The Mountaineer GNCC is always a tough race. It's one of our rockiest venues, and it also seems to be dusty every year, so when you combine those two it gets tricky. Even so, while it isn't one of my favorites, I've rode well there in the past.
I went into the race with one mindset; get out front early and try to put a gap on the field. I knew the dust would be a major factor and I didn't want to deal with it. I came off the start in second and made my move to first by the third corner. From there I put my head down and put in some hot laps, and by the third lap I had over a minute gap on second place. I had one crash where I lost my front number plate, but other than that my race was going pretty smooth.
I pitted for fuel and goggles on the fourth lap, but ended up with more than that! The team filled my tank, but when it was full and time to pull the fuel can away, it malfunctioned and poured fuel all over the bike and me, in places you should never have race gas! To top it off, the bike sputtered and died, and took aver 15 seconds to restart. I was getting nervous for sure, but my lead was big enough by that time that I was able to stay out front.
The gap to second place yo-yoed all day, but I was never really challenged and took my first ever GNCC win by over 30 seconds. After four years of trying and to finally get here, this feels amazing! I'm really proud of this one, because it did not come easy and I've worked my tail off to learn off-road racing. I've now won a Pro Supercross, ISDE, a National Enduro, and a GNCC. Feels good to check that last box. A huge thanks to all my amazing sponsors and family! This wouldn't be possible without you!