While yesterday’s race may have seen Tim Johnson flat and an unexpected victory from Christian Heule, today’s race had a few more surprises in store. Early on in the race, Johnson attacked, sending the chase group, including Heule, Powers, Driscoll and Berden into a frenzy. For the first 40 minutes, Johnson only increased his gap on the chase group, but in a surprise move, with only a few laps to go, Powers dropped the chase group and bridged up to Johnson and moved into the lead. The two battled it out for the final two laps, but Powers took a dominant lead over Johnson and came into the finish high fiving spectators along the stretch. Johnson followed seconds later, also high fiving the crowd. The real sprint finish came for third place between Ben Berden and Christian Heule, with Berden just beating Heule at the line. A spent Jamey Driscoll rolled in in fifth place.
The Great Brewers Gran Prix of Gloucester closed out the first weekend in the Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series presented by Verge in style with two barnburners. The Elite Women’s race was once again dominated by Helen Wyman (Kona/FSA Factory Team) while Jeremy Powers (Rapha/Focus) made a late move to shake Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b cyclocrossworld.com).
The grounds were dry for most of the day at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester. The temperatures were lower – only reaching the upper-50s with high winds coming in off the ocean. The prior day’s mud had largely dried out and the Sunday course offered racers a unique set of challenges, including a never-before seen sand section along the shore of Cape Ann with a 33 stair climb back to the main venue. In years past, Gloucester has been praised for its beautiful venue; this year’s edition took advantage of every inch of it.
Jeremy Powers came into Sunday looking for revenge on the weekend. He had led Swiss Champ Christian Heule (Cannondale p/b cyclocrossworld.com) for most of Saturday’s race but couldn’t keep the Swiss racer in check in the finale. He knew Tim Johnson would be hoping to turn around his fortunes from Saturday in hopes of winning yet another Gloucester. He knew the Cannondale men outnumbered him with Johnson, Heule and Driscoll, all of whom are capable of a Gloucester victory. But he didn’t care. He was determined to get back to the top step.
After Heule, wearing the white Shimano Series leader’s jersey instead of his Swiss red and white, was the first off the pavement, it was Tim Johnson who would set the pace. Johnson has always been a strong starter and today was no different, he was racing like a new man after yesterday’s disappointment. Behind him a group quickly formed of Powers, Nicolas Bazin (Big Mat/Auber93), Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles) and Ben Berden (Stoemper/Ops Ale). The pace set by this group was so high that it seemed unlikely that anyone would be able to make contact.
Field made a solo attempt to catch Johnson with five laps to go. He was about halfway through the twenty-second gap when a child crossed the course tape and collided with the British racer. Field wound up on the ground, mildly injured but afraid of potential damage. After a cursory check of self and bike, Field found it best to pull the plug, a truly sad end for such a successful campaign in the US.
With Field out of the picture and Bazin falling off the pace, it was Powers, Heule and Berden as the chase. Jamey Driscoll was dangling only a few seconds down, but was never able to make contact with the group. As it became clear that Johnson had every intention of going solo for the final five laps, Powers and Berden began to try to close the 25-second gap. Heule, playing the role of teammate to a T, sat comfortably on Powers’s wheel. The gap slowly came down under Powers’s force and once it was down to just over ten seconds, Powers attacked the chase group with all he had. Hitting the pavement with two to go, Powers caught and attacked Johnson. “I knew Tim was going really well. I had to go full gas and not look back if I was going to win,” said Powers following the race. With Johnson on the ropes, Powers had to ride on the rivet and cleanly for the final two laps. Coming into the final lap, Powers had an advantage of ten seconds on his former teammate, with Johnson closing in fits and starts, hanging on the rubber band. Powers would not relinquish the lead, despite some heckling from the pit area, and triumphantly came across the finish line to wild cheers from the crowd.
Johnson crossed the line second to a similar fanfare of the winner. The third slot went to Ben Berden who gutted his way past Heule in the final few turns.
Zach McDonald (Rapha/Focus) came across 7th as the winning U23. Manny Goguen (bikereg.com/Joe’s Garage) was second U23 ahead of Luke Keough (Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross).
By virtue of a second and a first on the weekend, Powers was able to pull on the Shimano Series leader’s jersey from our friends at Verge. McDonald also picked up a new shirt by leading the U23 division.
Photos and video interviews coming soon.
Elite Men’s Full Results:
|1||Jeremy||Powers||Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda|
|3||Ben||Berden||Ops Ale - Stoemper|
|8||Justin||Lindine||BikeReg.com / Joe's Garage|
|12||Jeremy||Durrin||Northampton Cycling Club|
|13||Lukas||Winterberg||Philadelphia Cyclocross School|
|14||Jerome||Townsend||SmartStop/MOB presented by Ridley|
|18||3||Luke||Keough||Corner Cycle Cycling Club|
|19||Tim||Van Nuffle||DCM-GB vorselaar|
|20||4||Evan||McNeely||EMD Serono / Specialized|
|22||Adam||Myerson||SmartStop/MOB presented by Ridley|
|23||Joshua||Dillon||RGM WATCHES - RICHARD SACHS|
|24||5||Lukas||Muller||Philadelphia Cyclocross School|
|26||Craig||Richey||Renner Custom CX Team - Raleigh|
|28||Mark||Batty||SpiderTech powered by C10|
|30||Nicholas||Keough||Corner Cycle Cycling Club|
|31||Osmond||Bakker||Jet Fuel/La Bicicletta|
|32||Ryan||Leech||Hilton Head Cycling Inc|
|33||Stephen||Cummings||Charm City Cycling LLC|
|34||6||Conor||O'Brien||EMD Serono Specialized|
|36||7||Eric||Brungger||Philadelphia Cyclocross School|
|37||Philip||Wong||Essex County Velo|
|41||8||Jeffrey||Bahnson||Van Dessel Factory Team|
|42||Daniel||Chabanov||Richard Sachs - RGM Watches - Radix|
|43||Gregory||Whitney||Ride Studio Cafe|
|44||9||Jesse||Keough||Corner Cycle Cycling Club|
|45||Thierry||Laliberte||Xprezo - Borsao|
|46||10||Synjen||Marrocco||Corner Cycle Cycling Club|
|47||Andrew||Wulfkuhle||Charm City Cycling LLC|
|48||Colin||Reuter||crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles|
|52||11||Patrick||Bradley||Philadelphia Cyclocross School|
|53||Jon||Hamblen||SmartStop/MOB presented by Ridley|
|54||Stephen||Pierce||Embrocation Cycling Journal|
|55||12||Kiernan||Orange||Ride with Rendall|
|56||Cary||Fridrich||Embrocation Cycling Journal|
|58||14||Zachary||Semian||Van Dessel Factory Team|
|60||Joshua||Thornton||GG Events Management|
|61||Pierre||Vanden Borre||Hup United|
|63||Austin||Roach||MetLife Cycling Team|
|69||Corey||Knowles||Genesee Valley Cycling Club|
|70||Jesse||Anthony||Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|73||Michael||Garrett||Velo Club LaGrange/ Herbalife LaGrange|
|75||Christian||Favata||RGM WATCHES - RICHARD SACHS|
|77||Marc-Andre||Daigle||garneau club chaussure - norton rose|
|78||Shawn||Milne||KENDA Pro Cycling presented by GEARGRINDER|
|80||Zoltan||Tisza||Champion System Racing|
|82||Kevin||Sweeney||crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles|
|83||Shawn||Harshman||Boulder Cycle Sport|
|84||Adam||Sullivan||Embrocation Cycling Journal|
|87||15||Karl||Hoppner||EMD Serono Specialized|