Helen Wyman (Kona-FSA) secured a solo victory at the Great Brewers Gran Prix of Gloucester held at the Stage Fort Park in Gloucester, Massachusetts. She opened a strong lead during the penultimate lap and finished with the win ahead of Andrea Smith (LadiesFirst Racing) in second. After leading the opening lap by nearly 20 seconds, Nicole Duke (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) slipped to third place on the day.
“I have never raced against Helen and I have heard so much about her so I was excited to race with her today,” Duke said. “It was nice to sit behind her a little bit today and see where her strengths and weaknesses were. I was just thankful just to get third.”
The event marked the opening round of the newly established Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series. Wyman will lead the series heading into round two at the UCI C2 Gran Prix of Gloucester held on Sunday.
The Elite women’s field gathered at the start line prepared to contest the 40-minute UCI C1 Gran Prix of Gloucester. Some of the top riders in the mix included Wyman (Kona-FSA Factory Team), Sally Annis (Crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles), Kaitlin Antonneau and Nicole Duke (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com), Gabby Day (Renner Custom), Mo Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill), Caroline Mani (SRAM), Laura van Gilder (C3 p/b Mellow Mushroom) Andrea Smith (LadiesFirst Racing) and Rebecca Wellons (Quad Cycles).
“It was an epic day today and my first C1 ‘cross race,” Van Gilder said. “The field was very deep and the racing was full on from the beginning.”
Course conditions were some-what wet resulting in a combination of tacky and slippery mud sections. New to the course this year was a fly-over and a steep stair step run up, a lengthy sand pit and an off camber hillside that forced many riders to get off their bikes and run for efficiency.
“It has been raining here, all yesterday too, and it kind of started to clear up today,” Duke said. “It was foggy and wet drizzle today but then for our race the sun came out. It started gumming up the course, which was kind of sticky. The sun started to dry up and later in the day the course got faster.”
Duke opened up a nearly 20-second margin ahead of her competitors on the first lap. Wyman worked her way up to Duke followed by Smith, Antonneau, Day and Van Gilder. However, it became clear within the opening laps that barring mechanicals or bad luck, the battle for the race win was going to be between the three strongest competitors: Duke, Wyman and Smith.
“I noticed in the beginning people were having problems on the technical sections and I was able to roll through them a little quicker,” Duke said. “I decided in the first significant technical section to overtake Helen for the lead. I figured that if I could keep gapping them through those sections I could get away. Helen was stronger than me in the flats and I just lost it and by body wasn’t responding the way it usually does.”
The trio tried to out match one another during sections of the course the suited their individual strengths. It was Wyman who appeared to be the strongest of the lead group. She opened up a small lead during the closing laps ahead of Smith who was riding in a comfortable second place and Duke who slide into the third place position. “Helen and Andrea eventually came around me and I couldn’t hold on,” Duke said. “It was survival for third after that.”
Not too far behind, Antonneau and Van Gilder fought to stay in contention for a podium place. Antonneau nearly closed in on her teammate Duke and placed fourth. However, Van Gilder slid into sixth place.
“I am disappointed with sixth place but you had to be on your game today and mistake free, which I was not,” Van Gilder said. “I was rallying for a fourth place position and not really in contention for the top three. But, I gave it my all and happy to be back in Gloucester because it’s a great event.”
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Helen Wyman (GBr) KONA/FSA Factory Team||0:41:03|
|2||Andrea Smith (USA) Ladies First||0:00:18|
|3||Nicole Duke (USA) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld||0:00:47|
|4||Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld||0:00:59|
|5||Gabriella Day (GBr) Renner Custom cyclo cross team||0:01:06|
|6||Laura Van Gilder (USA) Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers||0:01:10|
|7||Sally Annis (USA) crossresults.com p/b JRA cycles||0:01:48|
|8||Crystal Anthony (USA) Ladies First||0:01:58|
|9||Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill||0:02:08|
|10||Carolyn Popovic (USA)||0:02:11|
|11||Nicole Thiemann (USA) Team CF-Elite||0:02:12|
|12||Caroline Mani (Fra) BH-SuntourVienne Futuroscope||0:02:44|
|13||Catherine Sterling (USA) Bikeman.com||0:02:50|
|14||Arley Kemmerer (USA) Charm City Cycling LLC||0:03:08|
|15||Linnea Koons (USA) Embrocation Cycling Journal|
|16||Rebecca Blatt (USA) Team Kenda presented by Geargrinder||0:03:42|
|17||Elle Anderson (USA) LadiesFirst Racing||0:03:55|
|18||Ann D'Ambruoso (USA) LadiesFirst Racing||0:04:14|
|19||Katerine Northcott (USA) Beam Team Racing||0:04:21|
|20||Stacey Barbossa (USA) Elite Endurance Training Systems||0:04:23|
|21||Rebecca Wellons (USA) Quad Cycles||0:04:44|
|22||Melissa Ross (USA) Team Kenda presented by Geargrinder||0:04:48|
|23||Frances Morrison (USA) J.A.M. Fund/NCC||0:05:10|
|24||Brittlee Bowman (USA) crossresults.com p/b JRA cycles||0:05:18|
|25||Christina Tamilio (USA) LadiesFirst Racing||0:05:25|
|26||Kathryn Roszko (USA) BikeReg.com Cycling Club||0:05:31|
|27||Sarah Krzysiak (USA) Team NYCROSS.com||0:05:35|
|28||Jennifer Maxwell (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team||0:05:40|
|29||Cassandra Maximenko (USA) silverbull centralwheel||0:05:59|
|30||Lauren Kling (USA) New England Athletic Cyclocross||0:06:06|
|31||Bryna Blanchard (USA)||0:06:14|
|32||Melissa Bunn (Can) Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery||0:06:23|
|33||Lauri Webber (USA) Independent Fabrication Racing|
|34||Vicki Thomas (Can) Ottawa.cx||0:07:12|
|35||Marian Jamison (USA)||0:07:24|
|36||Jocelyn Mauldin (USA) NEBC p/b Cycle Loft||0:07:34|
|37||Rebecca Frederick (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies/LSV||0:07:36|
|38||Jessica Kutz (USA) Pennsylvania State University||0:07:49|
|39||Samantha Dery (USA)||0:07:50|
|40||Molly Hurford (USA) SignatureCycles/Rockstar Games||0:08:23|
|41||Nancy Labbe-Giguere (Can) LadiesFirst Racing||0:08:49|
|42||Kathleen Wulfkuhle (USA) Charm City Cycling LLC||0:09:17|
|43||Anna Milkowski (USA) Wheelworks Racing||0:09:51|
|44||Kerry Litka (USA) NorEast Cycling|
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