What was supposed to be a double-header weekend for the United States Cross-Country Snowmobile Racing Association January 1-2 turned into a single, non-points race weekend when blizzards forced road closures in the Eastern North Dakota area.
Though no points were earned at the Grafton 100, it set the stage for the USCC season with stiff competition and plenty of drama.
The USCC heads to Grand Forks, North Dakota, for the Simonson Station Stores Grand Cities 100 on January 15. Originally scheduled for January 2, the postponed event will be the first points race on the USCC schedule.
Among the riders carrying momentum into Grand Forks will be Ross Erdman who is on a new team, RVP/Dootalk.com/Ski-Doo. Erdman set the fastest lap at Grafton, almost a full five seconds faster than anyone else. Christian Brothers Racing/Arctic Cat teammates Brian Dick and D.J. Ekre return as defending FXR Pro 600 and Arctic Cat Pro Open points champions respectively. Veteran USCC racer Gabe Bunke set fast lap in the Arctic Cat Pro Open class at Grafton but bad luck kept him from getting a good result.
Last year’s Seven Clans 7-7-7 Challenge winner Aaron Christensen and Christian Brothers Racing/Arctic Cat fast guy Ryan Simons were both on the brink of winning the FXR Pro 600 race at Grafton before crashes dropped them back on the time sheets.
Throw the 2010 Red Lake I-500 winner Dan Ebert, Grafton winner Corey Davidson and former Pro National snocross winner and X Games gold medalist Justin Tate in the mix and Grand Forks is set to be an intense weekend of cross-country racing.
The Simonson Station Stores Grand Cities 100 will be run in and around the city of Grand Forks. The course will consist of a challenging mix of ditch, river and woods running and with the amount of snow on hand it should get plenty rough.
“The Grand Forks race is unique in that it is run basically right in the middle of town,” said USCC President Pat Mach. “It’s a great opportunity for cross-country fans to see some great racing without having to travel too far.”
Fans will also be able to follow the race via the USCC’s online streaming broadcast by logging on to www.usccracing.com. Racers are encouraged to get their race entries in to the USCC office early.