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GNCC Racing
Ballance Grabs Win from McGill in the Last Corner at the Weekend Warrior Spartan GNCC
Bithell on the podium. Brakes troubles hold Borich to sixth

Bill Ballance wins, as Adam McGill takes 2nd with Chris Bithell 3rd.
Bill Ballance wins, as Adam McGill takes 2nd with Chris Bithell 3rd.

Sparta, KY – Yamaha’s Bill Ballance is back on top in the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series, but it took an amazing last-turn pass to steal the lead from sophomore pro Adam McGill to take the Weekend Warrior Spartan GNCC. In an amazing battle, Ballance rallied late in the race to grab a big win, and he was aided further when brake troubles slowed his championship rival Chris Borich, who ended up sixth after winning four-straight races.

“I can’t say enough about the way Adam was riding today,” said Ballance. “He got out front there on the first lap and just started pulling. I think a lot of us were trying to be a little bit more cautious—maybe we shouldn’t have been—in the virgin stuff out there. I was taking it easy, and Adam was just checking out through there and pulled a pretty good lead on the first lap. After that, the trail cleared up and you could pretty much see everything, so I put my head down and started charging hard.”

McGill, one of the funniest characters in the sport, captured his first podium of the year and almost won the race. “I got around a few people, and it was me and Brandon [Ballance], and about four or five miles into it, we got into all of that new virgin stuff, and we were making some pretty good time. The next thing I knew, Brandon just goes “Bam” and goes flying over the bars. He got stuck between two trees. I got around him and I just started riding smooth, just thinking about stuff to make me smile so I wouldn’t tense up. I came around the first lap and I was leading, and I was like ‘Man, let’s do this.’”

Bill Ballance
Bill Ballance

Ballance finally closed in and set up a big battle on the last lap. “I slowly started picking up some time and caught him there on the end of the lap,” said Ballance. “He was riding great, but I was just trying inside and outside lines, just anything I could to get around him. He got kicked a little bit there that one time and I was able to pull up beside him and just started grabbing gears and pulled up the hill in front of him. It was an awful tight race.”

“It was nobody’s fault but mine,” said McGill. “We came down through this off-camber here, right in this field, and I came a little bit wide, and when I did it threw me up over the bars. When I did that, he set back on the seat and got around me. I gave it everything I had, but I just didn’t have enough traction to get up by him. I tried here at the finish line, but what do you do? You have the seven-time champion versus the rookie, so…”

Bithell came from way back to take third. ‘You know, it just happens,” said Bithell. “I pulled a decent holeshot and just came into the bend and got bumped around. Next thing I know I was thrown off the bike and I was in last. It seems like whenever I wreck in the beginning, I just get mad and really have to hammer down to get around these guys.”

Bithell put in a big charge to get to third, ahead of Houser/GT Thunder/HMF’s Chris Jenks and East Coast ATV’s Matt Smiley. Borich, with brake troubles, had to stop in the pits, and then put on a charge to climb back to sixth. He is now one point behind Ballance in the series’ standings.

Adam McGill
Adam McGill

In the XC2 Pro Am class, Ryan Lane dug down deep to notch his first win of the season, snapping the six-race win streak of GT Thunder Yamaha’s Brandon Sommers. Sommers gave it a run, though, battling like Ballance and Bithell down to the last corner. “Yeah, that’s about as close as it can get,” said Lane. “I heard him coming, and I new my only chance was to cut him off in the last corner, and we kind of tangled, but I guess that’s how it goes.”

“I knew it was coming, so we had a good race today and I’m happy with what I got,” said Sommers, who came from way back in the pack after a few early crashes. “Two corners before the finish, I had got a nice line and a run on him, and I pulled up on the inside of him, and going into the last corner it was mine unless he came over, and he knew he had to come over, and I didn’t have time to stop and we got into each other and had to pull ourselves apart.”

“We’ve been real close a bunch of times, but he just wears us out,” said Lane. “And finally he had a little bad luck, and I rode a pretty good pace. I didn’t get too wore out today. Usually on the last lap I’m about ready to throw up.”

Third went to Kevin Yoho. “I got a decent start and just kept getting caught behind people and just couldn’t get going for awhile,” said Yoho. “I finally got moving the last couple laps and passed a lot of people there and got up to third.”

Traci Cecco with her 7th straight win
Traci Cecco with her 7th straight win

While Sommers win streak was over, Yamaha’s Traci Cecco kept her incredible season going with her seventh-straight overall win in the ATV morning race (also her seventh straight win in the women’s class). LTERacing.com’s Angel Atwell was second, and Joey “Bam” Margeria was third, an amazing ride on his Yamaha Blaster 200.

Josh Ribley took the U2 (Utility Unlimited) class on his Kawasaki over Mike Benson, Rick Cecco topped Scott Kilby in the Open 4x4 class, and their Can-Am teammate Cliffton Beasley continued his win streak in the 4x4 Lites class. Michael Swift took the 4x4 Limited class win on a Can-Am.

The 2007 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series continues in two weeks with the all-new Moose Racing Snowshoe GNCC in Snowshoe, WV on June 23 and 24.

Photos by David Scearce: daveelec1@charter.net

About GNCC Racing:
The AMA/ATVA-sanctioned Can-Am Grand National Cross Country series is America’s premier off-road racing series. The 13-round series is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross-country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The nearly three-hour long GNCC races lead as many as 1,800 riders through tracks ranging from eight to twelve miles in length. GNCC Racing airs weekly television shows on Versus (formerly Outdoor Life Network) every Saturday at 3 p.m. and Thursday at 4 p.m. beginning on April 14. With varied terrain including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. GNCC featured sponsors include BRP Can-Am, Parts Unlimited, Moose, Maxxis, Pirelli, Wiseco, Acerbis, Elka, Geico, Klotz, FMF, ITP and Weekend Warrior, and riders compete for over $3 million in series prizes and contingency money. Associate sponsors include Alpinestars, Cometic, EK Chain, HiPer Technology, Laegers, Moose Utility Division, The National Guard, Powersport Grafx, Race Tools, REM, Scott, Thor, Tire Balls, Twin Air, and MotoTee’s. Media Sponsors include Racer X Illustrated, ATV Rider, ATV Sport, ATVRiders.com, Quadzone.com, Dirt Rider and ATV Insider. For more information log on to www.gnccracing.com.

Results: Weekend Warrior Spartan GNCC
Sparta, KY

June 9, 2007

Overall

1. Bill Ballance YAM XC1
2. Adam McGill HON XC1
3. Chris Bithell HON XC1
4. Chris Jenks HON XC1
5. Matt Smiley HON XC1
6. Chris Borich HON XC1
7. Taylor Kiser YAM XC1
8. Bryan Cook HON XC1
9. Duane Johnson HON XC1
10. William Yokley KAW XC1
11. Michael Houston YAM XC1
12. Craig Reed HON XC1
13. Brent Sturdivant HON XC1
14. Ryan Lane HON XC2
15. Brandon Sommers YAM XC2
16. Jeffrey Pickens HON XC1
17. Jarrod McClure HON XC1
18. Santo Derisi HON XC1
19. Kevin Yoho YAM XC2
20. Michael Burrows HON XC1

2007 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series Standings
(After 7 of 13 rounds)
Top Twenty Overall

1. Bill Ballance 186/3 wins
2. Chris Borich 185/4 wins
3. Chris Bithell 123
4. Taylor Kiser 116
5. Matt Smiley 96
6. Adam McGill 93
7. Chris Jenks 86
8. Brandon Sommers 85
9. Bryan Cook 82
10. William Yokley 73
11. Duane Johnson 57
12. Brandon Ballance 53
13. Ryan Lane 52
14. Craig Reed 47
15. Brent Sturdivant 34
16. Andris Lagzdins 33
17. Michael Houston 33
18. Jarrod McClure 32
19. Donald Ockerman 22
20. Kyle Martin 20


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