After a mud-filled race in Indiana and a rescheduled John Penton, the series settled in high atop a beautiful ridge in New York for the Dunlop Tomahawk GNCC. Deceptively scenic, the 10.5-mile course that awaited the racers would prove to be brutal on all as slick woods, loose large rocks and dust all combined to offer a very challenging event. The weather was all but perfect as the 1pm afternoon race kicked off with bright sunny skies and temperatures rising to near 90℉ would add another element to the mix as riders struggled to stay hydrated throughout the three-hour event.

With a large crowd on hand, the XC1 Pro class fired off the line and raced for position as being ahead of the dust in the field sections would be a huge benefit with clear vision and the bonus of not choking on dust kicked up by those who could grab clean air. Josh Strang would once again claim the XC1 Pro holeshot as he powered his way through the first few turns and raced out of sight. The fight for this race was on from the very start with Kailub Russell and Ryan Sipes pouring on the speed as they gave chase to Strang. Through the shuffling around in the running order, it was soon a hard charging Ryan Sipes who would emerge as the leader and was setting a very strong pace.

Kailub Russell would have to pit very early in the race and his issue was fixed as he faced the task of running back down the leaders. Once he managed that incredible feat, he would find himself remounting after a get off that he never recovered from and raced to a fifth place finish on the day. Duvall, Sipes and Steward Baylor would assume control of the lead as the race wore on with Strang holding his own in fourth. At times, the two Husqvarna teammates were almost indistinguishable in the field section as the dust enveloped them. Duvall would overtake Sipes and take command of the lead and the race as he stormed his way to his second win in a row. Sipes would have an impressive ride and land himself on the podium with second and would mark a well-earned return to the podium.

Tomahawk GNCC 2017
Josh Strang powering his way to the XC1 Pro holeshot.Photo by Ken Hill
Tomahawk GNCC 2017
Ryan Sipes was on the move right from the start.Photo by Ken Hill

After a mid-pack start, Steward Baylor once again showing how bad he wants a podium finish each round and his blistering assault through the XC1 class was reaffirmed here at the Tomahawk as he took the final podium position with third. As if his performance wasn’t enough, many of the fans learned that the health problem that sent him in for immediate medical attention during the X Factor GNCC was not going to keep him from his goal. As Baylor informed everyone during his pre-race interview, he was fighting Epstien-Barr virus and that is what caused his health issues. From a severe medical condition to the XC1 Pro podium, no one can deny his determination and fitness and that could come into play at the next two rounds as a brutal Snowshoe Mountain awaits followed by what should be a very warm John Penton. This could be his chance to really shine!

Tomahawk GNCC 2017
You would never know just over a week ago Steward Baylor was laid up in the hospital.Photo by Ken Hill

The brutality of the day showed immediately after the checkered flag flew and through all three pro podiums, the winners were beaten and showing signs of how tough these races are. They have two weeks to get ready before hitting what is known as one of the toughest venues on the schedule and they all want the win that only Snowshoe brings!

Tomahawk GNCC 2017
Jordan Ashburn putting in a good ride in tough conditions taking his Beta to a 7th place finishPhoto by Ken Hill
Tomahawk GNCC 2017
Benjamin Kelley throwing down a great ride here at the Tomahawk with his best finish this season claiming 3rd in XC2 Pro.Photo by Ken Hill
Tomahawk GNCC 2017
Making it two wins in a row, Thad Duvall let his Husqvarna scream as he takes the checkered flag.Photo by Ken Hill
Tomahawk GNCC 2017
Chris Bach is enveloped in dust as the start of a very long race starts.Photo by Ken Hill
Tomahawk GNCC 2017
Kailub Russell has the points lead but the last two races has him way off his usual finishes and the competition is doing all it can to capitalize on his misfortune.Photo by Ken Hill
Tomahawk GNCC 2017
A strong spectator turnout in the heart of New York's off-road community.Photo by Ken Hill
Tomahawk GNCC 2017
Nick Davis is still putting his season back together after a hard crash early in the season.Photo by Ken Hill
Tomahawk GNCC 2017
Jason Thomas (#125) takes the FMF XC3 125 class holeshot and another win here at the Tomahawk GNCC.Photo by Ken Hill
Tomahawk GNCC 2017
Hunter Neuwirth put together an excellent race in XC3 and claimed 2nd.Photo by Ken Hill
Tomahawk GNCC 2017
Josh Strang out in clean air and the lead early in the race.Photo by Ken Hill
Tomahawk GNCC 2017
Steward Baylor gets some pltboard love on his way to another podium finish.Photo by Ken Hill
Tomahawk GNCC 2017
Josh Toth was back to his winning ways in XC2.Photo by Ken Hill
Tomahawk GNCC 2017
Layne Michael finally found his way back to the podium after struggling the past several rounds.Photo by Ken Hill
Tomahawk GNCC 2017
Trevor Bollinger paying his XC1 rookie year dues one round at a time.Photo by Ken Hill
Tomahawk GNCC 2017
Ricky Russell on his way in for the final lap. Ricky would finish 8th.Photo by Ken Hill
Tomahawk GNCC 2017
Philippe Chaine hails from Canada and races the XC1 Pro class. Chaine has yet to break into the top ten this season but his time is coming!Photo by Ken Hill
Tomahawk GNCC 2017
Thad Duvall has everything he needs now to take the fight all the way to the number one spot and he has done just that with two back to back winsPhoto by Ken Hill

XC1 Pro

  1. Thaddeus Duvall
  2. Ryan Sipes
  3. Steward Baylor JR
  4. Josh Strang
  5. Kailub Russell
  6. Grant Baylor
  7. Jordan Ashburn
  8. Ricky Russell
  9. Russell Bobbitt
  10. Trevor Bollinger
  11. Philippe Chaine
  12. Christopher Bach
  13. Scott Grills