GNCC Racing

Tomahawk GNCC Women’s Race Report

Tomahawk GNCC Women’s Race Report

Monday, June 10, 2019 | 5:50 PM
Monday, June 10, 2019 | 5:50 PM

Tomahawk GNCC Women’s Race Report
Shepherd and Jones win at Tomahawk  

The Dunlop Tomahawk, round seven of the 2019 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, took place last weekend on June 1st and 2nd. On the schedule since 2015, the Tomahawk is one of the newer rounds on the schedule. The trails are fast and flowy, especially the long, sweeping grasstrack sections. Although this area of New York is hilly, there aren’t any dramatic hill climbs out in the woods, just lots of gradual elevation changes. However, there is a little bit of loose rock and plenty of exposed tree roots as well, so it’s no picnic out there. 

Megan Shepherd jumped out to a great start at the Tomahawk GNCC.
Megan Shepherd jumped out to a great start at the Tomahawk GNCC. Ken Hill

According to the track map, the 11 AM quad loop and the 10 AM bike loop were both between nine and ten miles long. For the ATV WXC race, there were a few muddy sections down in the lower areas of the track, and some of the hills were a little slick. But for the most part the track was dry and the fields were almost perfect. Due to some rain on Sunday morning, conditions for the Bike WXC race were muddier, but still decent. A total of 96 women competed at the Tomahawk, with Tayla Jones winning the bike WXC class and Megan Shepherd taking her first ever WXC ATV class win!

In the ATV WXC class, Megan Shepherd took the holeshot, and held it through the first lap. While Sadie Gorrell and Abbi Troy started out close behind her, by the end of the first lap, Knox had moved past them into second. Despite bad starts for both riders in an unusually deep WXC field, Alicia McCormick and Traci Pickens were both able to work their way into the top five by the time they hit the scoring zone on lap one, with McCormick in third, Kate Osburn in fourth and Pickens in fifth. 

Those top-five riders proceeded to have an incredibly close battle throughout most of the race. During the second lap McCormick made a pass on Shepherd but made a mistake soon after and fell back behind Shepherd, Knox and Pickens. On the third lap a bad line choice sent Shepherd back to third, letting both Pickens and Knox around. Knox briefly held the lead before getting stuck behind a lapper. Her day was ended shortly after when her motor locked up. 

Katelyn Osburn came through second in the WXC ATV class.
Katelyn Osburn came through second in the WXC ATV class. Ken Hill

Meanwhile, the bottom half of the field was separated from the lead back by four minutes at then end of lap three – there were a laundry list of issues these riders had been dealing with, including mechanical failures (Becki Wheeler and Angel Knox), visor malfunctions, clutch overheating and electrical issues. However, there were still some battles going on, especially between Kara Short, Jaida Phillips and Hannah Hunter. When the dust (or mud) settled though, Hunter came out on top in sixth, while Phillips finished seventh and Short finished eighth. The remainder of the riders did not complete the full number of laps. 

On lap four, Pickens, Osburn and Shepherd battled back and forth, passing the white flag less than five seconds apart. For a few minutes on the fifth and final lap it looked as though Shepherd would not only lose the win she’d been fighting for all day, but possibly finish off the box when she got stuck in a bottleneck and fell all the way back to fourth place. She charged her way back up past McCormick and Osburn though, and finally retook the lead when Pickens got tangled up with a lapper. Osburn definitely wasn’t going to let Shepherd off easy though. They battled hard all the way to the checkered flag, and Osburn came up short by a mere two seconds! 

Shepherd was thrilled to take her first-ever WXC win, saying “It was a great race, and I’m still having a hard time believing it!” Her victory also moves her into second place in the points standings, just ahead of Osburn, who said that she hopes to move back into second at the next race, and that the Tomahawk “was a crazy battle between the top five!” McCormick rounded out the podium in third: “I led three different times, but also made the most mistakes. This definitely gives me something to build on and I am happy to be on the box after two terrible races!” 

Megan Shepherd (center), Katelyn Osburn (right) and Alicia McCormick (left) rounded out the Tomahawk GNCC WXC ATV podium.
Megan Shepherd (center), Katelyn Osburn (right) and Alicia McCormick (left) rounded out the Tomahawk GNCC WXC ATV podium. Ken Hill

Andrea Rodgers was back on top of the box this weekend in the Girls class, after her streak was broken in Ohio last round. Hannah Moore and Malia Crump, both from Ohio, rounded out the podium. Morgan Johnson made the YXC1 podium for the first time, placing third in class and fifth overall. Paige Berryman earned her second win of the year in the Women’s Amateur class, finishing 57th overall in the AM Race. 

In the bike WXC class, Becca Sheets took her third holeshot in a row and led the first lap up to the six-mile marker. At that point Tayla Jones passed her and the two began to battle back and forth. At the end of the first lap they had already pulled a forty second gap over third place Mackenzie Tricker, who in turn had another twenty seconds over Rachael Archer and Korie Steede. From there it was a six-minute gap to the third pack, which consisted of Shelby Rolen, Shyann Phelps and former full-time WXC racer Samantha Steiner. 

At the end of the second lap Jones and Sheets were still fairly close together. The spread between them and the rest of the racers was even greater at this point – over a minute. Archer had made up some time on Tricker, and the two came through the scoring zone only four seconds apart. Steede had dropped back a bit from Archer and Tricker, but still had a seven-minute lead on Phelps and Rolen, who were separated by less than a second. By this point, the rest of the field was spread out far enough that they were basically riding alone. 

Tayla Jones earned her fifth win of the season in New York.
Tayla Jones earned her fifth win of the season in New York. Ken Hill

By lap three Sheets had lost sight of Jones and would not see her again until the end of the race. When asked about her race, Jones told us “I had a good day. No real drama and I just tried to stay smooth in the bad spots.” Sheets, who ended up just a minute down from Jones for the day said “It was a good battle and I felt that I rode awesome in the muddy conditions. I just need to keep working at it and keep getting better.” 

While it initially looked as though Tricker would be able to hang on to third for the day, she crashed out on the last lap. While she was spared serious injury, she was unable to finish the race, allowing Archer to earn her third podium in as many races. She said “I rode a consistent race despite a pretty unpredictable track - it had a hard bottom but was slush on top. I battled with Tricker for third until she  crashed on the last lap allowing me to take the final spot on the box"

Steede moved up into fourth following Tricker’s crash, though was unable to get any closer to the podium after a lapper hit her and broke off her rear brake. Phelps rounded out the top five, barely fending off a last-minute charge by Steiner. Trail Jesters rider Taylor Johnson finished seventh, and was the last of the WXC riders to complete the full number of laps. 

Becca Sheets came through second in the WXC bike class.
Becca Sheets came through second in the WXC bike class. Ken Hill

Local rider Paiton Bailey had an impressive ride in the Girls class, winning the race by a full lap. Current points leader Gracie Gooch finished second and Ellie Winland was third. In the women’s class Jocelyn Barnes is now 7 for 7 and finished an incredible 11th place overall in the AM race! Meanwhile, Taylor Murray took home the win in the women’s c class.

The female turnout in the micro ATV race was by far the largest of the year, with sixteen girls competing. Khyler Davis was the fastest of them, placing second overall. Brihanna Williams and Carmen Badman also placed within the top ten. The rest of the riders finished as follows: Zoey Hawkinberry (27), Gabryella Whitehead (28), Khloe McALister (36), Raelynn Dickerson (40), Zoey Holley (41), Jaecie Morek (42), Ava Harkness (44), Bailee Rifenburg (49), Jordyn Hurlburt (54), Annabelle Badman (56), Allie Sheriff (58), Tori Barrett (60) and Anastasia Nevidomsky (61). The turnout for bike micro racers on the other hand, was pretty average. A total of four girls competed: Chelsey Renninger (28), Paisley Harris (38), Matilda Revoyr (46) and Kendall Bierly (51)

The next round of the 2019 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series will take place on June 22 and 23 in Snowshoe, WV with the Snowshoe GNCC. ATV racing will take place on Saturday while Bike racing will take place on Sunday. Due to the difficulty of the terrain, there is no micro racing at this event.

Tayla Jones (center), Becca Sheets (right) and Rachael Archer (left) rounded out the New York GNCC WXC bike podium.
Tayla Jones (center), Becca Sheets (right) and Rachael Archer (left) rounded out the New York GNCC WXC bike podium. Ken Hill

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.

  • Facebook: @gnccracing
  • Instagram: @gncc_racing
  • Twitter: @gnccracing
  • YouTube: @racertv 

Tomahawk GNCC
Odessa, NY
Round 7 of 13
June 1st and 2nd 

ATV WXC Pro Event Results: 

  1. Megan Shepherd (HON) Stewart Boys. Racing/LS4/Rage ATV/DeRisi Racing
  2. Kate Osburn (HON) Action Off-Road/Moose Racing/GBC
  3. Alicia McCormick (YAM) Ye Olde Cycle Barn/Pierce Performance/Hammer Nutrition/Maxxis
  4. Traci Pickens (YAM) GBC/Fly/Yamaha
  5. Sadiee Gorrell (YAM) Maxxis /Fivesixo Graphics/Custom Axis/Pierce Performance
  6. Hannah Hunter (HON) Ye Olde Cycle Barn/Texiera Tech/Maxxis
  7. Jaida Phillips (YAM) Rekluse/Tirespine/Estes Motorsports
  8. Kara Short (HON) Veterans Family Racing
  9. Abbi Troy (HON)
  10. Angel Knox (HON)

ATV WXC National Championship Standings: 

  1. Traci Pickens 156
  2. Megan Shepherd 154
  3. Kate Osburn 150
  4. Alicia McCormick 133
  5. Hannah Hunter 113
  6. Jaida Phillips 112
  7. Sadiee Gorrell 89
  8. Angel Knox 71
  9. Kara Short 40
  10. Sadie Welch 28

Bike WXC Pro Event Results:

  1. Tayla Jones (HQV) Rockstar Energy/Husqvarna/Moose
  2. Becca Sheets (KTM) FLY/Maxxis/Go-Ko Trucking/KTM
  3. Rachael Archer (YAM) Ampro Yamaha/Moose/PWR
  4. Korie Steede (GAS) GASGAS/Fly/Mitas/Spectro/FMF/Rekluse
  5. Shyann Phelps (KTM) Mike Beeler/Racer’s Edge
  6. Samantha Steiner (KTM)
  7. Taylor Johnson (KTM) Trail Jesters
  8. Mackenzie Tricker (KTM) KTM/Mepmx/Fly/Grizzly Peak/Traveler’s Rest Speedway
  9. Shelby Rolen (KAW) Kawasaki Team Green/Gateway Cycles/FMF/Fox/Dunlop
  10. Annelisa Davis Ride Free Ministries/Martin Motorsports/Joseph W. Davis 

Bike WXC Pro National Championship Standings:

  1. Becca Sheets 185
  2. Tayla Jones 183
  3. Mackenzie Tricker 138
  4. Rachael Archer 128
  5. Korie Steede 102
  6. Shyann Phelps 1010
  7. Shelby Rolen 85
  8. Brooke Cosner 84
  9. Elizabeth Perez 79
  10. Annelisa Davis 75

About GNCC Racing

The AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized 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 For more information, please visit

How to Watch

Racer TV and NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) are the official homes for coverage of the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) events. All 13 rounds, from the season opening Big Buck GNCC in South Carolina to the finale at Ironman Raceway in Indiana, will air in 30-minute, taped-delayed telecasts on NBCSN, while Racer TV provides live streaming coverage of the 1 p.m. ATV and motorcycle races from each event. Catch all the action at and

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: