Photo: Ken Hill

Kailub Russell's assault on the Grand National Cross Country record books continued with his fifth straight win on Sunday at the Limestone 100 in Springville, IN.

The two-time defending Champion Russell now has the second longest streak to open a GNCC season and he sits alone in third on the all-time wins list with 27 passing Ed Lojak. It didn't come easy though as the track which beat him up in the past took him out again.

Round 5 of the 2015 GNCC series took place at the Lawrence Country Recreational Park that offers tight twist single track, fast trails, hill climbs and a mix of top soil, clay and a whole bunch of rocks. Russell crashed there two years ago and lost the lead; he crashed there last year and lost the lead; he crashed there on Sunday and lost the lead. But the outcome this time was a bit more like 2012.

Russell won the Limestone three years ago and had his work cut out for him to duplicate that effort after crashing on the second turn on Lap 1. It took him a while to charge through to the front but finally grabbed the #1 position on Lap 4. Unlike the last four rounds though, Josh Strang wasn't runner-up instead it was Grant Baylor, the 2014 XC2 Pro Lites Champion, now in the XC1 Pro class. Baylor gave Russell his closest challenge of the year coming in second less than 20 seconds behind. Russell won three of the last four rounds by more than two minutes.

"I had fun battling with (Grant Baylor), he kept me honest all day and rode well," said Russell, a MotoSport rider. "The track was gnarly and pretty physical. Glad to know I can still throw down a sprint on the last lap when needed."

Thad Duvall battled off Jordan Ashburn, Ryan Sipes and Chris Bach for third-place, his third podium of the year. Strang finished fourth, his first time off the box this season, allowing Russell to extend his lead to 32 in the Championship standings. Baylor is in third-place and closed the gap a bit on Strang in second to 28. In the last three rounds Baylor has finished fourth, third and second, respectively.

Russell goes for six straight wins to open a season in two weeks at the Tomahawk in Odessa, NY. That will tie Juha Salinen's record set in 2006.

Elsewhere, Kacy Martinez, also a MotoSport rider, rebounded from second-place last round, which ended her three race win streak, and took first by more than two and a half minutes over Becca Sheets in the Women's class. Martinez has a 10 point advantage over Sheets in the standings.

2015 GNCC Round 5 XC1 Pro Results

  1. Kailub Russell - MotoSport rider
  2. Grant Baylor
  3. Thad DuVall
  4. Josh Strang
  5. Jordan Ashburn
  6. Ryan Sipes
  7. Chris Bach
  8. Andrew DeLong
  9. Chris Douglas
  10. Adam Bonneur

2015 GNCC Overall National Championship Standings

  1. Kailub Russell (150) - MotoSport rider
  2. Josh Strang (118)
  3. Grant Baylor (90)
  4. Thad DuVall (81)
  5. Chris Bach (69)
  6. Jordan Ashburn (60)
  7. Ryan Sipes (51)
  8. Jason Thomas (50)
  9. Craig DeLong (47)
  10. Trevor Bollinger (42)