GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #18: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #18: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, June 22, 2023 | 5:00 PM
Thursday, June 22, 2023 | 5:00 PM

Welcome to Quick Fill. 

It’s time to go racing, and it’s a big one! This weekend is the full on GNCC invasion of Snowshoe Mountain for the Snowshoe GNCC. If you’ve never ridden this one, it’s tough to explain. The rocks, mud and roots are pretty challenging for the average person. For those who are good at that stuff, well, there’s still some spots that are challenging for everyone. As usual, we’ll have the lowdown on what to expect out in the woods coming up later in this week’s edition of Quick Fill, but first a few other items.

First off, big thanks to the GNCC racers who came out to last weekend’s High Point Pro Motocross event. Not only were there quite a few GNCC’ers spectating but there were a few who lent a hand flagging as well, so big thanks to everyone. It was a tough weekend with some muddy conditions early on but actually turned out to be a great day of pro racing on Saturday, then some amateur racing on Sunday as well. 

As for Snowshoe this weekend, as usual there are a number of other things going on in addition to the racing. This weekend’s GNCC eMTB race will actually take place on Friday afternoon at 4pm so, first, be sure to stay off the racecourse while the eMTB racers are racing! The ePeeWee race will also take place on Friday at 6pm in the village. Then, there’s a full slate of live entertainment in the village both Friday and Saturday night with the following lineups… 

Friday Night:
Greg Harrison Band - 7 PM
ISDE Team USA Presentation - 8:30 PM
Nat Fredrick - 9 PM
DJ Judd - 10 - 11 PM 

Saturday Night:
Greg Harrison Band - 3:30 PM
Nat Fredrick - 6 PM
GNCC Graduation - 6:30 PM
Nat Fredrick - 7 PM
Greg Harrison Band - 8 PM
DJ Judd - 10 - 11 PM

Also, pit vehicles are permitted at Snowshoe but should only be used to transport riders, family and crew member to and from the starting line. Keep in mind the road system at Snowshoe is under the jurisdiction of the West Virginia State Police and all laws are applicable. However, if you are using a non-licensed motorized vehicle and abiding by all of the laws of the roadway then you will not be stopped by the authorities. Under no circumstances are motorized vehicles permitted in or near the trail system. DO NOT take your motorized vehicle into the woods. Pit vehicle permits are not needed for this event.

Now, let’s talk about the racecourse. Things are pretty similar to last year, but there are a few changes here and there. You’ll start on the road, as usual, bypass the finish line and head out on the ski slopes for a while to start your full lap. At the one-mile mark you’ll hit the long downhill to Howard’s Hole for all the fun and games down there. Once you make your way through the infamous Howard’s Hole, you’re back out bouncing back and forth between the ski slopes and some short woods sections to the two and three-mile marks.

After the three, you’ll run the long uphill climb to the Top of the World and cross over Snowshoe Drive to the four-mile mark and head out on the west side of the mountain. Once you drop in the woods at the four you’re going right into roots, rocks and mud for quite a while. You’ll work your way through a long, gradual downhill section before popping out on a powerline, downhill again to an old railroad grade through the woods that will be a bit on the tighter side.

This leads you to another long and rocky downhill to the five-mile mark, cross a short field crossing and back into the woods again. Working your way further down the side of the mountain, things will finally flatten out a bit to what we call the Red Mud Road out onto the plateau of the mountain. At the 5.5, the ATV races will split off to the right while the bike races will continue straight ahead and over to a slightly downhill rock garden. Once you’re through those rocks, there are a few more rocks here and there (actually, everywhere) and to the six-mile mark. 

Just past the six, the PM bike race will split off into an additional section that has an uphill rock garden, then some single track back down through the rocks to tie back in a little further up the trail past where you split off. These rocks continue back uphill to the 6.5 where the ATV races will tie back in just a couple tenths of a mile past where they turned off at the 5.5. You’ll then zigzag back and forth through some flowy rock sections for a bit before the PM bikes will split off once again into a brand new single track section before popping back out onto some flowing trail over to the seven-mile mark. 

Just past the seven, the ATV races and AM bikes will tie back into the main trail and head out onto the West Plateau, a section that the ATVs typically don’t run. This section is a bit rocky in spots, then flowing in other spots before a gradual uphill with some larger rocks bring you to the eight-mile mark. After the eight, you’ll continue through some trail that zigzags back and forth through some rocky areas before eventually heading uphill to the nine-mile mark. 

After the nine, you’ll begin your climb back up the mountain. This starts with a couple of switchbacks that bring you to a fast trail for a bit before the long and rocky uphill powerline climb first to Westridge Road and the ten-mile mark, and then across the road and further up once again into the pro pits. You’ll work your way around the pro pits, then back down to Westridge Road where you’ll head up the blacktop and cross back over Snowshoe Drive to the 11-mile mark. 

At the 11 you begin the final stretch to the finish line which is a bit of faster ski slopes with a couple short woods sections added in as well just before you head into the finish line at the 12-mile marker. Overall, we know this version of Snowshoe isn’t the same as what we used to do but the upside to this layout is that the bottlenecks and overly long grueling sections are pretty minimal, which keeps the races moving along as efficiently as possible all weekend long. 

Plus, you really have to factor in the weather here. The track crew has been here since Monday and have not seen the sun since we got here, and in addition it’s really only stopped raining for a few hours here and there. So, we’ve taken as many precautions as possible to keep the course as rideable as possible. It’s never impossible to venture into some more trail, and we actually have a few ideas for next year already (fingers crossed it doesn’t rain all week!) to add in some new trail as well. 

That’s going to do it for this week’s edition of Quick Fill. Enjoy your weekend and we’ll see you up on the mountain at Snowshoe!