Known throughout the Northeast as 'New England world's,' the October 29-30 double treat of the Michelob ULTRA Grand Prix of Cyclocross races at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester, Mass., marks the East Coast debut of the 2005 Crank Brothers US Gran Prix of Cyclocross. The traditional seaside venue, long one of the highlights of New England circuit, attracts riders from all over North America with its guarantee of big crowds, fast racing, and a grab bag of weather conditions. Whether soaked in late October sun or blasted by ocean-driven rain, Gloucester's sweeping sandy race course never fails to foster back-and-forth racing with thrilling sprint finishes.
Coming into the Gloucester weekend elite men's and women's leaders Ryan Trebon (Kona) and Lyne Bessette (Cyclocrossworld.com-Louis Garneau) carry some great form and momentum into the event. Bessette has yet to finish off the top step of the podium this year; her winning streak stands at six coming into this race, and Trebon won the UCI Cat 1 Wooden Wheels Cyclocross in Granogue last weekend, finishing second the following day in Philadelphia. The return of local hero and two-time Gloucester winner, Tim Johnson (Cyclocrossworld.com-Louis Garneau) to the seaside course remains one of the weekend's highlights for New England 'cross fans.
Johnson will be joined in the Elite Men's race by local contenders Mark McCormack and Jesse Anthony (Team Clif Bar), Adam Craig (Giant), and out-of-towners Barry Wicks (Kona), Ben Jacques-Maynes (Kodak Gallery-Sierra Nevada), and Belgium's Sten Raeymakers. Bessette will face the blue-and-pink Velo Bella machine led by Barbara Howe, along with Christine Vardaros, Melodie Metzger, and Sarah Kerlin. Rising star Georgia Gould (Kona) and local Massachusetts talent Maureen Bruno Roy (Independent Fabrication) will also figure prominently in the Elite Women's mix.
"We're really excited to once again host the third and fourth stops of the U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross", said Paul Boudreau, promoter of the Gloucester events. There will be a host of events to supplement the racing, including a post-race Michelob ULTRA party at the Rhumbline in Gloucester, the New England debut of the cyclo-cross film "puresweethell" and the ECV Kids Race, which will be run promptly at 1:00 pm in the upper infield of the Stage Fort Park course. For more information, go to www.gpgloucester.com