Local racer competes for national spotlight in upcoming off-road race

(Photo courtesy of Taylor Pugh)

Arab resident Taylor Pugh will compete with the best off-road racers in the world Sunday, March 15, 2020. The 24-year-old dirt bike racer will compete at the The General GNCC, in nearby Washington Georgia, round three of the 13-stop Grand National Cross-Country Series, presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship.

More than 1,500 racers are expected to compete over the weekend, as the event includes four-wheeled ATV racing on Saturday and dirt bikes on Sunday. Classes range from riders as young as four and as old as the 60-plus divisions. The top GNCC pro classes feature some of the world’s top riders, including talent from England, Europe and Australia.

“We expect racers from all over the world to compete at this event,” said GNCC Trail Boss Jeff Russell. “Racer TV, series sponsors and local press will be in attendance. There’s a lot of competition and pressure, but a local rider will definitely feel more comfortable and have the advantage on this terrain.”

The tough local terrain makes for a great equalizer when it comes to the talent. Racers will start together on a massive Starting Line before rushing onto a course featuring tight trails, mud, rocks and hills. Spectators can watch the action from a variety of vantage points throughout the course, which will be marked on race day.

Pugh is the Parts Specialist at the Honda Shop in Cullman, The Sport Center. Pugh has been racing Motorcycles for five years and competes in the highly competitive enduro class under number 2222. He rides a KTM 250 with help from his sponsors, Phoenix Handlebars, Oneal, Risk Racing, 396 Designs, Twin Air and Pro Taper

Pugh also competes in the Southeastern SECCA series.

Saturday’s race format starts with Youth racers starting at 8 a.m., Micro (50cc) ATV racers at 9:15 a.m., Micro (50cc) bike racers at 10 a.m., Amateurs racing at 11 a.m., and the Pros and top amateurs at 2 p.m., rain or shine. Sunday’s race format will also begin with Youth racers starting at 8 a.m., then move onto Amateurs at 10 a.m., followed by the Pros and top amateurs at 1 p.m., rain or shine. GNCC events are grueling, endurance races, with Youth riders racing for 90 minutes, Amateurs two hours, and the Pros a whopping three hours.

Pugh will race Sunday with the MX division starting at 10AM for a grueling 2 hours.

Spectator passes run $20 for adults and $10 for kids (6-11), and ages 5 and under are free for the full weekend. Gate admission includes pro pit access and free pro autograph sessions beginning at 11 a.m. on race days. Sponsor displays and food concessions will be available.  The economic impact for a community hosting an event of this magnitude is estimated in excess of $1.3 million dollars.

Each round of the GNCC Series is streamed LIVE on RacerTV.com, showcasing the top amateur racers and professional athletes. 

For more information on the GNCC series, visit the official website at www.gnccracing.com or call (304) 284-0084. Join the conversation on the series Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to always hashtag #GNCC.

About GNCC Racing

The Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized is the World’s premier off-road racing series. Founded in 1975, the 13-round championship is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross-country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The grueling two and three-hour GNCC races lead as many as 2,400 riders through racetracks ranging in length from eight to 12 miles. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks, and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. The series draws talent from all over the U.S., Central America, South America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. GNCC Racing is televised live on RacerTV.com. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.

About eMTB Racing

The Specialized Turbo eMTB GNCC National Championship brings off-road racing and pedal-assist or electric bicycles together for an eight-round championship produced by Racer Productions. Much like a typical cross-country racing event, these races feature varied terrain featuring hills, rocks, roots, and more but are limited to electric, or pedal assist model mountain bikes only. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.

How to Watch

Racer TV is the official home for coverage of the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) events. Racer TV provides live streaming coverage of the 2 p.m. pro ATV and 1 p.m. pro motorcycle races from each event. Catch all the action at http://www.racertv.com/.

About the American Motorcyclist Association

Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders’ interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com. Not a member? Join the AMA today: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join.