Grand Prix of Gloucester Cyclocross
Finally, some mud. Also known as the New England World Championships, the GP of Gloucester is part of “holy week” in our local cross world, and this year we had what some might call perfect cross weather, gray and drizzly and a little bit raw.
The Grand Prix of Gloucester is considered one of America’s best cyclocross races, and it was well attended by riders and racers from all of the country and the globe. For Seven Cycles this is a hometown event and our bikes could be found in nearly every race category throughout the weekend. From factory employees in the amateur categories to our sponsored professionals in the men’s and women’s UCI Elites, our Mudhoney’s were ridden hard and fast through the perfectly wet and muddy conditions featured in Gloucester this weekend.
The course was classic Gloucester; it opens with an uphill stretch of pavement through the start/finish, winds up past the beer garden steps and then dives down into muddy off-camber chicanes. There were barriers (of course) and wide-open power sections through the grass. Gloucester has one of the steepest and meanest loamy rocky run-ups in cross where anyone who is really running is a lot fitter than me. There were deep mud holes and ever-changing slippery lines twisting through the trees, and day two featured a sand section that crosses the oceanfront beach at Stage Fort Park. Spectators could watch the race and catch some amazing views of this classic New England seaport from atop a giant rock – a prominent feature in the park and a major attraction for the young ones in the crowd.
The UCI Elite women’s race featured no less than four women racing on our bikes – nearly ten percent of the field and three of them were top-ten finishers this weekend. Mary McConneloug posted 5th and 8th place finishes, and Mo Bruno Roy was 11th and 4th. Overall this was an outstanding weekend of racing for Seven Cycles.
– Joe W.