Earlier this year, we ran a piece about the potential fate of the Shimano Series race at Gloucester, part of New England’s “Holy Week of Cyclocross.” Today, race promoter Paul Boudreau is back, still working hard to make sure that the race still happens this year. He told Cyclocross Magazine that the race is still on, but community support can help ensure that it stays at the original venue.
by Paul Boudreau
The Gloucester Times is going to run a story about the Gran Prix of Gloucester, possibly in Saturday’s edition. I wanted to share the statement that I provided them, in case they don’t.
On a personal note, I love Gloucester. My family and I are regular visitors at Wingaersheek Beach, on rare nights we get a babysitter, my wife and I hit Duckworth’s. My favorite drive when I need to get my toddler to sleep is heading north on 127 to Folly Cove.
As you’ll see below, we’ve had to investigate other host cities. Rest assured that we are working with the Gloucester Chief Administrative Officer to close some issues. We recently had a site visit with the Chief Administrative Officer, the Operations Manager of Public Services, Fire Chief and Building Inspector and made significant progress. Finally, we’re going through the permit process.
We are committed to hosting a world-class event in the Greater Boston area on the weekend of Sept. 28-29. Since the fall of 2012, after the completion of the race weekend, Gloucester city officials raised concerns with the event. We have endeavored to address these concerns to the best of our abilities. Discussions are ongoing, and we remain optimistic that we can reach an agreement. However, given the uncertainty that Gloucester would continue to be a feasible host city, we faced no other choice but to explore options for other potential host cities in the area.
Athletes from across the United States and Europe are currently making travel plans for their cyclocross race season. As the kickoff event of the premier professional cyclocross race series in the United States, we feel we have an obligation to continue to host this event. In addition, the economic impact it has provided to the community has grown tremendously. Based on a Bentley University economic impact study, roughly 40 percent of participants stay in the Cape Ann region during the race weekend. In the race’s fourteen years, we have strived to be mindful, cooperative community partners and are dedicated to building upon the relationship with the city . However, if the Gloucester venue is not a viable location, we will be forced to seek an alternative site that meets the standards that racers have come to expect from this event.
If you’re planning on attending the event, have already booked a hotel, or live in and around Gloucester, get the word out and let people know that you care about the future of the race.