Duke, Wyman and Day on the elite women's podium day 2 of Gloucester. © Cyclocross Magazine
For the second day in a row in Glocuester, Massachusetts, racers awoke to the pitter patter of pouring rain. Still, that didn’t seem to curb their enthusiasm — or the enthusiasm of spectators in the beer garden. The women’s race was won by Helen Wyman, followed by Nicole Duke and Gabby Day. This makes nine straight wins for Wyman, and official East Coast domination for this Brit. It also ends both her and Gabby Day’s stay in the US, though both racers have told Cyclocross Magazine that they can’t wait to come back for more next year. To quote Helen Wyman when we asked if she’d be back, we we re met with a resounding, “Oh, hell yes.”
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.
As usual, Gabby Day (Renner Custom Cyclocross) came off the line with a huge burst of speed, shortly before the first bend, she was overtaken by Andrea Smith (LadiestFirst Racing). Smith, coming off her best career result as the runner-up in Saturday’s edition, aimed to come a step higher on Sunday. Smith’s high pace strung the field out in the first couple of minutes of racing, leading into the runup. Once the women emerged from the lower level, Helen Wyman had taken up her preferred position – on the front. A self-described “reformed road racer,” Wyman was able to put her skills to use on the longer straightaways and fast corners. Behind Wyman, a group of three emerged as the main chasing group – Smith, Day and Cannondale p/b cyclocrossworld.com’s Nicole Duke. Duke, in a replay of Saturday, made contact and rode with Wyman through the middle laps of the race. Wyman, who seems to only get stronger as the race pushes on, was able to shake free of Duke and soloed in for victory. Duke was, by this point, well clear of all challengers and cruised in for another second on the weekend.
Behind, the fight for third was between Duke’s teammate, Kaitlin Antonneau, Smith and Day. Smith had been riding with Day for much of the race, but began to come unglued as the British racer held the pace high in hopes of a podium before her return to Europe. Antonneau recovered yet again from a poor start to move towards the front group. She made contact with Smith, but was never able to reach Day who held on for third. On the final lap, Smith and Antonneau traded leads repeatedly with Antonneau edging the local hero for fourth. Smith’s fifth place following her second place on Saturday sets her up well in the quest for victory in the Shimano series. Appropriately though, on her final race in the US, Wyman was able to do her sponsors at Shimano proud by pulling on the Shimano series jersey. Wyman makes her return to Europe by the time this makes press, but she gave her strongest indication that she would be back in 2012 – New England cyclocross would love to have her back.
Photos and video interviews coming soon.
Elite Women’s Full Results:
|Place||First Name||Last Name||Team|
|1||Helen||Wyman||KONA/FSA Factory Team|
|3||Gabby||Day||Renner Custom cyclo cross team|
|6||Sally||Annis||crossresults.com p/b JRA cycles|
|8||Maureen||Bruno Roy||Bob's Red Mill|
|10||Laura||Van Gilder||Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers|
|14||Arley||Kemmerer||Charm City Cycling LLC|
|19||Rebecca||Blatt||Team Kenda presented by Geargrinder|
|23||Katerine||Northcott||Beam Team Racing|
|24||Melissa||Bunn||Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery|
|25||BrittLee||Bowman||crossresults.com p/b JRA cycles|
|28||Melissa||Ross||Team Kenda presented by Geargrinder|
|31||Lauren||Kling||New England Athletic Cyclocross|
|32||Lauri||Webber||Independent Fabrication Racing|
|36||Jocelyn||Mauldin||NEBC p/b Cycle Loft|
|37||Rebecca||Frederick||Kelly Benefit Strategies/LSV|
|39||Clara||Kelly||NEBC p/b Cycle Loft|
|40||Stacey||Barbossa||Elite Endurance Training Systems|
|43||Jessica||Kutz||Pennsylvania State University|
|44||Kathleen||Wulfkuhle||Charm City Cycling LLC|
|45||Elizabeth||White||Blue Steel Cyclery|