September 29, 2012 (Gloucester, MA) – The first day of the Gran Prix of Gloucester in Gloucester, MA drew top-tier racers from all over the world, lured by today’s UCI Category 1 race on the opening day of the Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series. World-class competitors are drawn to New England for the Holy Week of Cyclocross, featuring two of North America’s best races, both including UCI Category 1 races: the Gran Prix of Gloucester and the Providence Cyclocross Festival, only about 70 miles and one week apart.
Racers at the first day of the 2012 Gran Prix of Gloucester faced the course’s trademark off-camber hillside spirals, but with the added challenge of slick mud and deep ruts formed by the wheels of racers in the sold-out races earlier in the day. A long, steep run-up from the beach to the top level of the course sent the riders into thick, tire-gripping mud and challenging turns best suited to the technically proficient racers.
The women’s race got underway under cloudy skies along the ocean’s edge as Great Britain National Cyclocross Champion Helen Wyman, on a stateside winning streak, lined up front and center, with fellow British racer Gabby Day right alongside her. Wyman, in her trademark style, opened a gap early on, with a group of Day, Meredith Miller (Cal Giant/Specialized), hometown sweetheart Crystal Anthony (Cyclocrossworld.com), and Andrea Smith (LadiesFirst) working together to chase Wyman down. Wyman’s gap was strong, however, and she maintained a solid lead until Day launched a flaming attack mid-race. Miller and Anthony, meanwhile, broke away from the field in a race for the final podium spot. Day’s amazing move got her within sight of Wyman, but was not enough to take the win away, and Miller eventually dropped her hammer on Anthony, a newcomer to the front of the Elite race, and took the third podium spot. This surely won’t be the last we hear from Anthony, however, who appears to be only improving this season.
Next up, the Elite men took to the start grid and launched their first race of the Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series. The fight at the front of the race pitted the giants of North American cyclocross, including two New Englanders, Tim Johnson (Cyclocrossworld/Cannondale) and Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) along with Oregonian Ryan Trebon (Cyclocrossworld/Cannondale) against top European talent, including Frenchman Nicolas Bazin, British National Cyclocross Champion Ian Field, and Belgian Ben Berden.
Although Powers started the race a ways back due to a missed pedal at the start, he eventually worked his way up to make a group of six leaders. It was apparent that crowd favorite Johnson was on top of his form and wanted the win as he led the group around the off-cambers and over the barriers. With the help of teammate Trebon and US Cyclocross Champion Powers, Johnson broke from the Europeans, creating a gap that would endure for the remainder of the race. Trebon first moved into the lead, and Powers followed, gapping Johnson. Berden looked strong, threatening to edge his way up to challenge Johnson for the last podium spot, but Johnson’s excellent form and smooth riding held Berden off. Powers rode away from Trebon to win it, with Johnson not far behind for third.
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. Next 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.
For more series information and to follow the action as it unfolds, follow @NEproCX on Twitter for live race tweets and visit www.NEPCX.com.
1. Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Racing 0:43:09
2. Gabriella Day (Gbr) Rapha – Focus 0:43:15
3. Meredith Miller (USA) Cal Giant/Specialized 0:43:33
4. Crystal Anthony (USA) Cyclocrossworld.com 0:43:41
5. Mary Mcconneloug (USA) Team KENDA-Seven-NoTubes 0:43:42
6. Julie Krasniak (Fra) Rapha – Focus 0:43:44
7. Andrea Smith (USA) LadiesFirst Racing 0:43:44
8. Kaitlin Antonneau* (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com 0:44:21
9. Elle Anderson (USA) LadiesFirst Racing 0:44:21
10. Arley Kemmerer (USA) C3-Athletes Serving Athletes 0:44:44
12. Wendy Simms (Can) Frontrunners 0:44:53
17. Natasha Elliott (Can) The Cyclery 0:46:27
20. Julie Lafreniere (Can) Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery 0:46:58
21. Evelyn Blouin (Can) RealDealRacing.com 0:47:15
24. Jamie Gilgen (Can) Kallisto/Wheels of Oakville 0:47:19
40. Emily Flynn (Can) Tommy & Lefebvre Cycling 0:49:55
Elite Women’s full results HERE.
1. Jeremy Powers (USA) RAPHA-FOCUS 1:00:13
2. Ryan Trebon (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com 1:00:29
3. Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com 1:00:35
4. Ben Berden (Bel) Raleigh / Clement 1:00:52
5. Ian Field (Gbr) Hargroves Cycles – Specialized 1:00:59
6. James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com 1:01:23
7. Zach McDonald* (USA) Rapha – Focus 1:01:50
8. Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Team AUBER 93 1:02:07
9. Brian Matter (USA) Gear Grinder / Clif Bar 1:02:12
10. Jesse Anthony (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 1:02:13
16. Evan McNeely* (Can) Specialized Canada 1:03:26
23. Craig Richey (Can) SponsorConnected.com 1:04:13
32. Andrew L’Esperance* (Can) Norco Factory Team 1:06:26
33. Joel Desgreniers (Can) Ride With Rendall 1:06:26
34. Mike Garrigan (Can) StageRace 1:06:28
37. Marc-Andre Daigle (Can) Garneau-Quebecor 1:06:38
42. Garrett McLeod (Can) Team H&R BLOCK -1 Lap
49. Patrick Chartrand* (Can) Les Yables / Rocky Mountain -1 Lap
50. Jean-Philippe Thibault-Roberge (Can) Trek-Bontrager -1 Lap
52. Felix Wilberg* (Can) Unattached -2 Laps
53. Sylvain Jean (Can) Unattached -2 Laps
62. Matteo Dal-Cin* (Can) Ride With Rendall -2 Laps
64. Thierry Laliberte (Can) Xprezo-Borsao -2 Laps
66. Pierre-Olivier Boily (Can) Siboire -3 Laps
77. Kiernan Orange * (Can) Ride with Rendall -4 Laps
DNF Conor O’Brien (Can) Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery
DNF Derrick St John (Can) Stevens p/b The Cyclery
Elite Men’s full results HERE.