It's a jungle out there. Adam...
It's a jungle out there. Adam McGill (2) overcame sweltering conditions and lingering injuries to hook the runner-up position in Pro XC1 and second overall in the afternoon race.
JOHN PENTON GNCC; Millfield OH - The ninth round of the 2012 Grand National Cross Country Series took place in Africa. That's what it felt like, anyway, the first weekend of July in Millfield, Ohio. High temperature and humidity made for sweltering conditions that stewed everyone in attendance.
But Team ITP appeared to be fully outfitted for this safari and pounced on a number of podiums with their ITP Holeshot- and QuadCross-equipped quads.
Pat McGuire (591) is creeping...
Pat McGuire (591) is creeping closer to the XC2 title. Consistently strong rides like second place at the latest race have him in a comfortable points lead with four events to go.
The king of the jungle in the morning race was forever-young Dave Simmons (Yam), an Ohio native. This cool cat was the overall winner for the sixth time in 2012, and bagged his ninth straight Super Senior 45+ class kill.
Glenn McConnell (Yam) had another good hunt despite feeling diseased from the heat. He snapped up third place in the 50+ Masters class and was 17th overall - and is on the scent of a title with second in the standings.
It's no mirage: Matt Hanna...
It's no mirage: Matt Hanna (17) has established himself as a genuine threat in the XC2 ranks.
In the fierce Women's class, Angel Atwell (Hon) clawed out the holeshot and persevered to third place while finishing eighth overall in the morning. She's sunk her teeth into second place in the standings with four events remaining in the season. An amateur's best nine of 11 scores are counted toward year-end championships.
Tougher than a crocodile steak, Adam McGill (Hon) struck back from serious injuries sustained just a month ago and was among the leading pack for the overall victory in afternoon race. He captured the holeshot award, and after an hour and forty-one minutes - the race was shortened in the name of rider safety due to the heat - he snared second place in the XC1 Pro class and second overall. Despite his physical woes, he sits fifth in points.
This is the look of a predator....
This is the look of a predator. Dave Simmons jumped on his sixth morning overall win of the season and has swept the Super Senior 45+ class so far in 2012.
The top of the food chain in the XC2 Pro Am division is occupied by Pat McGuire (Yam). Another big-game performance found him in second place at the end of the day and in the top ten overall. This breed of consistency is lethal when it comes to making tracks toward a title, and McGuire is creeping in with an 11-point lead in the class.
Matt Hanna (Yam) did his Greg's ATV sponsors proud by scavenging yet another top-five XC2 finish. He's stalking the top of the standings in fifth for the year.
The series is now taking its traditional summer break, especially welcome after this tropical event. It returns to action September 15-16 with the Unadilla GNCC near New Berlin, New York.
Photos by Amy McConnell, XCountry Photos
Glenn McConnell (816) hung...
Glenn McConnell (816) hung tough for third place in Masters 50+ despite feeling under the weather.
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