Rain began to hit the course early on Day 2 of the Gran Prix of Gloucester, creating a thick mud which would be a defining feature of this race and shape the day’s events, as most of the day’s races averaged about 11-minute laps. A race that attracts the superstars of cyclocross, in attendance were also all ranges of cycling enthusiasts and cyclocross racers with families in tow. Stage Fort Park in Gloucester, MA offers spectators a chance to watch the races unfold as competitors snake through trademark off-cambers, a long, muddy run-up, and a loose, sandy beach section. Crowds braved the classic cyclocross weather not only to cheer on their favorite professional cyclocrossers, but also to race in the amateur and intermediate fields early in the day and stop by the Shimano tent to peruse the latest products. Juniors aged 10-14 took to the course early in the day while even younger aspiring racers faced their own scaled-down course around the park’s gazebo.
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In the Elite women’s race strongwoman Helen Wyman (Kona) once again rode away from her field early on, cranking through the mud as a group gathered to chase her down. Nicole Duke (Raleigh/Clement), Rapha-Focus teammates Gabby Day and Julie Krasniak and Mo Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill) mustered to work together chasing Wyman. Several attacks from the group broke the four apart, however, and Duke got away with Day and Bruno Roy next. Bruno Roy was in her element on this challenging and technical course, cranking along through the thick mud. Meredith Miller (CalGiatn/Specialized) added some fuel to the fire and bridged up to the chase group just as Duke was getting away from it to hunt Wyman on her own.
However, British cyclocross champion Wyman’s gap grew to such a comfortable distance, 30 seconds or more, that she was able to focus on a smooth, conservative ride, not taking any chances in the slick mud. Day left the chase group behind, catching Duke and immediately passing her to finish in second, with Duke following for third. “I could feel her breathing down my neck. Day is riding so strong right now,” said Duke. Bruno Roy had a great race in her favorite kind of course conditions for a fourth place finish.
Now with two wins at Gloucester to add to her stateside winning streak, Wyman loves coming to race in New England during the early autumn. “It’s the people,” she says. Of the New England courses, she says “while races in Belgium are very epic, races in New England have many cool features making it really challenging.”
The Elite men took to the course as rain began to fall in Gloucester once again. Dylan McNicholas (cyclocrossworld.com) made a bold move off the line to lead the field through the initial chewed-up, slick turns. Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus), Cannonadale-cyclocrossworld.comd duo of Ryan Trebon and Tim Johnson and Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement) jumped to the lead after the first long, sloppy run-up, McNicholas still hanging on with Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com) in tow. The group was followed closely by Nicolas Bazin (Auber 93), Ian Field (Hargroves), and Zach McDonald (Rapha-Focus).
Trebon attacked, putting the group in significant pain, but Powers matched Trebon and bridged back across to the leader. Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com dominated the front of the race with Johnson and Driscoll swapping places back and forth for third and forth, trying to catch on to teammate Trebon. Berden clung on, and these five maintained their 20-second lead on Bazin, Field, and McDonald behind them. Trebon went on the attack, gaining a 30-second lead on Powers, who suddenly found Berden in his rearview. Trebon rode clean away to a solid victory on a challenging course, as Berden and Powers traded attacks, staying together until they hit the pavement the final time. The second and third podium positions were decided with a sprint, with Powers taking second right at the line.
Trebon was happy to win what he called “the best ‘cross race in New England.” Powers, not disappointed about his second place finish, said, “I was happy to race my heart out here in front of so many fans.”
Now that the Gran Prix of Gloucester has kicked off the Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series and launched New England’s Holy Week of Cyclocross, the biggest week of cyclocross racing in the U.S., the action will continue in Providence this weekend at the Providence Cyclocross Festival October 6 & 7. This venue was the home of the 2005 and 2006 U.S. National Cyclocross Championships. With the first day of the Providence Cyclocross Festival ranked as a UCI Category 1 race, the greats of cyclocross will surely be in attendance.
GP Gloucester Elite Women Top 10
1. Helen Wyman, Kona Factory Racing
2. Gabriella Day, Rapha-Focus
3. Nicole Duke, Raleigh/Clement
4. Maureen Bruno Roy, Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles
5. Julie Krasniak, Rapha-Focus
6. Meredith Miller, Cal Giant/Specialized
7. Wendy Simms, Frontrunners
8. Mary Mcconneloug, Team KENDA-Seven-NoTubes
9. Andrea Smith, LadiesFirst Racing
10. Crystal Anthony, Cyclocrossworld.com
GP Gloucester Elite Men Top 10
1. Ryan Trebon, Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com
2. Jeremy Powers, Rapha-Focus
3. Ben Berden, Raleigh/Clement
4. Tim Johnson, Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com
5. Zach McDonald, Rapha-Focus
6. Jamey Driscoll, Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com
7. Ian Field, Hargroves Cycles – Specialized
8. Nicolas Bazin, Team AUBER 93
9. Tristan Schouten, Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
10. Yannick Eckmann, Cal Giant/Specialized