Kailub Russell continued his domination of the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country series by taking an impressive win at this past weekend’s Maxxis General GNCC in Washington, Georgia. The win was Russell’s third in a row in this year’s series, and with it the FMF KTM rider extended his lead in the series standings to 19 points over Thad Duvall.
Russell grabbed a rare holeshot to start the race but buried his front wheel in a muddy rut before the end of the first lap. Regrouping in fifth, the North Carolina rider settled into a steady pace as AmPro Yamaha’s Ricky Russell and JCR Honda’s Trevor Bollinger battled over the lead.
Bollinger crashed on lap 2, taking some of the heat off of leader Russell. The Yamaha rider, however, soon experienced troubles of his own when he suffered a punctured radiator on lap 3, which forced him to pull out of the race when his bike overheated.
Duvall inherited the lead with Ricky’s departure, with Kailub moving into the runner-up slot at about the same time. The ensuing battle between Duvall and Russell would carry the duo to a comfortable lead over the pack as their back and forth heated up.
With Russell and Duvall battling out front, Tely Energy KTM’s Steward Baylor was on the move, trying to make up for a bad start. Baylor went from around 10th at the start to third by the final lap. Meanwhile, the battle up front intensified as Duvall took the lead 7 miles into the final lap. Russell retook the lead for good with four miles to go in the 13-mile lap, giving the KTM rider the win. Duvall crossed the finish line 3.5 seconds after Russell to claim the runner-up slot, while Baylor scored his third podium of the year with a third.
Trail Jesters KTM rider Ben Kelley won the XC2 250 Pro division with a sixth overall finish, while Sterling, Illinois, rider Cody Barnes topped the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class ahead of former AMA Hare Scrambles National Champion Jason Raines.
In the XCW class, Tayla Jones remained perfect with her third win of the season. The KR4 Husqvarna rider edged Fly/Maxxis/Seat Concepts/KTM rider Becca Sheets by 30 seconds for the win, with Beta USA’s Rachel Gutish finishing third.
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- Kailub Russell (KTM)
- Thad Duvall (Husqvarna)
- Steward Baylor (KTM)
- Trevor Bollinger (Honda)
- Josh Strang (Husqvarna)
- Ben Kelley (KTM)
- Jordan Ashburn (Beta)
- Layne Michael (Husqvarna)
- Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna)
- Grant Baylor (KTM)