Features 5 Apr 2022

Five Questions: Lyndon Snodgrass

GNCC XC2 title contender on his 2022 season and US career so far.

Over the past two seasons, 24-year-old Victorian Lyndon Snodgrass has been steadily making a name for himself as woods racer with serious pace in the US-based GNCC Racing series. Four rounds into the 2022 championship, the Babbitt’s Online Monster Energy Kawasaki rider is just one point off the XC2 title lead after a breakout victory at the Tiger Run round in South Carolina. MotoOnline caught up with him to ask him Five Questions.

Image: Supplied.

How did it feel to get your first GNCC win of the season last weekend?

To be honest, I wanted a round victory sooner than this, but at the same time I was pumped to get it down at round four. It was held at the same property that we raced for round one, where I finished second, but the conditions were totally different – it’d dried up a bit and was dustier, faster, and with more square edges. I got off to a decent start, but I had a fall on the opening lap and a couple of guys got around me. By the end of that lap I’d worked my way back into third, then on lap two I got past Ruy Barbosa, who was in second. I got onto the back of the leader, Michael Witkowski and we battled back and forth for two laps or so. Then he crashed behind me on the third-to-last lap and I was able to manage the race from there for a nice, comfortable win.

What are your thoughts on the championship now that you’re in your third season of the GNCCs?

I love it. I’ve always preferred cross-country racing of the typical sprint formats that usually go down in Australia and the sheer size of the GNCCs is amazing. At some rounds we get 2000 entries, which is hard to even comprehend. The scene here is a huge deal and it’s a lot of fun to be part of. The races are usually pretty long – my race time last weekend was about three hours nine minutes, so you need to be both physically and mentally strong to be able to stay on the gas for that amount of time.

Image: Supplied.

Which things have been the hardest part to get used to?

Probably getting used to the tracks and the racecraft you need to be a front-runner. With so many riders out on the course, it’s hard to pick the right lines. When you look at the track the day before the race, you need to be able to remember a lot of lines and pre-determine where you’re going to go beforehand. There’s a certain racecraft you need for these events – with so many lapped riders you’ve got to be mentally ready for anything. You’re constantly passing people during the race and they’re tired, so you don’t quite know what they’re going to do. You’ve got to be prepared for them to go anywhere. It takes a bit to adjust to that, but once you the hang of it, it starts to come a little more naturally.

Who are you living with over there?

There are a lot of Australians over here racing GNCCs now and I live in South Carolina with Mason Semmens and 17-year-old Angus Riordan – Angus is a fast up-and-coming Aussie who finished third in XC2 last weekend and is fourth overall in the series. We’re only 10 minutes away from Josh Strang, so we all ride and train together regularly and have a lot of fun together. When I first moved to the States I lived with Josh and he’s been really helpful. We’re obviously on the same team together and I’ve learnt a lot from him, riding together during the week, mountain-biking the track together and talking before the race. He’s still killing it and getting podiums, but is more than happy to share his experiences and what he’s learnt over the years.

Where would you say success looks like for you in 2022?

My goal is to win the XC2 class this year, but I’m still taking it race by race. There’s only one point between myself and Michael Witkowski at the moment, so we’re definitely in the hunt. I’m going to keep working at it and keep aiming for consistent results. Hopefully there’ll be a few more wins along the way, but the ultimate goal is the title. Over here there’s not so much of an emphasis on outright victories, so we’ll keep focused on XC2 and keep trying to put the Kawasaki on top of the podium.