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Kaliub Russell Captures Third Straight Victory at AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC

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Kaliub Russell Captures Third Straight Victory at AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC
It was a picture perfect day for racing in eastern West Virginia as Round 9 of the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series took place at Snowshoe Mountain Resort on Sunday.

In a grueling three-hour battle to the finish, Kailub Russell came from behind to secure his third consecutive win of the season at the AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC, closing the points gap on his teammate Charlie Mullins in the National Championship chase.

Russell started on the front row alongside Mullins, Chris Bach, Paul Whibley and Josh Strang, but a crash on the opening lap set the Factory FMF/KTM rider a ways back from the lead pack. Mullins put himself out front right away, where he led the first two laps of the race.

Shenandoah Honda/USWE-Sports.com's Thad DuVall started on the second row, only 10 seconds behind the first five riders. By the end of Lap 1, DuVall had made his way into the second place position where he engaged in a battle with AmPro Yamaha's Jordan Ashburn.
Kaliub Russell Captures Third Straight Victory at AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC
Thad DuVall had an impressive ride after a mechanical issue almost ended his day Credit: Ken Hill
DuVall eventually commanded the second place position where he set his sights on Mullins for the lead. DuVall caught and passed Mullins for the lead about halfway through the eight-lap race and the duo went back and forth for the lead position.

Meanwhile, Russell was making a charge from behind despite running into a few roadblocks along the way. Russell eventually caught the leaders just as DuVall began to experience mechanical issues on the course.

"I came through a section and hit a rock pretty hard and it broke my shifter clean off." Duvall explained. "I ended up being stuck in third gear for almost a lap but my pit crew installed a new one and I lost a few positions in the meantime."

Ashburn sat in a comfortable third place position for a majority of the race until a mechanical issue plagued his AmPro Yamaha machine. Ashburn pulled into his pit but the punctured radiator hose wasn't repairable in time to salvage any championship points.
Kaliub Russell Captures Third Straight Victory at AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC
Kailub Russell secured his third consecutive win on Sunday - Credit: Ken HIll
Ashburn's misfortune allowed Carolina KTM/RidePG.com's Chris Bach to make his way into the third place spot. Bach set his sights on Russell and Mullins but the KTM duo had created a large gap on the rest of the field. From there, Bach rode a solid and consistent race to finish third place physically, but in the end it was DuVall who prevailed with third place overall on adjusted time.

Mullins made a valiant charge on Russell during the final lap, ultimately finishing 10 seconds back for second place. Russell's victory marked three-in-a-row for the Ohio native, closing the points gap on Mullins to only three points heading into the summer break.

AmPro Yamaha's Paul Whibley rounded out the top five in the XC1 class, while 2012 Snowshoe winner Rory Mead captured sixth aboard his FMF/RPM/KTM Team Maxxis ride. RidePG.com/ Maxxis/FLY Racing's Adam Bonneur finished seventh; Litz Racing Honda's Takeshi Koikeda took eighth, while Mark Fortner and Ricky Russell rounded out the top 10.

XC2
Kaliub Russell Captures Third Straight Victory at AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC
Grant Baylor topped the XC2 Pro Lites Class at Snowshoe - Credit: Ken HIll
KTM Support rider Grant Baylor and DirtWise Schools/KTM-Parts.com/Maxxis rider Jason Thomas went head-to-head for the XC2 Pro Lites Class win.

Baylor prevailed with the XC2 Class win, also capturing an impressive fifth place overall. Thomas' second place finish in the class was good enough to earn the defending champion sixth place overall for the day. Pennsylvania's Shane Hufford Jr. earned his first career podium finish in the XC2 class with third place.

XC1 Event Results:
Kailub Russell (KTM)
Charlie Mullins (KTM)
Thad DuVall (HON)
Chris Bach (KTM)
Paul Whibley (YAM)
Rory Mead (KTM)
Adam Bonneur (KAW)
Takeshi Koikeda (HON)
Mark Fortner (BET)
Ricky Russell (YAM)
Kaliub Russell Captures Third Straight Victory at AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC
XC1 podium: (left) Charlie Mullins, Kailub Russell, Thad DuVall - Credit: Ken HIll
XC1 Championship Standings:
Charlie Mullins (227)
Kailub Russell (220)
Chris Bach (157)
Thad DuVall (157)
Josh Strang (147)
Paul Whibley (143)
Jordan Ashburn (123)
Takeshi Koikeda (114)
Adam Bonneur (112)
Ricky Russell (104)

XC2 Event Results:
Grant Baylor (KTM)
Jason Thomas (KTM)
Shane Hufford Jr (KTM)
Scott Grills (KAW)
Layne Michael (KTM)
Jesse Groemm (KTM)
AJ Stewart (YAM)
Ian Blythe (KTM)
Chris Douglas (HSQ)
Sam Evans (KTM)
Kaliub Russell Captures Third Straight Victory at AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC
XC2 podium: (left) Jason Thomas, Grant Baylor, Shane Hufford - Credit: Ken HIll
XC2 Championship Standings:
Grant Baylor (203)
Jason Thomas (180)
Andrew DeLong (121)
Shane Hufford Jr (115)
AJ Stewart (102)
Zach Nolan (96)
Travis Coy (91)
Layne Michael (89)
Jedediah Haines (88)
Chris Douglas (86)

Overall National Championship Standings:
Charlie Mullins (223)
Kailub Russell (220)
Chris Bach (151)
Thad DuVall (135)
Paul Whibley (127)
Josh Strang (122)
Grant Baylor (109)
Jason Thomas (106)
Jordan Ashburn (91)
Andrew DeLong (61)

Top Image: The top five XC1 riders battled hard for the win at the AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC
Credit: Ken HIll

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