Photos by Amy McConnell, XCountry Photos
As far as GNCC seasons go, 2012 has been almost as dry as the Gobi. Grand National Cross Country racing is generally characterized by mudholes flipping riders into the next county or a machine burying itself to China. Which is where the Gobi Desert is located (but you knew that). Admit it, when you think of GNCC racing you picture a rider who looks like he or she has just gone ten rounds in a Malt-O-Meal wrestling match with Freddie Kruger.
This year was fairly clean and scar-free. That is, until, round 12 in Crawfordsville, Indiana. The skies opened up and reminded everyone of just how miserable GNCC conditions can become.
And of all places, it had to happen at the Ironman GNCC. Already one of the most challenging venues on the schedule when it’s dry, the course here gets real sloppy real fast. Its numerous creek crossings and steep riverbanks provide the inspiration for several well-known spa treatments, not including getting hit in the cheekbone with a rock.
No surprise, the Ironman is a popular destination for spectators. Just like the days of yore (hello, Blackwater) this year’s Ironman — which has been running since 1995 — drew a reported 10,000 fans wanting to get a glimpse of the carnage or become part of it themselves.
Also no surprise, Team ITP’s Dave Simmons was once again “the man of the morning race.” At over 50 years old, this guy personifies “Ironman.”
Yamaha-mounted Simmons slogged to his eighth Amateur Overall victory of the season and his 12th straight Super Senior 45+ class win in 12 events.
Joining Simmons on the morning overall podium was Team ITP’s Angel Atwell (Hon). This was her fourth Women’s class win of the season and it locked down the runner-up slot in the point standings with one race remaining on the schedule.
Also enjoying his day in the slippery saddle was Glenn McConnell (Yam), who captured his sixth Masters 50+ triumph of the year for Team ITP. He leads the point standings in this class by just two, so the final event will be a nail-biter.
For our guys in the afternoon race, let’s just say they are looking forward to the season finale. A downpour of bad luck simply made the Ironman a day to forget.
The last race of a long GNCC series jams into Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, on November 3-4, 2012.
Source: ITP Press Release
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