By Steve Medcroft
The Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross made two stops at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester, Massachusetts last weekend and racers were treated to two completely different sets of conditions. Heavy, wet snow chilled racers to the bone on Saturday while for Sunday's race, the sky cleared, the snow all melted, and the temperatures were moderate enough for shorts and sleeveless jerseys.
Saturday's blizzard turned what could have been a nice ride into a death march. Riders in shorts and thin gloves became sodden and frozen in the slushy downpour. The usually fast power course at Gloucester 's Stage Fort Park became a rutted, muddy and chaotic test of technical handling and will to survive. The only riders with any advantage in the race were the pair of solo winners; who were able to sit off the front and out of danger for most of their individual races. Those riders? Husband and wife Louis Garneau/cyclocrossworld.com teammates Lyne Bessette and Tim Johnson.
The turn in the weather for Sunday's race wasn't only a chance for Gloucester to redeem itself in the eyes of the field, but for Kona teammates Barry Wicks and Ryan Trebon to avenge the drubbing Johnson dished out twenty-four hours earlier. Trebon and Wicks took the hole shot and while Trebon motored off the front, Wicks dropped his tempo just enough to disrupt the rhythm of Johnson, Jesse Anthony (Team Clif Bar) and yesterday's second-place finisher Adam Craig (Giant). A frustrated Johnson tried to attack but was marked every time and Trebon stayed away to the finish.
In the women's race, Lyne Bessette simply did what she's been doing every race she's entered this year; taking the lead in the first lap and building a gap no-one can bridge. Bessette powered away from a field including the Kona trio of Georgia Gould, Canadian National Cyclocross Champion Wendy Simms and Ann Knapp and rode a time trial to the finish.
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