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Cyclocross - Best way to enjoy it, watch it., by Steve Frothingham
 Article List
• My winter vacation
• Phil Gaimon wins 2008 Mt. Washington Hillclimb
• Biking brothers in law charge around the Whites
• Overendís ready for a Granite State nickname
• Maineís Islesboro is a seaside bicycle adventure
• Quietly cycling Connecticutís northeastís corner
• That "new bike fit"
• Cyclocross - Best way to enjoy it, watch it.
• The next step in personal training?
• What goes up, goes down along Virginiaís Skyline Drive
• Hillclimbs, heaven or hell?
• Acadiaís bikeways beckon
• Where Cycling Is Taken Seriously
• Crusing along Lake Winnipesaukee by bike and boat
• Crank That Kanc
• Wrap, ride and reward
• A Clean Sweep
After several miserable attempts at racing cyclocross myself, Iíve decided the best way to enjoy the sport is to watch it, preferably on a warm sunny day with a bag of Kettlecorn and a cowbell in hand. ëCross is easily the most spectator-friendly bicycle racing discipline because you can often see most of the course from one vantage point. The races are fairly short (less than an hour), which means they are wicked fast. The courses demand athleticism and tactics.

One of the best places to watch ëcross is in Gloucester, MA, which hosted the Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross this weekend. The six-race series includes stops in Portland, OR; Tacoma, WA; and Watsonville, CA. The finals are in San Francisco Nov. 20. Gloucester hosted two series stops this weekend, each on slightly different courses at Fort Stage Park.

Driving to Sundayís race, I was surprised to see snow-covered lawns as we approached Gloucester. At the park, I heard stories about Saturdayís race, which was held in a blizzard. Sunday, however, was sunny and 60 degrees and most of the course was remarkably dry (a few short muddy sections preserved ëcrossís reputation as a gloriously muddy endeavor). The kiddoes raced in a short event, sponsored by the Tyler Hamilton Foundation, and we all bouldered up Tablet Rock to watch the B-level and junior-level races before the main events ñ the elite level mens and womens races.
Stage Fort Rock, the perfect vantage point.
Although the series draws racers from all over the country and Canada, the local riders put on a great show. Former European pro road racer Tim Johnson, a North Shore native, won the snowy race on Saturday, and pulled off fourth place on Sunday. Maineís pro mountain biker, Adam Craig, finished second both days. On Sunday, Konaís Ryan Trebon, a six-foot-five powerhouse, blasted off the start line and led the entire race, finishing more than a minute ahead of Craig.

In the womenís race, Johnsonís wife, Lynn Bessette, led from the start, winning her fourth Gran Prix event in a row.

Full results at: www.gpgloucester.com/index.html
by Steve Frothingham


© 2005 Steve Frothingham