Ellen Noble Takes Commanding Victory, Curtis White Claims the Top Step, Gran Prix of Gloucester Day 1
10/13/2018For Immediate Release
Vittoria Series Media Coordinator
GLOUCESTER, Mass. (Oct. 13, 2018) - The 20th edition of the CRAFT Sportswear Gran Prix of Gloucester kicked off the 2018 Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series presented by Clif Bar and Cycle-Smart on Saturday in Gloucester's iconic Stage Fort Park. A day of changing and unpredictable course conditions with rain early made for wet and greasy course conditions for the elite women, then became dry and fast for the elite men. Maine's Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing) took a commanding win in the elite women's field, riding away solo for her seventh podium finish this season for USA Cycling Pro Cyclocross (ProCX). Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) took the win in the elite men's field for his first ProCX victory of the year.
In the elite women's race, Noble was victorious in dominant fashion, leading the race from start to finish. "Starting the race, it was still really slick," noted Noble. "It got super tacky by the end, but at the beginning it was really slippery. I wanted to be able to have my choice of lines and be able to dictate the pace, so I started hard. It just felt natural. It wasn't like I was trying to do anything exceptional, I just wanted to ride hard at the start. I was able to get a small lead and it felt good to just know that I had some wiggle room. I just wanted to leave it all out there."
Erica Zaveta (Garneau-Easton p/b TLC) raced to second place, 1 minute and 28 seconds behind Noble. She had to whittle down a small group of riders later in the race. "I just needed a moment to collect myself and relax," said Zaveta. "I feel like sometimes before the start it's so nervous, that you have to get into the race before you can actually relax. So about two laps, I calmed down and then I just attacked the group and just rode good lines. The key to this was not going too fast on just the fitness parts so you are focused and smooth through all the technical parts. That's what helped."
Local favorite from Beverly, Mass.,Crystal Anthony (Liv Cycling) hung in for third place 27 seconds behind second place Zaveta. "I had a good start off the line, and then sort of got swarmed on the hill. My legs were not great today. I ended up battling with Erica (Zaveta) and Cassie (Maximenko) for most of the race. Ellen had a really good jump on all of us. I was able to get a gap in the last lap. I almost stopped on those last stairs over there, but had enough of a gap to pull it off."
With the course drying out for the men's race, the fast conditions were prime for group racing dynamics. Winner White put the pressure on late in the race, taking Jack Kisseberth (Garneau Easton p/b Transitions) with him to the lead. But a late race effort from Cooper Willsey (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) and Jamey Driscoll (Pivot-Maxxis p/b Stans-DNA Cycling) made the final half of a lap a four-up sprint to the line.
"I wanted to make sure the position was good, to watch the other guys, see where they were strong, where they were weak," said White about the early laps of the race. "With three to go, I hit it over the climb and the pavement. Jack (Kisseberth) was the only one who could stay with me. Then for the last lap, lap and a half, it was pretty tactical. Spencer Petrov, and a couple of Devo riders behind. I put more pressure on Jack. It was his race to kind of drive. They bridged up to us, but I stayed ahead of the carnage and hit it going by the last pit section. That was it."
The ride of the day came from Driscoll, who had a tough start and had to climb back to the front through over 30 riders. "It was one of the worst first minutes of a race I can remember," said Driscoll with a laugh. "Off the line, feeling a little out-gunned on the pavement. And then once you got in the turns, loads of people botched it. I had to dab a foot and then unclipped with both feet. It was a hot mess for me out there. And then when I finally settled in through the zig-zags up here, it was single file and I was close to 30th. It was full gas, as hard as I could and trying to (chase) those guys. I was essentially at the mercy of them resting up, because it ended up being a fast day in terms of conditions for us. When I caught those guys, I knew that first and second (riders) were up the road, and so the best thing for me to do was rest up there and try to wait for the last podium spot, which I fortunately did get. I put that last dig in that last half lap and was barely able to get it. I was actually last over the steps (in group), but able to pick Cooper there in the final meters of the pavement."
UCI Elite Class 2 races will be held again on Sunday for the professional women and men. These races will also provide points for ProCX national standings. Heading into tomorrow, Noble and White will wear the coveted Verge leader's jerseys for the Vittoria Series.
Watch the races unfold in person in Gloucester or by following tweets at @VittoriaSeries. Follow on Facebook for race weekend highlights at facebook.com/VittoriaSeries. For more information visit http://www.necyclocross.com.
Weekend Preview: CRAFT Sportswear Gran Prix of Gloucester Kicks Off Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series presented by Clif Bar and Cycle-Smart
For Immediate Release
Contact: Lauren LeClaire
Vittoria Series Media Coordinator
BOSTON, Mass. (Oct. 10, 2018) - The 2018 Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series presented by Clif Bar and Cycle-Smart begins this weekend with the 20th edition of the CRAFT Sportswear Gran Prix of Gloucester presented by Ipswich Brewing. Taking place this October 13 and 14, in Gloucester's iconic Stage Fort Park, cyclists of all ages and abilities will take on the twists and turns of the park with competitions culminating with the men's and women's professional races.
Union Cycliste Internationale sanctioned (UCI) Elite Class 2 (C2) races will be held both days for professional women and men. Athletes will compete for points on the USA Cycling Pro Cyclocross Calendar (ProCX), as well as for the Vittoria Series overall competition. Winning athletes will be awarded coveted Verge Sport leader's jerseys at the Gloucester event.
The Vittoria Series includes four weekends of competition on classic cyclocross courses in the Northeast in Gloucester, Mass., Northampton, Mass., Suffern, N.Y., and Warwick, R.I. The longest standing UCI cyclocross series in the United States continues in its mission to drive the sport forward and set an example. For the 2018 Series, a schedule change request was filed with the UCI that would impact the women's and men's elite field time slots, switching the premiere race each race day in order to highlight the fields equally. While USA Cycling remains supportive as part of the movement to show equality for women's racing and the request was supported by Vice President of Operations Chuck Hodge, the UCI stated in an email Wednesday from Cyclo-cross Coordinator Christelle Reille that they would not approve the change and both days will conclude with the elite men's event.
While the UCI has approved tests of similar schedule changes this season with the first two World Cups and the upcoming Pan American Continental Championships, in the meantime "race organizers must be treated with equality and the UCI cannot award this possibility to only few of them," according to Reille.
"We're disappointed that the UCI didn't award us an exception to this rule," said Series President Adam Myerson, "particularly since the rule is ridiculous to begin with. Any organizer who wishes to highlight the women should be free to do so. We never expected our request to be rejected, especially so close to our first event."
For the future, Reille stated, "We will submit a rule change to the UCI Cyclo-cross commission and then to the UCI Management Committee, applying to the season 2019-2020, so that all UCI event organisers can choose the schedule of Elite races, if this change is approved."
Race Preview - Series Races 1 and 2
Events will feature exciting racing between many of the top pros in the sport. For the men, expect to see Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz / Donkey Label Racing) make the trip to Gloucester to defend his two wins from last year. "Winning both days of Gloucester last year was incredible, there is something so special about the atmosphere of the race. The cross scene is so strong out here," noted Ortenblad who is ranked second overall in the ProCX standings.
One rider with more experience on the Gloucester course than most is Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com). White has raced at Stage Fort Park 23 times and has a number of special connections to the event. "And, to boot, Vittoria is our new tire sponsor this year," exclaimed White. "With Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com's headquarters so close as well, it really feels like a home race." White explained that he has made some changes to his training and preparation over the last year, working with Cycle-Smart coach Alec Donahue. " I feel like I'm coming into this weekend a step or two above where I was last season."
Coming off a win at Charm City Cross last weekend in Baltimore, New Hampshire native Jamey Driscoll (Pivot-Maxxis p/b Stans-DNA Cycling) has some added confidence heading back to Gloucester. "I know that form doesn't last forever. But I think I can maintain this," said Driscoll. "Usually when I've had good form, I've kept it pretty effectively. I am looking forward to a well-planned out schedule with proper rest. I have Gloucester and am excited to take the form back to New England."
The unknown factor this weekend will be Jeremy Powers (Pactimo Fuji SRAM). After racing well in Rochester at the start of the season in early September, Powers was ill before Reno Cross and did not race at Charm City last weekend. It's unknown whether or not he will start this weekend. Another question mark will be Spencer Petrov (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com), who remains recovering from a concussion but, like Powers, is registered for this weekend's events.
Additional elite men to watch include Anthony Clark (Squid Squad) with a win last weekend at the West Sacramento Cyclocross Grand Prix, up and coming U23 rider Lane Maher (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) who won at KMC Cross Fest, Canadian Derrick St. John (Van Dessel p/b HyperThreads), and Cooper Willsey (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com).
For the elite women, last year's winner Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing) has had an outstanding start to the season with two wins last weekend. "I am super excited to be returning to Gloucester this weekend. No race embodies the love of New England Cyclocross like Gloucester does," said Noble, who is ranked 2nd overall in ProCX.
Going up against Noble will be local favorite, Beverly, Mass.-native Crystal Anthony (Liv Cycling). "Gloucester is always one my favorite races of the year, and one with many fond memories for me. I've raced there every year since I started racing cyclocross - and this will be my 11th consecutive year," said Anthony, who is ranked 3rd in ProCX standings. "Cyclocross is a very positive and fun community, and I think Gloucester really showcases that."
Another rider looking to make her mark after claiming two victories at Nittany Lion Cross is Erica Zaveta (Renewed Cyclocross/ Garneau-Easton p/b Transitions LifeCare). "I am very excited to race at Gloucester this weekend! I was disappointed to miss the race last season so I can't wait to get back there this year. That region of the country is beautiful and the course is a lot of fun," said Zaveta. "I would say it is one of the most unique venues on the calendar." With her back to back wins in mid-September, Zaveta is feeling more focused than ever but notes "there is always so much to learn at any stage of cyclocross racing but to see myself progressing has been really exciting and motivating for the season."
Fresh off of her first UCI victory at KMC Cross Fest, Regina Legge (Trek Cyclocross Collective) is eager for more racing this season. "Coming off of a rest weekend, I am excited to kick off my next block of racing at Gloucester," said Legge. "Although the race is a double C2 weekend, it always draws big names like Ellen Noble and Crystal Anthony. The course is generally dry, so I look forward to trying to hang on to some of the fastest wheels in women's racing."
Other riders to watch in the elite women's field include Cassie Maximenko (Van Dessel Factory Team), BrittLee Bowman (RSCX - House Ind - DWR - HM) and Taylor Kuyk-White (Philly Bike Expo).
After Stage Fort Park this weekend, the Vittoria Series will continue with the second event in Western Massachusetts at the Verge Northampton International, on Nov. 10 and 11. Returning to the series for a third year is Supercross Cup, Nov. 17 and 18, in Suffern, N.Y. The Vittoria Series grand finale will be at the NBX Gran Prix of 'Cross Dec. 1 and 2.
Watch the races unfold in person or by following tweets at @VittoriaSeries. Follow on Facebook for race weekend highlights at facebook.com/VittoriaSeries. For more information visit http://www.necyclocross.com.
CRAFT Gran Prix of Gloucester Presented by Ipswich Ale Brewing, Oct. 13-14
For the 20th consecutive year, top professional and amateur bike racers from across North America and throughout Europe, including many former national champions, will again converge on Stage Fort Park for the CRAFT SportswearGran Prix of Gloucester on Oct. 13-14. The undisputed king of the New England cyclocross calendar, this two-day competition is the opening event in the 2018 Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series, said race director Paul Boudreau.
Topsfield’s Tim Johnson, a multiple-time United States national cyclocross champion and winner of the first Gloucester elite race in 1999, said he considers “Gloucester to be a bellwether for the sport – thousands flock to race, ride, and hang out each year. That, to me, is carried all across the country as an example of the health and vibrancy of the sport as a whole. Love it.”
Likewise, veteran racer Rebecca Wellons Pagano, who won both women’s masters races in 2017, refers to the CRAFT SportswearGran Prix of Gloucester, simply, as a “love story.”
“Everyone wants to ride their best and dreams of crossing the line first with that dramatic ocean view framing their victory,” said Wellons Pagano. “Some of us are lucky enough to have felt that, or stood on the podium. It's a feeling you can't ever forget. Everyone comes out to Gloucester to connect with each other, say hello to old friends, meet new people, and celebrate this crazy sport we all love. And I can't wait to line up at the start of this year's 20thedition.”
Often called the “steeplechase” of cycling, cyclocross represents "everything that's good about cycling," says Boudreau. This unique, race-specific discipline is a wild, entertaining mix of road racing, mountain biking and running on an obstacle-laden clover-leaf course that snakes through every corner of the park. The sport requires racers to fight for position while negotiating sharp turns, mud, sand, hills and hurdles, all at full speed for an hour. Cyclocross is demanding, challenging, and humbling for racers of all ages, men and women alike.
Again this year, the race’s title sponsor is CRAFT Sportswear, a Swedish apparel company with United States headquarters in Beverly, MA, and presenting sponsor Ipswich Ale Brewing. In addition to professional and elite racers, the event is an enormous draw for weekend warriors from throughout the Northeast. Anyone can race (pre-registration is required), with competitors placed in fields of similar ages and ability levels. All racers – even beginners – compete on the same course as the top riders. The result is an event that attracts a sell-out crowd of 1,000 competitors each day.
In addition, cyclocross is one of the most spectator-friendly of the bike-racing disciplines. Historic Stage Fort Park, overlooking Gloucester Harbor and its picturesque views of the Atlantic Ocean, provides a stunning venue. Fans can eat, shop, and learn about cyclocross in the Expo, or sample craft brews at the Beer Garden. Families can enjoy the picnic area with grills and a playground foryoungsters. There will also be a free kids' bike race for youngsters ages 12 and under.
WHEN TO GO* Races start at 8 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, and run for the better part of the day. Both days finish with the showcase Pro (Elite Class) races from 3:00-5:00 pm.
* A free Kids Racewill be held Sunday at 12:45 p.m.Registration for the Kids Race will be the day of the race. Up-and-coming racers ages 5 to 12 are invited to compete.
* The Ipswich Ale Brewing Beer Gardenwill be open from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, where spectators can sample a variety of craft brews. TheExpowill also be open both days, featuring a food court, cycling vendors, and local businesses.
NOTABLE QUOTES“Gloucester is a special race for me. It's a true New England classic: the big, rowdy crowds always show up, the course is dynamic and challenging, and all the top riders line up. Historic, classic, and epic.” –Jeremy Powers, former US National Cyclocross Champion
“Because it's hard in a ridiculous way, cyclocross becomes fun. It almost has this performance art absurdity to it. It's just strange to watch someone running through a muddy field with a bike on their shoulder. That suffering, combined with the oddity of it, is part of what makes it so interesting.”
–Adam Myerson, long-time professional racer, cyclocross coach, and promoter
“There is something about that place. It's got a soul. I've been everywhere in the world that cyclocross races, and little comes close to the aesthetic drama of Gloucester.”
–Chris Zigmont, race announcer and cycling industry representative (Boston Globe)
“I have won Gloucester a few times as a pro, and I don't think that there is a race that rivals it in terms of energy. I'm so happy to see it approaching its 20-year anniversary, a true testament to a love and hard work that goes into creating a legendary event.”
– Ellen Noble, professional bicycle racer
“There's almost no pacing in cyclocross; it's just full-speed from start to finish. To sustain the effort, you have to block out the pain, dig deep inside, and find a way to keep hammering. The best riders are the ones who can find the concentration and courage to keep going even when they're dying inside.” –Pete Webber, former racer, Mountain Bike Hall of Fame (Sports Illustrated)
LEARN ABOUT CYCLOCROSS
YouTubekeywords: Cyclocross, Gloucester Gran Prix
For more race details and videos, please visit: www.gpgloucester.com
Tell us your story.
For hundreds of people, CRAFT Sportswear Gran Prix of Gloucester was their very first cyclocross race. According to crossresults.com data over 800 of you started your adventure in cyclocross at Stage Fort Park.
We want to hear from you. Tell us about your first time and tell us about this year.
* Post a photo of you from either the first time you raced Gloucester, or a photo from this year’s event. They can be on or off the bike. As long as they were taken at Stage Fort Park during one of our events.
* Describe your experience - not your result, we want to know how you FELT
* use @craftsportswearus #enjoythehardwork #GPGcx in your Instagram or Facebook post.
We’ll select a podium of winners based on the photo and the story.
Top Step: Verve Glow Jacket ($149.99 value!)
2nd place: Route Long Sleeve Jersey ($99.99 value!)
3rd place: Active Extreme 2.0 Baselayer ($79.99)
Contest ends on Monday, 15 October 2018 at noon.
The winners will be announced on Tuesday, 23 October 2018