NEWBURG, W.Va. – Racers started their engines for the Grand National Cross Country race series in Preston County. The 2021 Buckwheat 100 and is round 12 of 13 in the national championship series.
Thousands came out to watch riders battle the 12-mile track that’s sure to get things muddy.
“We don’t build anything we just put arrows up and clean up the brush, so the track is whatever mother nature gives us,” Tim Cotter, director of GNCC events said.
With the season coming to an end the races get even more intense with points on the line.
“With the beginning of the year it was all about skill right now were getting to the end of the season where its mind games too,”Cotter said. “It’s different theirs not question about it.”
One race people had their eyes on was the youth bike race. 15-year-old Cole Forbes took home first place on Sunday.
“Started off strong it was a little slick out there,” the Youth Bike Buckwheat 100 champion said. “I feel good. I feel confident. I feel really strong, and I’ve just been working out training all the time.”
The win is the Richmond, Va. native’s 10th of the series and he had a few people to shout out just after he crossed the finish line.
“I just want to thank my mom and my sister and my dad for making all this happen for me,” Forbes said.
Four races happened on Saturday and three races on Sunday. Becca Sheets took home gold in the women’s XC race, Walker Fowler won the XC1 ATV race, Cody Collier won the Saturday AM race, Klaiton Sampson won the Micro ATV race and Brody Lee won the youth ATC race.
The biggest match up was the men’s XC1 championship. Racer Stew Baylor was one point ahead of Ben Kelley headed into the race, but Kelley came out on top.
“The more senior riders, the guy that’s raced at that level for a long time he’s racing against somewhat of a rookie,” Cotter said. “Ben Kelley is relatively new this is his first full season in that XC1 pro lineup.”
The finale of the series will be the Iron Man race in Indiana on Oct. 23.