Cycle News

Cycle News 2021 Issue 50 December 14

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 102 of 179

INTERVIEW I 2 0 21 A M A G N C C N A T I O N A L C H A M P I O N B E N K E L L E Y P102 T his year's Grand National Cross Country Series Championship chase turned out to be one of the most exciting and heated finishes in series history, ending with both title rivals, Ben Kelley and Stew- ard Baylor, in a dramatic fight for survival in the rain and mud at Ironman Raceway. Despite any controversies there might have been leading up to the finale, in the end none of it mattered, and Kelley walked away with one of the most coveted titles in off- road: 2021 GNCC Champion. Kelley's rise to the top of off- road racing is not much different than most other kids who aspire to be championship dirt bike racers. Many go down the same path, however, few have the determination and drive to make it to the pinnacle like he has. Kelley has been a rising star in the off- road world since he raced his first ISDE Qualifier in Ohio in 2014. Growing up in Connecticut, Kelley started out racing the NETRA hare scrambles series. "I grew up in New England and there were no good places to just go and ride that were legal so the only place you could ride your dirt bike was to sign up for a race," said Kelley. "There were some pretty fast guys, I remember. I guess definitely one RIVER RUNS BEN KELLEY'S CHAMPIONSHIP RUN WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY SHAN MOORE

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