America’s GNCC Women’s class (WXC) kick starts 2021 season with battle on amongst most competitive field across the Championship 13 Round Series. Over many number of years, WXC has run in conjunction with America’s inaugural Grand National Cross-Country Championship with numerous talented Women riders pitching fierce battle to win the coveted WXC Title.
2020 GNCC WXC winner Becca Sheets gained her 2nd Title racing GNCC with previous Championship win in 2016. With 5 straight wins over Rounds 1-5, results proved solid for Sheets in year of major disruption due to COVID.
With re-start in 2nd half of season, it was New Zealand’s Rachael Archer who stole the show recording 5 straight wins from Rounds 8 through to 12. Sheets had already amassed buffer of points to clinch the Title with Round 13 to go, with Archer finishing credible second Overall in only 2nd year racing WXC.
Injury for Tayla Jones put best laid goals to rest from Round 9, opting for surgery, while Rachel Gutish experienced first ever win taking Round 13 Overall.
Historical records of Women’s class has been ‘out of the ball park’ with high entries, multi-Title winners along with development of young, talented Cross-Country/Sprint Enduro riders putting their skills to the test against the seasoned Pro Women.
The longevity of winning 5 WXC Titles from 2005-2009, makes Mandi Mastin the ‘all-time-great’ racing WXC. Next on the record books stands Maria Forsberg winning 4 consecutive Titles from 2010 to 2013.
By 2015, Kacy Martinez dominated the Series with 11 wins from 13 Rounds taking the Overall with Becca Sheets 2nd and Jessica Patterson 3rd. 2017 through to 2019 was time for ‘Australia’s-American’ as known to many with Tayla Jones scoring 3 consecutive Championship victories.
The commitment of all these Women to push racing careers within structure of National Series has endured length of time as noted by the level of competition which has increased in scope and scale over the years. To have an 18 year old Kiwi named Rachael Archer knocking at the door against experienced Pro Women proves how far women’s racing has developed in WXC.
GNCC WXC 2021 has all the making of another exceptional Series. Starting at Big Buck on February 21-22 followed by Round 2 Wild Boar 2 weeks later on March 7-8, race schedule is timed to perfection enabling plenty of preparation and training in between the 13 Round Series.
Mid-season break over summer will re-set parameters on how far these Women can push within 2 hour race before resuming 2nd half of season finishing at Ironman Raceway on October 24-25th.
Full article online here: http://www.mxlink.co.nz/gncc-wxc-class-ready-to-race-13-round-series-2021/
Header Photo Tayla Jones Photo Credit: ACTION.
Words: Sharon Cox.