On an early New England autumn weekend, the 29th and 30th of September, the Gran Prix of Gloucester will open the prestigious Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series in an unforgettable seaside location. Known for more than just its classic cyclocross course, the GP Gloucester remains the largest cyclocross event in New England, hosting teeming crowds of spectators and Elite racers from all over the world at the beautiful and historic Stage Fort Park right at the edge of the Atlantic.
The first day of racing marks the first UCI Category 1 race of the season to be held in the New England, making GP Gloucester one of the biggest cycling events in the region. Helen Wyman (Kona), the British National Cyclocross Champion who won the Elite Women’s race on both days of last year’s GP Gloucester, promises to present a hearty challenge to her competitors, which include Gabby Day (Rapha-Focus), Kaitie Antonneau (Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com), Meredith Miller (Calgiant/Specialized), Crystal Anthony (cyclocrossworld.com) and Andrea Smith (LadiesFirst Racing). The Elite Men’s race will almost certainly be a battle between the Rapha-Focus team with reigning USA cyclocross champion Jeremy Powers and Chris Jones and the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com squad of Ryan Trebon, Tim Johnson and Jamey Driscoll.
Most significantly, a total of over 1700 racers is registered for 16 completely sold-out races across categories geared toward men and women, juniors and masters, in a range of abilities and experience. GP Gloucester challenges area racers to tackle the same grueling beach runs and technical grass turns that the Elite champions will later in the day.
GP Gloucester not only kicks off the Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series, it also launches New England’s Holy Week of Cyclocross, the biggest week of cyclocross racing in the US. The following weekend, October 6 & 7, the Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series heads to the 2005 and 2006 U.S. National Cyclocross Championships venue for the Providence Cyclocross Festival. With the first day of the Providence Cyclocross Festival also ranked as a UCI Category 1 race, Gloucester and Providence offer two Category 1 races within 75 miles of each other in one week.
The series will then visit Northampton, Massachusetts, where racers will enjoy the classic New England racing at Look Park with Cycle-Smart International on November 3 & 4, the oldest UCI cyclocross race in the US. The grand finale unfolds at Goddard Park in Warwick, Rhode Island as the final points are tallied in the competition to determine the series winners at the NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross on December 1 & 2.