SNOWSHOE; Snowshoe, WV — The eighth round of the 2012 Grand National Cross Country Series took place at what is perhaps the most loved and most hated venue on the 13-race schedule.

Snowshoe is unique in many ways. It takes place at the plush Snowshoe Mountain ski resort, which offers upscale lodging, restaurants and many fun off-track activities. Ski lifts provide spectators with easy course viewing access. The race starts in waves on pavement right in the village, just like the legendary Blackwater GNCC event that took place not far from here.

When the riders get out on course, however, all the comforts and quirks disappear and are replaced by what is arguably the roughest, toughest course of the year. The challenge is compounded by an elevation of 4242 feet, which becomes an issue for both man and machine.

But our Team ITP cross country competitors proved to be up to the challenge, scoring wins and podium finishes with a number of ITP QuadCross and Holeshot tire selections.

A big congratulations goes out once again to Dave Simmons (Yam), who captured his eighth straight Super Senior 45+ class victory. He was also third overall in the morning race among 219 entries. Simmons won the 50+ Masters class in 2011 and “dropped down” to the next younger age group for an added incentive in 2012, but he seems to be improving with age.

Speaking of the Masters 50+ class, Ohio’s Glenn McConnell (Yam) climbed another podium with second place. This finish moved him up to second for the season in the class point standings.

Angel Atwell (Hon) finished out of the top three for the first time this year, but fourth place kept her in second place in the points and still in championship contention.

In afternoon racing at Snowshoe, Patrick McGuire (Yam) finished a close second in the XC2 Pro Am race. This accomplishment extended his championship points lead considerably. He’s only finished outside the top five one time all season.

Greg’s ATV-sponsored Matt Hanna (Yam) continued his recent run of top XC2 Pro Am performances with his fourth consecutive top-three ride, placing third in class. This moved him ever closer toward the upper end of the standings as he now holds fourth.

And talk about toughing it out, XC1 Pro contender Adam McGill (Hon) gave it a go despite some serious injuries sustained while training a couple of weeks earlier. McGill was able to run one lap in an attempt to salvage some points; he now holds fifth in the premier class standings.

The next event takes place at the Wiseco John Penton GNCC in Millfield, Ohio, July 7-8.

Photos by Amy McConnell, XCountry Photos

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