Specialized Turbo eMTB GNCC National Championship
Round 8 Mountaineer GNCC Race Report
BECKLEY, W.Va. (September 11, 2021) – The eighth and final round of the 2021 Specialized Turbo eMTB GNCC National Championship Series took place this past weekend at Summit Bechtel Reserve, in Beckley, West Virginia, where Charlie Mullins (SPE) added a third GNCC National eMTB Championship to his collection by taking an impressive victory on a fast and technical course.
Mullins came into the final round with a slim two-point lead in the championship standings over Nick Mackie (SPE), who was on a roll having beaten Mullins at the previous round. Mullins, however, got the early advantage after grabbing the lead at the start. Mackie followed in second with round seven winner Kyle Smith (SPE) in third.
Mackie followed Mullins into the woods to start the opening lap, but soon bobbled, allowing Smith into second. Mackie later dropped a chain and lost even more ground.
Smith pushed Mullins for a couple of circuits, but at the end of four laps of intense racing, Mullins took the checkered flag with 17 seconds to spare over Smith. Meanwhile, Mackie rebounded for third.
“I’m happy to get another championship, it’s kind of a relief to get that done,” said Mullins. “This one probably feels the best just because I feel like it’s the probably hardest-earned one out of all three of them. Going into the last lap I could tell someone was pushing, so I just tried to pick up the pace. (Smith) ended up making a mistake and gave me a little bit of breathing room, so, I was able to kind of ride an uneventful race.”
Smith’s runner-up finish marked the eighth time the North Carolina rider had finished on the podium in eight races.
“I got off to a good start and then got around Nick and got into second,” said Smith. “Charlie had a little gap on us, but I caught him. Then on the second lap I kind of went by him a little bit, and then slid out. Then he got by me and got a gap on me. Then I had another crash on the last lap. It was a good battle but I ended a little bit off the pace with Charlie with the crashes, but it was a fun race.”
Mackie finished just over a minute behind Smith for third.
“I made a little bobble when we got in the first woods section. Charlie flipped up a rock and it hit my front wheel and it just kind of made me foot dab and Kyle got around,” said Mackie. “We got rolling again and then I dropped the chain over there on one of the G-outs and I had to kind of push it up a little hill and get the chain back on.”
Yamaha-mounted Ty Teasdale was fourth overall and fourth in the XC1 Pro division in just his second ride in the XC1 Pro division. Teasdale moved to the Pro division after wrapping up the Amateur championship two rounds ago.
Shawn Ulikowski (SPE) was first Senior 40+ rider in fifth overall.
Supercross star Justin Brayton made the trip from North Carolina to compete and came away with sixth overall. Brayton says he got into eBike racing because it is a family-oriented sport and it’s a way to stay in shape during the supercross off-season.
“I don't want to start training too early for supercross, so this came at a good time,” said Brayton. “With Specialized being a huge supporter of mine for many years, it just made a lot of sense to come out here. They invited me to do Loretta Lynn’s, and I did that with zero preparation and just had so much fun, even though it was a suffer fest. I just had a blast.”
Ryan Mullins topped the Amateur class, beating fellow Specialized riders Barry Wray and Alan Jordan.
Callie Horwath (TRE) completed a clean sweep of the Women’s division for the year, adding her eighth win in eight races to claim the Women’s championship. Ginny McFall (SPE) and Suzanne Bishop (SPE) rounded out the podium in West Virginia.
Troy Zimmerman (SPE) topped the Senior 55+ division, finishing ahead of Gunner Shogren (CAN) and Ralph Thorn (SPE).
Talon Hawk (HAI) grabbed his third win of the season in the Youth (13-17) division, beating out Gavin Garlits and Mitch Hawkins (YAM) to do so. Garlits claimed the class championship with his runner-up finish.
Cooper Kuneff (SPE) added an eighth win to his total in the Youth (9-12) division to remain perfect for the year and claim the Youth (9-12) championship. Preston Ulikowski (SPE) was second and Etahn Chryst was third.
Russell Anderson (SPE) beat out Brady Randolph (SPE) and Julia Fisher (SPE) to win the Trail Bike class.
As mentioned above, Shawn Ulikowski (SPE) won the Senior 40+ class, topping Ian Smith (SPE) and Colin Dierman (SPE).
In all, 81 competitors took part in eight classes to finish off a spectacular year for the series.
Mountaineer GNCC Results
Beckley, West Virginia
September 11, 2021
- Charlie Mullins (SPE)
- Kyle Smith (SPE)
- Nick Mackie (SPE)
- Ty Teasdale (YAM)
- Shawn Ulikowski (SPE)
- Justin Brayton (SPE)
- Connor Karkowsky (CAN)
- Troy Zimmerman (SPE)
- Gunner Shogren (CAN)
- Talon Hawk (HAI)
For more information on the GNCC Series, visit the official website at www.gnccracing.com or call (304) 284-0084. Join the conversation and be sure to always hashtag #GNCC.
To get the latest GNCC Racing clothing and merchandise visit https://www.mototees.com.
How to Watch
Racer TV and MAVTV are the official homes for coverage of the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) events. All 13 rounds, from the season opener in South Carolina to the finale, will air in taped-delayed telecasts on MAVTV, while Racer TV provides live streaming coverage of the 2 p.m. ATV and 1 p.m. motorcycle races from each event. Catch all the action at http://www.mavtv.com/ and http://www.racertv.com/.
About GNCC Racing
The Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized is the World’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 two and three-hour GNCC races lead as many as 2,400 riders through racetracks 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 live on RacerTV.com. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.
About eMTB Racing
The Specialized Turbo eMTB GNCC National Championship brings off-road racing and pedal-assist or electric bicycles together for an eight-round championship produced by Racer Productions. Much like a typical cross-country racing event, these races feature varied terrain including hills, rocks, roots, and more. Limited to electric or pedal assist model mountain bikes only, the championship was added to the GNCC Series in 2019. 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. Visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com. Not a member? Join the AMA today: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join.