Monster Energy Athlete Paul Whibley made a successful return to racing at this weekend’s round of the Grand National Cross Country Series in St. Clairsville, Ohio, the Am Pro Yamaha rider finishing a strong third behind points leaders Charlie Mullins and Kailub Russell.
Whibley missed the previous two rounds of the series due to surgery he had three months ago to repair a sports hernia, however, the Am Pro Yamaha rider turned in his best performance of the year in Ohio.
“It’s been three months since the surgery, and I was happy to be back mixing it up with Charlie and Kailub,” said Whibley. “I have to say I’m quite pleased with my performance and I’m excited to be racing again.”
Whibley didn’t miss a beat when the flag dropped to start the three-hour race, as he grabbed his usual holeshot to lead the Pro pack out of the first turn to kick off the action. The Axe-man continued to lead for a lap-and-a-half before Mullins finally went by and into the lead.
“I was able to keep Charlie in sight for most of the first half of the race, and then Kailub Russell finally caught up and went by near the halfway point,” explained Whibley. “After that I was pretty much alone in third until the last two laps and then I gained a bit on Russell. He was trying to reel in Mullins but I think maybe he was still a bit tired from the ISDE.”
Whibley was less than eight seconds behind Russell when he took the checkered flag for third on the hard-packed and dusty course, and a full two minutes up on Josh Strang in fourth.
“I’m very pleased and I believe the surgery did what it was supposed to,” said Whibley. “I actually felt better on the bike today than I have in a long time. Before the surgery, it was difficult to take a long dab in a creek or somewhere and not feel pain. It’s good to finally get that taken care of.
The next round of the GNCC series is at Crawfordsville, Indiana, on October 27th for the Ironman GNCC.
Image courtesy Monster Energy