Faces From The AmsOil Grand National Cross Country Series Opener

The 2018 AmsOil Grand National Cross Country Series gets underway at Big Buck Farm in Union, South Carolina.

FMF KTM’s Kailub Russell drew first blood in the 2018 AmsOil Grand National Cross Country Series, coming away with a hard-fought win over Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Thad Duvall. Here’s a look back at some of the faces from the GNCC series thanks to photographer Darrin Chapman.

Josh Toth
FMF KTM’s Josh Toth claimed a sixth overall finish, which was good enough to put the Connecticut rider at the top of the XC2 Pro division. Toth won last year’s XC2 Pro championship and is looking to defend his title in 2018.Darrin Chapman
Trevor Bollinger
JCR Honda’s Trevor Bollinger came into the 2018 season looking lean and mean and sporting a new haircut. The shorter hair must have helped. Bollinger came away with a solid fourth-place finish.Darrin Chapman
Thad Duvall
Thad Duvall was optimistic going into the race and gave Kailub Russell a run for his money. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider led most of the first lap and traded the lead several times with Steward Baylor before Russell finally took the point on the final lap.Darrin Chapman
Russell
Russell is known for his slow starts to the season, but he always makes up for it with a strong finish. Thus far, 2018 is different: The FMF KTM rider came out swinging and won the opening round of the series for just the second time in his professional career.Darrin Chapman
Charlie Mullins
Former GNCC and national enduro champ Charlie Mullins is now working as a trainer for KTM. Mullins is tasked with keeping the orange off-road guys in tip-top shape.Darrin Chapman
Baylor
Baylor ran up front during the early going, but a rock to the mouth slowed the Tely Energy KTM rider’s momentum and left him with chipped teeth.Darrin Chapman
Josh Strang
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Josh Strang gives his mechanic Michael Thompson a ride to the starting line. Strang, a former GNCC champ, finished fifth overall.Darrin Chapman
Wally Palmer
“Wild” Wally Palmer hangs out in the pits before the start.Darrin Chapman
Jordan Ashburn
Jordan Ashburn was ninth overall in the XC1 Pro division. For 2018, the Beta USA rider is concentrating on the GNCC and Full Gas Sprint Enduro series.Darrin Chapman
Ben Kelley
Trail Jesters KTM’s Ben Kelley pushed Toth early on the race for the lead spot in the XC2 Pro 250 class, but came up eight seconds short at the finish.Darrin Chapman
Grant Baylor
Grant Baylor is still recovering from shoulder surgery but managed to put his Tely Energy KTM into 10th place in the XC1 Pro class.Darrin Chapman
Liam Draper
New Zealander Liam Draper is competing in the US in 2018, riding a Husqvarna for KR4 Husqvarna Arrive-N-Ride.Darrin Chapman