesters / Bonanza Plumbing / KTM
  5. Brooke Cosner (YAM) Tely Energy 
  6. Korie Steede (GAS) GasGas / FAR
  7. Shyann Phelps (KTM) Racer’s Edge / Mike Beeler
  8. Eden Netelkos (KTM) Garden of Eden Racing
  9. Annalisa Davis (KTM) Joseph W. Davis Inc / Martin Motorsports / Jed Haines
  10. Shelby Rolen (SUZ) Suzuki RM Army / Iron Pony Motorsports / FMF

Bike WXC Pro National Championship Final Standings

  1. Tayla Jones (260)
  2. Becca Sheets (240)
  3. Mackenzie Tricker (205)
  4. Rachel Gutish (175)
  5. Brooke Cosner (164)
  6. Shyann Phelps (137)
  7. Korie Steede (135)
  8. Eden Netelkos (129)
  9. Shelby Rolen (128) 

About GNCC Racing:

The AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series (“GNCC”) is America's premier off-road racing series, featuring motorcycles, ATVs and Side-by-Sides, for men, women and children of all ages. 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 trails ranging in length from 8 to 12 miles. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed, drawing talent from all over the United States, Central America, South America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. GNCC Racing is televised on NBC Sports and For more information, visit

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 Not a member? Join the AMA today: