The Progressive Grand National Cross Country Series (GNCC) kicks off the 2024 season this weekend, February 17-18 with the VP Racing Fuels Big Buck GNCC in Union, South Carolina.

The new season always brings out a bright and shiny set of riders, teams and bikes but the 2024 GNCC series promises much with some heavyweight changes including Steward Baylor running his own Kawasaki team including Thad Duvall and Rachel Archer, Jordan Ashburn moving to GasGas, Josh Strang shifting to Sherco with his own set-up.

Sunday, the XC1 Open Pro class will take to the track at 1pm with Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Craig DeLong will sporting the number one plate. He teams up once again with Trevor Bollinger in the Husky camp and is surely one of the riders hoping for a better turn of luck this season.


Runner-up in 2023, Steward Baylor, starts this ‘24 with the same goals he’s had for the last decade, to claim that title. With a fresh team Rocky Mountain Red Bear Kawasaki under his management it’s the big man’s second season running his own show and it continues to grow with fellow “veteran” rider Thad Duvall clearly loving joining Stew on the green machines.

In the FMF KTM Factory Racing camp things are a little different too with Ben Kelley out for the start of the season due to injury and with Dante Oliveira lining up alongside Johnny Girroir.

Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Jordan Ashburn is another rider who made a switch in the off-season and will race alongside Ryder Lafferty in XC1 while AmPro Yamaha retain ‘23 race winner Ricky Russell.

Another notable change for the 2024 season is Josh Strang aboard his own programme with backing from Sherco as he looks to debut his JS Sherco Racing team in South Carolina.

Quartet battling for XC2 250 Pro class

In the XC2 250 Pro class, AmPro Yamaha’s Liam Draper defends his title up against FMF KTM Factory Racing Team Landers’ Angus Riordan who will both naturally be two of the favorites after last season. Ditto the Phoenix Racing Honda team riders Cody Barnes and Ruy Barbosa.

After last year’s champion, Bells Electric Race Team’s Toby Cleveland, made the move up to the XC2 25 Pro class it looks like Jhak Walker, Dakoda Devore or Kibuk Cycles Steel City Medical Clinic Josh Lojak’s House of Speeds’ Sawyer Carratura could be front runners in the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class this season.

Rachel Archer the rider to beat in WXC

The Women’s class defending champion Rachael Archer will compete aboard her new team Rocky Mountain Red Bear Kawasaki and look to kick off where she left off at the front of the pack.

Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna Racing’s new signing for the season, Korie Steede will aim for that WXC National Championship as will Sherco USA’s new signing Rachel Gutish and (we think) Tayla Jones also back form injury and all aiming at the all-conquering Archer.


Big Buck dirt - like sand but not sand

The soil at Big Buck isn’t a sandy soil that people associate with South Carolina. It’s more of a clay base that can get slick when wet, gets very silty and almost feels like sand when it’s dry.

The course is winding and can be tight. In fact, the quads usually have a section of tight trail, and the bikes have their own section of even tighter trail. If you’re not a single-track expert, don’t worry, the sections are short and multiple lines open up.

Before the event kicks off this weekend, be sure to check out the Progressive GNCC Kickstart Party powered by Monster Energy on Thursday evening, February 15. Come meet your favorite GNCC racers and get their autographs from 6 – 8 pm while there will be giveaways, food, beer and more from 5 – 10 pm at Magnetic South Brewery located at 701 Easley Bridge Road, Greenville, South Carolina.


Big Buck GNCC will run a modified schedule with ATV Youth racing at 8 am, Bike Micro at 8:30 am, ATV Micro at 9:15 am, ATV Amateur at 10 am, ATV Pro at 1 pm and Bike Youth at 4 pm on Saturday, February 17.

Then on Sunday, February 18, Bike Amateur Race 1 will race at 8 am, followed by Bike Amateur Race 2 at 10 am and Bike Pro at 1 pm.

For a full weekend schedule, and list of classes in each Bike Amateur race, check out the Big Buck Event Page.


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Photo Credit: Mack Faint