It was win number two for Aussie Tayla Jones at the conclusion of the second round of the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series in Palatka, Florida today. The 2-day event kicked off the 77th running of the famed Daytona Bike Week.
Jones, who is the defending women's GNCC champion, didn't have an easy run in the Moose Racing "Wild Boar" GNCC after having to come from behind following a small fall to grab the win and make it two out of two for 2018.
Ohio's Korie Steede
took the holeshot, with Australia's Mackenzie Tricker
and Indiana's Rachel Gutish
hot on her heels. The first lap was a rough one with most of the top racers falling at least once during the lap.
The track crew had kindly bulldozed large swaths of the course, giving the AM riders what appeared to be a smooth trail to start, masking the many roots and palmettos hidden beneath the thin layer of sand, roots that were not dusted off until the second lap.
Jones, took her sand sample in the second corner, forcing the KR4/Husqvarna rider to charge her way up through the pack. Steede fell less than a mile into the race, as did Ohio's Becca Sheets
. Tricker soon followed, leaving Gutish to take a short-lived lead.
I found a groove pretty quick, and once I moved into the lead, I just rode my own race and tried not to make any mistakes
Still early in the first lap, Jones regained the lead, and Tricker got by Gutish to take over the second position. The two were already well on their way to establishing a substantial lead when Gutish finally fell victim to a hidden root.