Last Thursday, leading up to the Gran Prix of Gloucester weekend, we hosted our annual cyclocross season kickoff party at Belmont Wheelworks. There was a great turn out of local cyclists, friends, industry professionals, sponsors and family. The raffle, food and beer were all huge successes and the sheer number of people that showed up for our little team event was absolutely amazing! Thank you all for the support and making this year’s event an incredible experience.
Many thanks to Seven Cycles, Wheelworks, SRAM, Mavic, Champion System, Ibex, Franson Chiropractic, Cyclocrossworld, Pedros, Bob’s Red Mill, Fizik, Alpha Q, TRP, Thule, Atomic Café, Mad Alchemy Embrocation, Michelin, Taza, Diesel Café, Mercury Brewing, Menotomy Beer & Wine, Pedal Power Photography, Embrocation Cycling Journal and Rushin Revolution. We wouldn’t be able to do any of this crazy “run-around-the-country-racing-bikes-business” without the support of the cycling community, sponsors and good friends.
The Gran Prix of Gloucester is the closest race to home and one of the biggest cyclocross events in the Northeast. Each year, despite the dozens of people I know that come to the event to cheer me on, I historically have some sort of bad luck and fairly poor results. The 2009 season has started off well with several good results and I hoped that would carry over to Gloucester and I would have an uncharacteristic weekend with a podium finish.
Mud. Rain. I love racing in really terrible conditions. I hoped that there would be enough rain and mud to make the typically fast, flat Gloucester course a new challenge this year.
As I pre-rode the course, the mud was not too deep but definitely slick with several tacky sections sure to make the turns technical and the straight-aways suited for some serious power output. The strong offshore winds added another complication on the wide open sections of the course.
I had a slower start than I would have liked and came off the pavement onto the muddy grass in 4th or 5th position. Ideally I would have preferred to be in the front to get a rhythm in the mud. I found my self struggling to settle into my own pace and made several small mistakes including a tangle with the course tape, picking some bad lines and getting stuck in some rutted sections of mud. Each small error had me chasing back from fourth or fifth position back to the top three. Despite feeling strong, the errors were enough that I was unable to make up for it in the end and took fourth place. The race was also shortened a bit due to the conditions; I surely could have used another lap to get back into the top three.
After an unsatisfying result on Saturday (although, still a best for Gloucester) I was feeling determined to make the podium on Sunday. The weather was warm and sunny and the mud had dried to a smooth tacky surface with some fresh, dry, grassy areas, sure to make the race fast and challenging.
I had a much better start and moved into second place quickly, planning to sit patiently and get a feel for how the race was going to play out. Around a set of technical turns I moved into the lead and kept the pace high to string out the field and try to stay in the front of the lead group. I swapped places back and forth from the lead to second place and was feeling strong enough to fight for the top spot. Unfortunately the luck of Gloucester found me skidding out on a section of sandy pavement where I hit the ground and lost contact with the leader while another rider passed me. I spent the remainder of the race in third place chasing the two leaders. In the last lap, I was caught by the fourth rider on the course and had to fight to hang onto the final podium spot, finishing third for the day and making the Gloucester podium for the first time.
Check it out! It also looks like I am still leading the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Racing Calendar Standings.
Next up: Providence Cyclocross Festival Providence, RI
Cyclingnews - Day1
Cyclingnews - Day2
Velonews - Day1
Velonews - Day2
Cyclocross Magazine - Day1
Cyclocross Magazine - Day2
Cyclocross Magazine - Day2 - Photos
MM Racing 2009 Calendar of Events:
10/10 + 10/11 Providence Cyclocross Festival Providence, RI
10/17 Granogue Cross, DE
10/18 Wissahickon Cross Ludwig’s Corner, PA
10/24 + 10/25 Downeast Cyclocross New Gloucester, ME
10/31 Beacon Cross Bridgeton, NJ
11/1 HPCX Highland Park, NJ
11/7+11/8 CycleSmart Cyclocross Northampton, MA
11/13+11/14 USGP Mercer Cup Mercer, NJ
11/21+11/22 NACT Whitmore’s Super Cup Southampton, NY
11/28+11/29 Baystate Cyclocross Sterling, MA
12/5+12/6 USGP Stanley Cup Portland, OR
12/12+12/13 USA National Championships Bend, OR
Photo above Brad Jurga & photo below by Chuck Roy