Kailub Russell isn't leaving much room for anyone else at the top.
After Jordan Ashburn grabbed the holeshot for Round 3 of the 2015 Grand national Cross Country series on Sunday at Steel Creek Campground in North Carolina, Russell stormed to the front and opened what would be an insurmountable lead to open the season with three-straight wins, a career first. The victory ties Russell with Fred Andrews for fourth place with 25 on the overall wins list.
Russell's nearest competitor continues to be Josh Strang who brought home a third-straight second place finish. Strang might have pressured Russell more if not for banging bars with another rider at the beginning of the race resulting in Strang having to work his way through the field from the back.
So it was Ryan Sipes who applied pressure early, riding in second on the opening lap before giving it to Ashburn. Chris Bach seemed poised to take over as runner-up tailing Ashburn but it was Thad Duvall passing both riders at the halfway mark. Strang finally made his way to the Top 5 and then battled Duvall for second-place. Russell finished more than two and half minutes ahead of Strang, who built a 20 second lead over DuVall for second.
Russell's win gives him 90 points in the Championship standing, 15 more than Strang, who has 15 on DuVall in third. Ashburn finished fifth and is also in fifth-place in the standings. Sipes finished ninth on the day.
Kacy Martinez also won her third straight WXC race and now has an eight point lead over Becca Sheets who finished fourth. Martinez, also a MotoSport rider, is the dfending Champion in the women's class. Brad Bakken, rolled up in 10th for the XC2 class that competes for the National Championship alongside the XC1 class. He posted a 20th overall finish once both classes were combined.
Big Buck Farm hosts GNCC Round 4 on April 12. It's considered a fast and open course but lots of obstacles including woods, water crossings, rocks and hill climbs.
2015 GNCC Round 3 XC1 Pro Results
- Kailub Russell - MotoSport rider
- Josh Strang
- Thad DuVall
- Grant Baylor
- Jordan Ashburn
- Steward Baylor
- Daniel Milner
- Russell Bobbitt
- Ryan Sipes
- Tyler Medaglia
2015 GNCC Overall National Championship Standings
- Kailub Russell (90) - MotoSport rider
- Josh Strang (75)
- Thad DuVall (60)
- Grant Baylor (44)
- Jordan Ashburn (44)
- Jason Thomas (38)
- Chris Bach (37)
- Nick Davis (28)
- Tyler Medaglia (26)
- Craig DeLong (25)