Union, S.C. (April 8, 2010) - The battle is brewing between Defending GNCC Champion Chris Borich and Yamaha's Taylor Kiser, as the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series makes its way to the Pirelli Big Buck GNCC, held this weekend in Union, South Carolina.
The two rivals have traded first and second since the start of the season, and they sit far ahead most of the XC1 field. In North Carolina, at the Steele Creek race, Kiser and his mentor and teammate, Nine-time Champion Bill Ballance worked together to try to take Borich out of the lead, and both landed on the podium. But on Monday, the story broke that Ballance had been injured during practice near his home, and it is unclear when the Yamaha rider will be back in competition, leaving Kiser to take on the champ without his teammate, and a question on how the rider will perform without Ballance. But Kiser has proven to be a talented and hardworking rider after jumping to second overall in the 2009 standings, just behind Borich.
Also looking to challenge the top two riders is Can-Am's Adam McGill, who will try recover after a 13th-place finish in North Carolina. McGill seems to have had an easy transition to the Can-Am team, with a solid start to the season, and will be looking to recoup points at this weekend's race.
Then, there is FRE KTM's Bryan Cook, who has steadily improved from his 10th place finish in Florida. Cook moved up to fourth in North Carolina, and appears to have gotten in control of his new ride. Look for Cook to make a run for the podium this weekend.
Not to be left out is Yamaha-mounted Jeffrey Pickens who broke the top 5 in North Carolina, Can-Am's Chris Bithell, Yamaha's Johnny Gallagher, National Guard Polaris rider Jarrod McClure and Yamaha's Donnie Ockerman.
In the XC2 ranks, HMF's Brian Wolfe holds the lead over Kevin Yoho, Parker Jones and FRE KTM's Josh Kirkland.
The GNCC weekend also includes youth and amateur classes, with 4x4 riding stars Bryan Buckhannon, Rick Cecco, Michael Swift and Cliff Beasley going at it on their Can-Ams. The Women's class is also an exciting one, with defending champion Angel Atwell on her KTM fighting off the advances of Yamaha's Traci Cecco and Can-Am's Lexie Coulter, all three having taken wins this year. Later in the day on Saturday, the UTV/Side-by-Side Series will run as well.
Spectator passes run $15 for the entire weekend, with access to the pro pit area included. Children six and under are admitted free. On both days, youth riders race at 8 a.m., beginner riders race at 10 a.m., and the top amateurs and the pros race at 1 p.m.
Local riders are invited to race the event, as GNCC racing offers classes for riders of all skill and experience levels. Riders can sign up at the track. Four-wheeled ATVs will race on Saturday and dirt bikes will race Sunday. The amateur racer entry fee is $40.
To get to the track, take I-26 to Exit 44, then to Highway 49 North 7 Miles and look for the signs.
About GNCC Racing
The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series is America's premier off-road racing series. Founded in 1979, 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 three-hour GNCC races lead as many as 1,800 riders through tracks ranging in length from eight to 12 miles, competing for more than $3 million in prizes. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.