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Trebon, Knapp great in Gloucester

Ever since its days as a stop on the Super Cup circuit, the Gloucester, Massachusetts, cyclo-cross race has been lovingly referred to as “New England Nationals.” The implication, that every rider worth his or her salt makes an annual October pilgrimage to the seaside Gloucester course, seemed borne out by the inclusion of back-to-back Gloucester races in this year’s Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross.

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By Chris Milliman, Special to VeloNews

The hard-working Trebon outlasted Kabush

The hard-working Trebon outlasted Kabush

Photo: Chris Milliman

Ever since its days as a stop on the Super Cup circuit, the Gloucester, Massachusetts, cyclo-cross race has been lovingly referred to as “New England Nationals.” The implication, that every rider worth his or her salt makes an annual October pilgrimage to the seaside Gloucester course, seemed borne out by the inclusion of back-to-back Gloucester races in this year’s Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross. While the racecourse was changed only slightly from Saturday’s opener, improved weather and generally faster conditions proved the biggest players in Sunday’s fourth round of the Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross.

Dry conditions and unseasonably warm temperatures hardened the track, giving an admittedly rusty Ryan Trebon (Kona-Clark’s) all the help he needed to avenge Saturday’s second place with a sprint win over Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Giant), the man who won the first frame of the Bay State double-header. Ann Knapp (Kona) completed her weekend sweep, but had much more competition on the second day, only out-dueling Mary McConneloug in the final 200 meters of a competitive elite women’s event.

Knapp and McConneloug emerged from a four-rider move that developed after race leader Gina Hall (Cyclocrossworld.com) suffered a hard crash entering the course’s sandpit. Hall lost all of her 20-second lead and fell back a further minute as she took inventory of bike and body following a spill that would have ended many riders’ races. Barbara Howe (Velo Bella) and British national champion Louise Robinson (Pedro’s) drove the pace with McConneloug and Knapp, with Howe animating much of the mid-race activity.

“My coach told me that you can’t win a race unless you attack, so that’s how I raced,” said Howe of her active role in the lead quartet.

Knapp had to work a little harder today, too

Knapp had to work a little harder today, too

Photo: Chris Milliman

Howe eventually paid a price for her activity and both she and Robinson dropped off the back of the McConneloug-Knapp freight train in the final two laps. McConneloug attacked Knapp through the course’s tight switchback sections, but the open flat sections that followed proved too much of an opportunity for Knapp to chase back on. With neither rider strong enough to drop the other, the outcome seemed destined to come in a two-up sprint. Not knowing McConneloug’s sprinting skills, Knapp led out the Olympian and maintained her lead to the line.

“I thought she was a good sprinter, because she’s had a lot more cycling experience in the last couple years,” said Knapp, “so I went as hard as I could and it worked out well. I took a chance and was going to be happy with second if that’s what I got.”

“I felt good today,” said McConneloug. “But you never know what’s going to happen. This is only my third race of the season and I’m only getting started.”

Robinson rounded out the podium, while Hall valiantly chased back for fourth.

Trebon turned the tables on Kabush after an hour of back-and-forth racing with a powerful leading trio. Kabush, Trebon, and Todd Wells (GT-Hyundai) established the leading break after a furious opening couple laps in which several riders make fruitless bids for the lead. With Marc Gullickson (Redline) and Mark McCormack (Clif Bar-Colavita) nipping at their heels, the leaders kept a hot pace that never amounted to more than 30 seconds. Each rider proved stronger in a particular aspect of the course and it seemed likely that one of the three would make a big move on his chosen spot. However, the infernal pace did nothing more than even out the respective advantages.

But the elastic finally snapped for Wells with Trebon’s hard riding on the lower fields of the course. And feeling his legs had deep reserves, Trebon kept accelerating through the fields and up the final paved finish stretch. Kabush could only sit on and coast in for second.

“I was just trying to hammer the hell out of those guys,” said Trebon. “I was on the front 80 percent of the race. I was in my 46×12 on the lower sections, just jamming it. I was surprised Geoff could stay with me. I just felt awesome and I was more comfortable in the corners.”

“I was getting the one-two from Todd and Trebon,” admitted Kabush. “I was still happy, but I had to do a lot more work today.”

“It’s not bad, considering I’m just coming off my break,” said Wells. “I was sitting on the beach drinking Coronas two weeks ago, so today was good.”

The US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross continues the weekend of November 20-21 in New Jersey.

Race note: Two-time world ’cross champion Daniele Pontoni (Selle Italia) was a non-factor in both day’s races, pulling a DNF in each. Citing “bad legs” Pontoni quit Saturday’s race after three laps and Sunday’s after six.

Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross
Round 4, Gloucester, MA. October 31
Men

1. Ryan Trebon, Kona-Clark’s, 55:13
2. Geoff Kabush, Maxxis-Giant, same time
3. Todd Wells, GT-Hyundai, 55:28
4. Marc Gullickson, Redline, 55:37
5. Mark McCormack, Clif Bar-Colavita, 55:54
6. Barry Wicks, Kona-Clark’s, 55:58
7. Adam Craig, Maxxis-Giant, 56:01
8. Tyler Johnson, Richard Sachs, 56:08
9. Jonny Sundy, Maxxis-Giant, 56:17
10. Peter Wedge, Kona-Clark’s, 56:38

Women
1. Ann Knapp, Kona, 42:50
2. Mary McConneloug, Seven Cycles, 42:53
3. Louise Robinson (GB), Pedros, 42:58
4. Barbara Howe, Velo Bella, 43:04
5. Gina Hall, Cyclocrossworld.com, 43:15
6. Melissa Thomas, Bike Source, 43:16
7. Sarah Kerlin, Velo bella, 43:20
8. Anna Milkowski, Rona, 44:09
9. Josie Beggs, Starbucks, 44:20
10. Allison Baumhefner, 44:31

Photo Gallery

Results

Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross
Round 4, Gloucester, MA. October 31
Men

1. Ryan Trebon, Kona-Clark’s, 55:13
2. Geoff Kabush, Maxxis-Giant, same time
3. Todd Wells, GT-Hyundai, 55:28
4. Marc Gullickson, Redline, 55:37
5. Mark McCormack, Clif Bar-Colavita, 55:54
6. Barry Wicks, Kona-Clark’s, 55:58
7. Adam Craig, Maxxis-Giant, 56:01
8. Tyler Johnson, Richard Sachs, 56:08
9. Jonny Sundy, Maxxis-Giant, 56:17
10. Peter Wedge, Kona-Clark’s, 56:38

Women
1. Ann Knapp, Kona, 42:50
2. Mary McConneloug, Seven Cycles, 42:53
3. Louise Robinson (GB), Pedros, 42:58
4. Barbara Howe, Velo Bella, 43:04
5. Gina Hall, Cyclocrossworld.com, 43:15
6. Melissa Thomas, Bike Source, 43:16
7. Sarah Kerlin, Velo bella, 43:20
8. Anna Milkowski, Rona, 44:09
9. Josie Beggs, Starbucks, 44:20
10. Allison Baumhefner, 44:31