GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #25: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #25: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, September 1, 2022 | 1:45 PM
Thursday, September 1, 2022 | 1:45 PM

Welcome to Quick Fill. 

The summer break is winding down and this time next week it will almost be time to return to GNCC Racing. Since it’s addition to the series in 2019, The Mountaineer GNCC has been a pretty popular stop and a big factor in that is simply how awesome the facility itself is. The Summit Bechtel Reserve plays host to The Mountaineer but the rest of the year the Scouts of America call it home for various jamborees and other events. 

The facility is also huge. In fact, to put things into perspective a bit, we use less than half of the facility for our entire event! We’re pretty lucky to not only have such an awesome place to race, but also to be welcomed with open arms as well. Of course, just because it’s a really nice place to have a race doesn’t mean it’s easy. Some people actually tend to say that portions of The Mountaineer course are more difficult than Snowshoe. However, this perception likely comes from the fact that the rocky sections at The Mountaineer are full of loose rock while Snowshoe’s rocks tend to stay in the ground a little more. 

Regardless, if you like riding in rocks then look no further than The Mountaineer. While it’s not a facility where the entire course is littered with rocks, the rocky areas of the course can definitely be a bit of a challenge. However, there’s also a nice bit of flowing trail to break up these rough and rocky sections. Naturally, we’ll have more details on what to expect out in the woods in next week’s edition of Quick Fill.

The big news this week is that the ISDE is taking place over in France and the American team is keeping things pretty interesting. For those who aren’t very familiar with the ISDE, it’s Six Days of enduro racing but it’s a little different than the enduros we race here in the USA. The ISDE is a little more like the Sprint Enduro format, but with long transfers in between the tests. You’ll take off from Parc Ferme (the pits) and may ride roads, trails, dirt roads, etc to the first “test”. These transfer sections are untimed and you’re not physically racing on them, but you still have to make sure you arrive at each test before it’s your time to take off, so no lollygagging! 

Once you make it to the test, you wait for your turn to take off then of course you simply try to lay down the fastest test time possible. You’re not racing head-to-head, but instead against the clock and the tests are usually fairly short and somewhere just around 5-8 minutes so every second counts and you have to be as mistake-free as possible. Once you’ve put in that burner and got to the end of the test you’ll head out on more trail, roads, dirt roads, to the next test and do it all over again and repeat several times. These guys and girls will be on the bike for around eight hours in a day, but only around 40 minutes of that is wide open racing. 

The big thing about the ISDE is that it’s primarily a “team” event. Each country selects four riders to a World Trophy team (which is what the top riders are all racing to win) as well as three riders to a Junior Trophy team (for riders under 24 years old) and a Women’s World Trophy team. There are also several Club Teams for each country that generally consist of top up and comers, riders new to the ISDE, and even a Senior 40+ team. Each of these teams see riders contesting different bike sizes in the individual classes with E1 being the 250cc and under class, E2 the 250 2-stroke – 450 4-stroke class and the E3 class being the Open class for the big bores. 

On top of that, each rider’s score’s count for the entire event so if someone has some sort of issue or injury and are out of the event, then the rest of the team is pretty much out of luck unless every other team has some sort of issue as well. This means a rider needs to not only ride smart and be sure they finish each day, but they also must conserve the motorcycle and ensure it makes it to the end of the event. Oh yeah, did I mention the riders have to work on their bikes themselves? And, they’re only allowed mere minutes in the morning and afternoons to work on their bikes before impound. So, it’s pretty darn tough! 

This year’s US World Trophy Team consists of Kailub Russell, Josh Toth, Layne Michael and Dante Oliveria and after day one the boys were sitting fourth place, only 30 seconds out of the lead. Spain held the lead on Day 1 thanks in part to a dominating ride by Josep Garcia who won the overall in every single test. On Day 2, Dante Oliveria actually kicked things off with an overall win in test one, but Garcia jumped right back in there and won the rest of the day. However, at the conclusion of Day 2 it was Team United Kingdom taking over the World Trophy lead. Italy would sit second, Spain dropped to third and the US team still held onto fourth, about three minutes out of the lead.

Wednesday would mark day three and the halfway point of the event. Even with some really solid test times, the US team would drop to fifth place behind Team Great Britain, Team Italy, Team Spain and Team France. However, with four riders on each team, the spread from first to fifth place would only be around five minutes. In the grand scheme of things, that’s really not that much! Day four would see a little more of the same as the guys would begin to fight some small nagging pains and issues after four long days of racing. As we’re finishing this week’s edition of Quick Fill, day four had just ended with Team Great Britain still in the lead followed by Spain, Italy, France and the United States. 

Unfortunately for the US team, they would lose a fair amount more time as they now sit 13 minutes out of the lead. No matter what happens in the next two days, these guys all deserve a huge pat on the back for a job well done. Racing for six days is no joke, and there was an incredibly deep pool of talent at this year’s edition of the ISDE. 

The US Junior Team consists of Cody Barnes, Mateo Oliveria and Austin Walton. Unfortunately for these guys, they’re out of the running for the Junior Trophy championship as Cody Barnes suffered a freak mechanical issue on day one. Regardless, Mateo and Austin are still chipping away doing their best to ride the entire event and try to make a splash in their respective individual classes. It’s a heartbreaker to be out of the running so early on, and Barnes was definitely very disappointed, but the good news is that he’s making it back unhurt and ready to get back to GNCC next week.

The US Women’s World Trophy team consists of Korie Steede, Rachel Gutish and Brandy Richards and these ladies have all been riding very well this week. On day one Brandy Richards and Korie Steede lead the entire individual women’s category with Rachel Gutish also a solid seventh, which would put them in the Women’s World Trophy lead! On day two, Richards continued to lead while Steede and Gutish had a few minor struggles but still put together some really solid times. These ladies still were leading the way by more than seven minutes! 

This trend of solid rides would continue through day three as Brandy Richards continued to dominate the Women’s World Trophy and the US team would lead day three. However, as we’re writing this at the conclusion of day four, Brandy is now shown as houred out with one test remaining, so it looks as if her bid for the Women’s overall and the US Team’s bid for the Women’s World Trophy has come to an end with two days remaining. We’ll keep an eye out for more info on exactly what happened, but chances are she suffered some sort of mechanical issue that ended her race early. 

This is the longest Quick Fill we’ve had in quite some time, so we’re going to wind things down here and wrap it up for this week. Some of us are actually out in California for the Pro Motocross finale this weekend at Pala, but then we’ll be making a quick turn around and rolling right into Beckley for The Mountaineer when we get back. Be sure to check back next week for all the latest details on The Mountaineer. Until then, enjoy your weekend and we’ll see you back here next week!