Cycle News

Cycle News 2011 Issue 50 Dec 13

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 126 of 167

INTERVIEW P126 GRAND NATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPION CHARLIE MULLINS ON A TEAR STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY SHAN MOORE T he 2011 Grand National Cross Country Series started out as a three-man race, and looked to be a dogfight to the end. However, it finished up in a runaway, as Charlie Mullins finally ended his six-year quest for the XC1 title with a dominating flurry. At midseason, Mullins found himself locked in a tight battle with defending GNCC champ Josh Strang and '09 titleholder Paul Whibley. But he was clearly in a league of his own when the series wrapped up with a double-header at Loretta Lynn's. Though he suffered engine problems on Friday and finished a disappointing 14th, Mullins still had a big enough margin in the standings to claim the title on Sunday, winning the final race with nearly three minutes to spare over second. Mullins was the first American to win the XC1 title since Rodney Smith in 2004. Since then overseas visitors such as Juha Salminen, David Knight and Strang have dominated. So Mullins' title was a popular one with the GNCC regulars, which prompted a hectic and emotional scene at the finish line when Mullins took the checkers to clinch the title. But the year for Mullins was all about GNCC. He was also in a bitter fight for the AMA National Enduro title, which he lost 126-132 Mullins Interview.indd 126 12/9/11 2:22 PM

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