Florida's Own Taylor Kiser Takes First-Ever
Win at GNCC Opener
Borich, McGill Overcome Mechanical Troubles to
Land on Podium
Florida's own Taylor Kiser romped to his
first GNCC victory at the season opener.
Chris Borich was strong as always in the
sand, but clutch troubles slowed him.
Adam McGill led for a bit but finished
Riding three weeks after surgery on his
ribs, Bill Ballance finished the day
18th in his class.
Borich, Kiser and McGill on the podium.
Photo By: Matt Ware
LAKE WALES, FL (March 1, 2009) -- Alva,
Florida's Taylor Kiser started the 2009 Can-Am
Grand National Cross County Series in dream
fashion by notching his first career win at the
season opening River Ranch GNCC in Lake Wales,
Florida. Kiser, who finished the 2008 tour
ranked sixth in the final standings, topped
Rockstar Yoshimura Suzuki's Chris Borich and FRE
KTM's Adam McGill on a rough, dry, sandy race
track at the West Gate River Ranch Resort.
"This is like a dream to win it in front of all
of these people," said Kiser in front of his
home state fans on the podium. "I saw Chris and
Adam setting a good pace out front, and I wasn't
sure if I should go with them, because this
course gets so rough and I knew it would be a
long day. So I just played it smart and it paid
Borich grabbed the $250 MotorcycleUSA.com
Holeshot Award and took off early. He and McGill
traded the lead a bit before McGill came in
contact with a lapped rider. "Another rider had
just pulled out of Chris' way, and then he
pulled back onto the track just as I was coming
through. I flipped the thing and it broke the
bolt on my front brake. That was some bad luck
McGill took an extended pit stop, and Kiser went
around to take second. Then Borich started
struggling as his clutch started fading. "I felt
real good, real strong early," said Borich.
"I've been training a lot harder, hitting the
gym real hard. We're ready. I ride the clutch a
lot through those sand whoops, but in this sugar
sand it started to fade. I really had to change
my riding style on the last lap just to get in
to the finish. I think everyone probably had
clutch problems out here."
Kiser admitted his clutch started fading, too,
but after he made the pass on Borich he kept his
pace up and rolled to a win by just over a
minute after two hours of racing.
Fourth went to DeRisi Racing veteran Bryan Cook,
on an Honda, with last year's XC2 Champion Don
Ockerman grabbing fifth on his factory GT
Thunder Yamaha. Sixth went to Brandon Ballance,
on a Yamaha, with Warnert Racing Can-Am's Chris
Bithell in seventh. Jeff Pickens, Jarrod McClure
and Josh Kirkland rounded out the top ten
overall, with Kirkland topping the XC2 Pro-Am
Class on his FRE KTM.
"This is the way I was hoping it would go, but
really, I was just hoping to get to the dirt
races to get a win," said Kirkland after a day
in the sand.
Second in the class went to another KTM rider,
David Crane, while third came an unheralded
Kawasaki privateer from New York, Scott Rich.
Yamaha rider Brian Wolf grabbed the $100 Rekluse
XC2 Holeshot Award and finished fifth, behind
Honda rider Eric Hoyland.
Defending GNCC Champion Bill Ballance struggled
all day dealing with the effects of getting
surgery on his ribs just three weeks ago - the
result of an injury that lingered from last
year. He finished 18th in the XC1 pro class
after completing four of six laps.
Ballance and Bithell did, however, compete hard
the night before the race as part of barrel
racing at the River Ranch Rodeo. In the end,
Ballance came up a second short of the fastest
horse while riding his YFZ450R.
In the morning race, KTM's Angel Atwell notched
the $100 GT Thunder Morning Race Overall Award
in her first GNCC on a KTM. Jennifer Albright
notched second overall and second in the Women's
class, with Warnert Can-Am's Michael Swift
taking top 4x4 honors by notching third overall
and winning the 4x4 Limited Class.
The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series
continues with bike racing from the Parts
Unlimited River Ranch GNCC on Tuesday, March
3rd. For more information and full results,
Parts Unlimited River Ranch GNCC
Lake Wales, Florida
March 1, 2009
1. Taylor Kiser (Yam)
2. Chris Borich (Suz)
3. Adam McGill (KTM)
4. Bryan Cook (Hon)
5. Don Ockerman (Yam)
6. Brandon Ballance (Yam)
7. Chris Bithell (Can)
8. Jeff Pickens (Yam)
9. Jarrod McClure (Yam)
10. Johnny Gallagher (Yam)
About GNCC Racing
The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country series
is America's premier off-road racing series.
Founded in 1973, the 13-round championship is
produced exclusively by Racer Productions.
Cross-country racing is one of the most
physically demanding sports in the world. The
grueling three-hour GNCC races lead as many as
1,800 riders through tracks ranging in length
from eight to 12 miles. With varied terrain,
including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and
motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of
both survival and speed. Riders compete for more
than $3 million in prize money, which draws
talent from all over the U.S., Europe, Australia
and New Zealand. GNCC Racing is televised and
airs every Saturday and Thursday on the Versus
Network. For more information, please visit
About Racer Productions
A West Virginia-based motorcycle and ATV event
production company, Racer Productions has been a
leader in the off-road racing industry for more
than 30 years. It's repertoire of events
includes the 13-round Can-Am Grand National
Cross Country Series, held since 1973; The
Kawasaki/Monster Energy High Point National in
Mount Morris, Pa., held since 1977; The ATV Dirt
Days at Loretta Lynn's Ranch in Hurricane Mills,
Tenn., held since 1985; The U.S. World Motocross
Gran Prix at Steel City Raceway in Delmont, Pa.
in 1987; The Monster Energy/Kawasaki Steel City
National, held since 1988; The ATV Stampede
National Motocross at High Point Raceway, held
since 1994; The AMA Pro ATV Open at Steel City
in 2007; as well as numerous other amateur
motocross events. In addition, Racer Productions
staffs the prestigious Air Nautiques/AMA
Amateur National Motocross Championship at
Loretta Lynn's Ranch, held since 1982. For more
information, please visit