New Berlin, NY (9/10/2011)
- Chris Borich came out on top of a hard-fought
battle with Chris Bithell and Adam McGill to top
the XC1 division at this year's Can-Am Unadilla
GNCC in New Berlin, New York. However, it was
XC2 rider Walker Fowler who claimed the overall
victory, edging Borich on adjusted time by just
over six seconds at the end of the two-hour race.
After getting off to a mid-pack start Borich
moved into the lead midway into the race, the
Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider hooking up with
GT Thunder-backed Brian Wolf at the front as
the two riders pulled away from the rest of
the pack. However, due to the relatively short
length of the course, it wasn't long before
the two front-runners ran into lappers, allowing
Foremost Insurance/Warnert Racing Can-Am teammates
Bithell and McGill to catch up. For the next
few laps, the four front-runners took turns
leading the race.
"It was a good battle once those guys
caught up," explained Borich. "Me,
Wolf, Bithell and McGill were like a train,
battling back and forth for awhile."
On the final lap, Borich passed McGill when
the Can-Am rider took a different line, which
moved Borich into second behind Bithell. With
less than half a mile to go in the race, Borich
made a bold pass on Bithell to take the lead,
jumping one of Unadilla's huge motocross jumps.
"Bithell checked up and I knew I had to
make a move so I thought, 'okay, this is it,'
and I just hit it hammer-down," said Borich.
At the finish, Borich took the checkers with
about two seconds to spare over Bithell, with
McGill finishing third another three seconds
While Borich battled for the XC1 win up front,
Fowler cut loose from the rest of the XC2 pack
- which started on row two - and concentrated
on catching the XC1 riders. After hooking up
with Ballance Racing Yamaha teammate Taylor
Kiser at the halfway point of the race, Fowler
was able to gain enough time to pull ahead of
the XC1 riders on adjusted time and take the
"I really owe Taylor a whole lot for this
win," said Fowler. "I caught up with
him with three laps to go. I led him a lap and
then I pulled over and let him go and he set
a really good pace and we picked up a lot of
time. As soon as I tapped him he pulled over
and started pushing me as hard as he could.
I think the amount I won by... I owe that amount
The Unadilla race marked the second time this
year that Fowler has clamed the overall win,
the first coming at the Rock Run in Pennsylvania.
However, Borich was still pleased to have gained
valuable points in the XC1 championship standings,
and now leads McGill by a whopping 36 points
in the XC1 title chase.
"It's good to get the class win, but in
the overall, I didn't know Walker was that close
[in overall time]," said Borich. "It's
so hard to keep your pace not knowing where
someone is at. I'm looking forward to Walker
moving up and actually having to race us head-to-head."
Fowler also claimed the win in the XC2 class,
making his ninth win in a row in the division,
and wrapping up the 2011 Can-Am Grand National
Cross Series XC2 class championship with four
rounds remaining on the schedule.