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By Steve Frothingham
They like to call the Gran Prix of Gloucester the “New England ‘Cross Championships,” although with a winners’ list peppered with names like Knapp, Bessette, Johnson, Trebon, Gould, Dunlap, Gullickson and even Vervecken, that might not be going far enough.
And while this year’s event on the Massachusetts coast has nearly 1,300 registrants combined for two days, one of them is not one Lance Armstrong. No, despite rumors that the Tour legend was headed to the North Shore this year, a spokesman told VeloNews Thursday that Armstrong plans to stay close to home in Austin for the weekend.
Nevertheless, this year’s event, officially the Erdinger Gran Prix of Gloucester, will feature some major star power, especially on the men’s side, with national champ Tim Johnson (Cyclocrossworld.com-Cannondale) and arch rival Ryan Trebon (Kona), plus last year’s day-one winner Jesse Anthony (Jamis), Andy Jacques-Maynes (Specialized-California Giant) and Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart-Van Dessel).
Gloucester is the second weekend of both the North American Cyclocross Trophy series and the Verge New England Cyclo-cross series.
This year Gloucester, which includes two UCI category 2 races, shares the Columbus Day weekend with another major ‘cross event, Cincinnati’s International Cyclocross Weekend, a three-day event with two category 2 races and one category 1.
As a result, some racers looking to garner maximum UCI points before a Euro campaign later this fall are heading to Ohio.
Two of the biggest ‘cross teams are splitting their forces: Cyclocrossworld.com-Cannondale’s Jeremy Powers (who won day one at Gloucester last year) is headed to Ohio while teammates Johnson and Jamey Driscoll stay at Gloucester. For Kona, Trebon is expected in Gloucester while Barry Wicks heads to Ohio.
On the women’s side, the showdown of the weekend may be in Ohio, where Olympic mountain biker Georgia Gould (Luna) will line up against multi-time national champ Katie Compton (Spike Shooter). The Saturday and Sunday races in Ohio feature prize lists that comply with the “Gould Formula,” developed by Georgia Gould, which calls for equal prizes for men and women for the first five places.
The Gloucester womens’ race is shaping up to be, indeed, a New England ‘cross championships, with top Yankee riders like Anna Milkowski (Velo Bella), Amy Wallace (RGM-Richard Sachs) and Rebecca Wellons (Ridley) facing off against Colorado’s Amy Dombroski (Velo Bella), a Vermont native.
And don’t forget Kansas
Meanwhile, Kansas’ De Stad series continues with the fifth annual Chris Cross in Lawrence on Sunday. The event at Clinton Lake State Park is the second of the series. First-round winners Shadd Smith (HHRC-Trek Stores) and Michelle Jenson (Mercy Cycling Team) are expected to be on hand to defend their series leads.
And up in the Northwest, the River City Bicycles Cross Crusade series continues with round two on Sunday: the Villebois race in Wilsonville, Oregon.
In Colorado, the Boulder Cross Series enters week two with the Xilinx race in Longmont.
Anne (Grande) Knapp
2004 Day 1
2004 Day 2
2005 Day 1
2005 Day 2
2006 Day 1
2006 Day 2
2007 Day 1
2007 Day 2