Kailub Russell has quite a bit on the line for Round 11 in the 2014 Grand National Cross Country series Championship on Sunday at Mountain Ridge in Central City, PA.
First, he's got a four-race win streak going. He also has a goal of winning out to give KTM a season sweep. Plus, a win gives him his 21st career victory and moves him into a tie with Scott Plessinger for fifth-place on the overall wins list.
Oh, there's also his second-consecutive GNCC Championship which of all things, he doesn't need a win to accomplish. Russell brings a 77 point lead over Josh Strang into the weekend and if he ends the day with 61 points or more the championship is his - with two Rounds remaining. He'll also be the first back-to-back Champion since David Knight accomplished the feat in 2007-08.
"I don't feel any pressure to get it done this weekend as I only need a ninth-place finish or better to get the job done," he said. "I'll just go into it with the same intention as always and move on to getting ready for next year."
Don't expect Russell to take the day off either. He stated earlier this month his wish for KTM to be the first manufacturer to win every race. He and FMF/KTM teammate Charlie Mullins traded off wins before Mullins broke his wrist during practice prior to Round 8 and has been out of competition ever since. No word on whether Mullins races this weekend but he is expected back for at least one Round. Before the injury, Mullins had three race wins to Russell's four.
Mountain Ridge is known for its rocks and it is a race Russell said he was looking forward to after his Round 10 win at Unadilla. Russell sometimes practices his craft using a set-up consisting of rocks and large boulders. Check out this Driven to Win episode.
"It's been a couple of years since we've raced this track, but it's usually really technical, muddy and rocky like Snowshoe but without as much elevation," he said.GNCC Round 11 for Pro Bikes gets underway at 1 p.m. (EST) Sunday at Mountain Ridge Trails Resort in Central City, PA.