Today marked the first day of a weekend of racing at Great Brewers Gran Prix of Gloucester at the seaside Stage Fort Park in Gloucester, MA, drawing teeming crowds to cheer on the world-class racers. A far cry from last year’s muddy slogfest, the first day of the Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series presented by Verge today was dry, dusty, and fast. Despite four dismounts in each lap, racers turned incredibly fast lap times as their wheels cut through the loose, sandy corners on the expertly designed course.
See more photos in the gallery
With a strong showing of top-level racers, the Elite women’s race was anything but decided. Bets were on Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Racing) who took the helm immediately. The crowd waited for the European Cyclocross Champion’s signature move: riding away from the field early for a decisive win of thirty seconds; however, Gabby Durrin (Rapha-FOCUS), Elle Anderson (California Giant Berry Farns/Specialized) and Crystal Anthony (Optum Racing p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) matched Wyman move for move.
Caroline Mani (Raleigh Clement) and Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized) formed a chase group in an attempt to reel in the leaders, but a fire was lit under the lead group as Anderson made a bold attack with one lap to go. Her gap stuck, the pressure caused Wyman to fall off Durrin and Anthony. Anderson’s hard work paid off, as she crossed the line with a solid lead on Durrin in second and Anthony in third. In fourth was Wyman, with Miller besting Mani for fifth.
The Elite men’s star-studded field hit the course next. Ben Berden (Raleigh Clement) pressed the pace right off the bat, creating a lead group of Jamey Driscoll (Raleigh Clement), Ryan Trebon (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld), and U23 National Champion Yannick Eckmann (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized). Behind them chased Shawn Milne (Keough Cyclocross), Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld), and Jeremy Durrin (Optum Racing p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies). Johnson kicked his motor into overdrive to connect with the leaders, as teammates Berden and Driscoll traded attacks on the group.
Jeremy Powers (Rapha-FOCUS) bridged up, bringing Milne and Jesse Anthony (Optum Racing p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) with him, forming a supergroup of the race’s biggest players. More attacks shattered the group, as Powers, Trebon, and Johnson rode away, Berden and Driscoll seconds behind. Trebon fell back to fifth after a flat, leaving Powers and Johnson to duke it out for the win. Powers attacked in the last half lap to win that battle, with Johnson taking second and Driscoll third. Berden was on Driscoll’s wheel for fourth, and Trebon nabbed fifth.
Complete results at crossresults.com
The Gran Prix of Gloucester will continue tomorrow with more exciting racing. Follow live race updates at @NEproCX on twitter.