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2017 Unadilla GNCC Round 10 Results and Photos

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The summer break for the Grand National Cross Country series is over as the second half of the season kicked off at the historic Unadilla Motocross for round 10 of the 13 round series. The story leading into the second part of the season was whether or not Thad Duvall could come out firing both barrels and make Kailub Russell work for that number one plate however an injury at the ISDE would force Duvall to not be in competition giving Russell a huge break in pressure as the points battle was getting quite intense and Duvall had shown no signs of cutting the champ any slack leading up to the summer break. The news of Duvall’s injury was devastating to not only himself and his team but for the fans that have been driving him to topple Russell who seemed all but unstoppable. With Duvall at home, it remained unclear who would come out to take on Kailub here at Unadilla.

The crowds at Unadilla never cease to disappoint as the legendary motocross track gets to see some use as the 10-mile track utilizes portions to make up a very unique mix of motocross and typical GNCC style course that is anything but easy. The weather can really change things and this year was no exception. Rains earlier in the week leading up to the event added an element to rocks that varied in size, both seen and those who laid in wait for unsuspecting riders. Lapper’s also are an obstacle here as this race draws huge numbers as just shy of 2000 riders would try and tame the New York dirt. The sunshine graced all in attendance as the 1 p.m. start neared and we all would soon see who brought what to the table and who was ready to keep Russell in check.

Ricky Russell rocketed out of the first turn and would grab the XC1 holeshot as the class sorted itself out as they headed for the trees as the three-hour race began. The early laps would see Ricky Russell and Ryan Sipes setting the pace as other riders began climbing up the running order. One hillclimb was giving everyone trouble and the XC1 Pro class was no exception and is credited to several of the lead changes and passes were able to be made as the slick conditions took its toll. Sipes looked like he was going to be a player, however, a previous injury started causing him issues and forced him out of the race. It was turning in to the Russell and Russell show up front as the lead swapped several times finally seeing Kailub take the lead and be able to mount a charge that would finally put some distance between himself and one very hard charging Ricky Russell. With the conditions working against the riders at certain sections, rappers were coming in to play as the XC1 class started having to pick their way through them carefully. Josh Strange was putting in a solid ride until he connected with a lapper and damaged his radiator forcing him out of the race. Attrition was coming into play and all eyes were on XC2 racer Layne Michael as he was closing in on an overall podium finish after time adjustment. The rider on the move, however, was none other than Steward Baylor Jr. Baylor was picking up where he left off before the summer break and was stomping his way to the front.

The checkered flag was flying high when Kailub Russell crossed the finish line capturing another win and edging closer to locking up another championship. It is unknown if Thad Duvall can return to racing before the next round however several riders showed they aren’t letting him cruise to another number one plate without a fight. The Pro podium would be locked up as Steward Baylor Jr. would claim 2nd and Ricky Russell would take home 3rd, but first, XC2 rider Layne Michael would take his place on the podium as his incredible effort gave him third overall from the second row.

XC1 Open Pro Event Results:

  1. Kailub Russell (KTM)
  2. Steward Baylor (KTM)
  3. Ricky Russell (YAM)
  4. Trevor Bollinger (HON)
  5. Jordan Ashburn (BET)
  6. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
  7. Grant Baylor (HSQ)
  8. Philippe Chaine (KTM)
  9. Josh Strang (HSQ)
  10. Ryan Sipes (HSQ)