Kailub Russell took the win and 2013 XC1 Pro title at the Ironman GNCC in Indiana.
FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell secured his first XC1 Pro title thanks to his win at the Ironman GNCC in Indiana. Russell’s teammate, Charlie Mullins, trailed in second-place followed by AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley in third.
Mullins and Russell entered the final round of the season separated by just two points for the top two positions overall and from the start it appeared Mullins had the upper hand. Race officials penalized Russell at the line, holding him there for 15 seconds after he started his bike prior to the green flag. Russell pushed hard through the first lap to make up lost time and ended the first rotation at the head of the pack, a fraction of a second ahead of Mullins. The two waged a spirited battle from there, swapping position out front numerous times in an effort to gain the upper hand. Russell settled into the lead at the end of Lap 3 and started to build a slight gap on Mullins, finishing with a 36-second advantage at the end of Lap 7.
“I am very excited to get this championship,” said Russell. “Charlie and I both worked hard this year and it was a great battle. He helped push me and I did the same for him. I am happy to be here racing with the best in the world and couldn’t be more proud to be on top of the podium. I’d like to give a huge thanks to my team, family and friends that helped support me this year.”
Whibley earned his second consecutive trip to the podium, but owing to two missed rounds and an 11th-place finish early in the season, he finishes the year seventh overall.
FMF/KTM’s Rory Mead finished the Ironman GNCC in fourth-place ahead of Whibley’s teammate, Jordan Ashburn. Ricky Russell took sixth with Takeshi Koikeda following in seventh.
Andrew DeLong took the XC2 Pro Lites race win at the Ironman GNCC and finished the season third overall.
XC2 Pro Lites rookie Grant Baylor of KTM clinched this year’s title with a sixth-place result in the Ironman. F.A.R. Husky’s Andrew DeLong won the race in the class and ends with seven total wins for the season, but some mid-year trouble leaves him third-overall. Scott Grills took second-place in XC2 Pro Lites at the Ironman, followed by Shane Hufford Jr. in third.
“I am very happy to finish the race,” said Baylor. “I took a rough hit on the last lap and broke my neck brace. Luckily, I am not hurt and was just shaken up a bit. I am very happy to win this championship for my team in my rookie season. I hope to come back healthier next year to defend my title.”
In the Women’s ranks, KTM’s Kacy Martinez notched her second win of the season ahead of teammate, Maria Forseberg. Jessica Patterson rounded out the podium.
Forsberg secured her fourth consecutive GNCC title
in the previous round, but she maintained heavy pressure on Martinez throughout the race in Indiana. Martinez ended with a slim three-second advantage at the checkers.
“Kacy deserves this win today,” said Forsberg. “She challenged me all season and I am happy to have raced against her and wish her luck in this series next season.”
Forsberg will not return to fight for a fifth title in 2014 since she now enters retirement from professional racing
“I have accomplished a lot in my racing career and I am thankful to every person who has helped me. It has been a very emotional experience saying goodbye to everyone who has been a part of my GNCC career. It is both a sad and happy day.”
Ironman GNCC XC1 Pro Results 2013:
1. Kailub Russell (KTM)
2. Charlie Mullins (KTM)
3. Paul Whibley (Yamaha)
4. Rory Mead (KTM)
5. Jordan Ashburn (Yamaha)
6. Ricky Russell (Yamaha)
7. Takeshi Koikeda (Honda)
8. Adam Bonneur (Kawasaki)
9. Justin Bonita (KTM0
10. Chris Bach
Ironman GNCC XC2 Pro Lites Results 2013:
1. Andrew DeLong (Husqvarna)
2. Scott Grills (Kawasaki)
3. Shane Hufford Jr. (KTM0
4. Jason Thomas (KTM)
5. Layne Michael (Honda)
6. Grant Baylor (KTM)
7. Ian Blythe (KTM)
8. Travis Coy (KTM)
9. Ryan Lojak (Yamaha)
10. Derrik Allen (Yamaha)
Ironman GNCC Women’s Results 2013:
1. Kacy Martinez (KTM)
2. Maria Forsberg (KTM)
3. Jessica Patterson (Yamaha)
4. Becca Sheets (Yamaha)
5. Karlynn Beam (KTM)
6. Brooke Cosner (Kawasaki)
7. Hannah Otto (KTM)
8. Ashley Crouch (Honda)
9. Felicia Robichaud (KTM)
10. Taylor Gray (Yamaha)