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  Racing
Borich Crushes the Orange Crush ATV Comp
GNCC Young Gun is Two-for-two
Jason Weigandt

 De Leon Springs, FL - This is getting scary. Alba Honda's Chris Borich pounded through the Florida sand to win the first-annual Moose Racing Orange Crush GNCC - a dominating win that signaled Borich may be the man to beat for the 2005 Suzuki Grand National Cross Country Title.
"Man, I just feel so comfortable on this bike, and all of the training is really starting to pay off," says Borich, the hot young star who is rapidly climbing to the top of the GNCC mountain. "The track was real rough. I knew it was going to be a long day for us. We were battling for awhile there but I was able to pull away."
The battle came from the Ballance brothers, defending GNCC Champ Bill and his younger brother Branden. But Bill's run for the win ended when he wedged a stick into his a-arm, making it almost impossible to steer his factory-backed Yamaha YFZ450. He would struggle to fifth.
"I just can't seem to get the ball rolling," said Ballance with more than a hint of frustration. Ballance has never faced such a strong challenge in his five years of GNCC ATV dominance.
Younger brother Branden was able to hold on, taking second, his best ride since winning the GNCC opener in Florida two years ago.
"I've been working really hard, going to the gym five or six days a week," said Branden. Confidence has often been missing from Branden's program, but the heavily-improved conditioning program is paying big dividends mentally and physically. "It's hard to beat the sand of Florida for me I guess!"
Team Polaris rider Matt Smiley also put in a hard ride to land his Predator 500 on the podium. "I was there just staying in touch with the leaders," said Smiley in his customary style. "I think we proved a lot of people wrong by getting this Polaris up on the podium. This may be the first time, but it won't be the last. My crew was telling me I was catching Bill. I didn't leave anything in the tank."
Smiley always appears to be one of the most serious racers on the tour, but he lived up to his name by beaming from the podium.
Fourth came Yoshimura Suzuki's William Yokley. The fun-loving, out-going rider from Kentucky suffered from arm pump and struggled early, but he launched a major offensive late in the race to get to fourth and preserve major championship real estate.
Ballance was fifth. With Borich riding a two-race win streak to start the season, including the Florida win on an ultra-rough whooped out track, there appear to be no weaknesses in his game. Ballance will dig deep to win and stop Borich's momentum at the next round. The Suzuki GNCC series continues this weekend with the Maxxis General GNCC in Washington, Georgia. For more information, log on to gnccracing.com.


The AMA-sanctioned Suzuki Grand National Cross Country series is America's premier off-road racing series. The 13-round series is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The nearly three-hour long GNCC races lead as many as 1400 riders through tracks ranging from eight to twelve miles in length. With varied terrain including hills, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. GNCC featured sponsors include Suzuki, Parts Unlimited, atv parts Moose, Maxxis, Pirelli, Wiseco, atv Klotz, FMF and ITP, and riders compete for over $1.3 million in series prizes and contingency money. Associate sponsors include Moose Utility Division, Scott, Alpinestars, Ohlins, Cometic, Outerwears, Race Tools, Twin Air, SFB Racing, Thor, Racer X Illustrated, Motion Pro, Tire Balls, Moto-Tee's, Warrior, ATV.INFO and Laeger's.

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Composed: 03/09/2005 | Modified: 03/21/2005
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