GNCC Racing

VP Racing Fuels Big Buck: Women's Race Report

VP Racing Fuels Big Buck: Women's Race Report

Wednesday, March 1, 2023 | 12:15 PM
Wednesday, March 1, 2023 | 12:15 PM

VP Racing Fuels Big Buck: Women's Race Report  

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (March 1, 2023) - The best riders in cross country racing gathered at Big Buck for The Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, (GNCC Racing) season opener, with no exception for the female athletes in our sport.

These girls and women continue to push the limits in speed, performance, and numbers… and we're here for it! From the WXC classes to the youth girls, here's what happened at the first round.

Steede grabbed the Trail Jesters WXC Holeshot Award on Sunday.
Steede grabbed the Trail Jesters WXC Holeshot Award on Sunday. Ken Hill

In the WXC Bike class, when the green flag waved, it was Trail Jester's Korie Steede who would grab the first holeshot of the season. For the first two laps it was a spread out race, with  AmPro Yamaha’s Rachael Archer leading the way, Steede in 2nd, GASGAS/Over and Out/RG Factory Racing’s Rachel Gutish in 3rd, Shelby Turner in 4th, and Prestin Raines in 5th. Steede was slowly chipping away at the gap, and with less than two laps to go, the race was on. Battling wheel-to-wheel, Archer and Steede swapped places countless times fighting through lappers. Down to the checkered it was Steede who would take the win with Archer finishing only .76 seconds behind. Gutish held third the entire race to finish on the podium. 

We had a chance to speak with Steede and Archer about their epic battle, and here's what they had to say: 

"I had a stack on the second lap, and she pulled me in closer", says Archer. "Eventually we started hitting lappers and she caught up to me. We just started going back and forth. I made a mistake, blew a turn off a big braking bump and she got around me. She went down with a lapper, and I got around her again. I had some good lines and was just trying to be patient, but we got about a mile from the finish and there was a lapper in the inside rut I'd been taking all race. They kind of crossed over into the rut as I was trying to get passed and I had to almost stop. Korie took the outside and just rode right around me. We were about 40 seconds from the finish so there wasn't much I could do. I tried taking a different line through the straightaway right before the finish, but I couldn't get close enough to make the pass. It's definitely stressful when you battle like that, but it's definitely cool for the fans and keeps it interesting. It makes you a better rider."

"Something kind of just clicked inside of me," says Steede, "and I just really wanted to try and chase her down and not give up. That was really the first race for me where I was like, “You can do this.” That felt really good, that win meant so much to me. But yeah, coming down to the last two laps it was pretty intense. I caught her, she'd hit a lapper, go down, it was so intense just trying to stay off the ground. We'd get into a pack of lappers again and you'd just kind of overthink it. Then I'd follow the wrong guy, crash with him, and she'd get around me. Luckily about a quarter mile from the finish there was this one line to the right where these guys were pointing me all day. I remembered the line, she followed the lappers down the main line, I cut right on the good line and made the pass. I tried to just stay off the ground and make it to the finish line and it paid off. Obviously, it was a really close race, so this season is going to be intense. I enjoy the intense racing like that, unless it's the last lap and I'm like crapping my pants, it really gets your heart rate spiked, but it's fun!"

Steede and Archer had a close battle throughout the entire race.
Steede and Archer had a close battle throughout the entire race. Ken Hill

We also chatted with Rachel Gutish on her podium ride, here's what she had to say:

“By the time I got around some of the other girls off the start, Archer and Steede had both gapped me a bit,” said Gutish. “I don't think they were very far away because I kept getting flashes of them in the distance – but they were far enough away I couldn’t pace off them. They continued to gap me bit by bit as the race went on, about four minutes altogether. On the last lap I crashed and popped the quick release of my fuel line out. I panicked for a few minutes before having the presence of mind to look over the bike and find the issue. So, although I was six minutes down from the leader on the day, I’m only going to own four of it (laughs). Four isn’t a bad start and I look forward to trying to cut down on that time this season. As good as I feel on the bike, I expect to be a regular on the box this year.”

All three of last round’s podium contenders are confident heading into Florida, so we expect that the next round will be just as action-packed as Big Buck. Archer believes her determination and setup will help her carry the day: "Yeah I feel like I have a good set up this year, Feeling good in the sand. I always do pretty decent in the sand so it should be good. I'm a pretty gritty racer so whenever you start getting tired is when I can have an advantage over some other riders", says Archer. Steede also feels confident, though she took a more relaxed view of the event, saying she was “going to find a good flow, look for alligators, and have fun!” Meanwhile, Gutish rates her enjoyment of the sand as only a 7/10 but says that even if it hasn’t always been her favorite, wintering in Florida has greatly improved her skills and she expects to be a contender. 

Elioff would grab the early lead and take the win at round one.
Elioff would grab the early lead and take the win at round one. Ken Hill

The WXC ATV was a similar story for the first round of racing in South Carolina.

Elioff Racing/BNR Motorsports/GBC/Fly Racing’s Jessica Elioff grabbed the holeshot and led the majority of the race, but not without a head-to-head battle with the defending champion, Hurricane Hannah/Fly Racing/OBOR Tires/HMF’s Hannah Hunter. Back and forth on the last two laps, Elioff would hit the checkers first with Hunter only 1.08 seconds off her tail. JMR/Action Off-Road/GBC/Moose Racing’s Katelyn Osburn ran in 4th the first three laps, but with a final lap charge against WXC rookie, Chloe Harper, Osburn grabbed that final spot on the podium. Harper held strong for 4th, and multi time WXC champion Traci Pickens would round out the top 5 at Big Buck.

In the Girls Super Mini Bike class, defending champion Addison Harris takes the center spot on the box. After 8 total wins in 2022 and a win to start the season, 2023 is looking promising for this future WXC racer. Zoey Kimble held a strong 2nd the whole race to ride it into the finish. Madison Harmon would grab 3rd place to jump on the podium.

Avery Collins is one to watch racing the boys in YXC2 ATVs. She didn't just give them a run for their money, she went from Holeshot to Checkered to win YXC2 by over two minutes and take 4th Overall. 

Tight racing for the win in the ATV Schoolgirl Sr. class as Ryleigh Dearing and Isabella Gouker were never more than 20 seconds apart the entire race. Ryleigh held her own to grab the win, Isabella in 2nd, and Lilian Frye in 3rd. 

Avery Collins earned fourth overall in the Youth ATV race, taking the YXC2 class win.
Avery Collins earned fourth overall in the Youth ATV race, taking the YXC2 class win. Ken Hill

Round 1 is done and dusted and Round 2 at the Hog Waller Campground and ATV Resort in sandy Florida is only a few days away. Will we see similar results, or will the deep sandy whoops and ruts switch things up? 

Stay tuned on social media @gncc_racing and @gnccwxc to see the action unfold this weekend.

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.

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How to Watch

Racer TV and MAVTV are the official homes for coverage of the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) events. All 12 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 and  

About GNCC Racing

The Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, is the world premier cross country racing series. Founded in 1975, the 12-round motorcycle and ATV championship and 9-round eMTB 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 2,800 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 For more information, please 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:

Media Contact:
Kayla Bolton
(304) 284-0084
[email protected]