WARWICK, RHODE ISLAND – The classic course of the NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross, with its long bayside beach runs and tough trails, provides a stunning setting for this weekend’s exciting finale of the 2012 Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series Presented by Verge. Two days of racing remain to determine the champions of New England cyclocross in four top-tier categories. The battles among the Elite Men, Elite Women, U23 Men, and U23 Women reach a fever pitch in the conclusion of this series, the crown jewel for a region widely considered to be the center of the explosive growth of cyclocross in the United States. Indeed, New England is home to some of the best races in the country, and has been the starting grounds of the careers of the nation’s best racers.
The Shimano NEPCX presented by Verge draws some of the top racers from around the country and from the international stage to compete on New England’s uniquely challenging terrain. The premier American series features some of the best racing in North America and a total of two UCI Category 1 races, one at the gorgeous seaside Gran Prix of Gloucester at historic Stage Fort Park, and the other at Roger Williams Park, the site of the 2005 and 2006 national championships, for the Providence Cyclocross Festival. The series visits the oldest UCI cyclocross race in the US, Cycle-Smart International in Northampton, Massachusetts. This weekend’s races in Warwick, Rhode Island will draw this season’s competition to a stunning conclusion. With equal prize money for the Elite Men and Elite Women, the series has proven it is committed to growing the sport on the hallowed ground of New England’s best courses.
Former Olympian Mary McConneloug (Team Kenda-Seven-NoTubes) is locked in tight competition for Elite Women’s series lead with rising star and hopeful for the US World Championships team Crystal Anthony (Cyclocrossworld.com). The courses both days feature twisting, rooty trails showcasing McConneloug’s technical skills, while long power sections and tough beach runs will favor Anthony’s incredible power. Both have their sights set squarely on the series win, setting the stage for an explosive showdown this weekend.
National Cyclocross Champion Jeremy Powers earned the points to add the prestigious series win to his resume, with wins at Gloucester, Providence, and both days of Northampton giving him a huge lead in series points. The remaining spots on the series podium are up for grabs this weekend in what will be a tight race among New England greats. Following his first UCI win at Baystate in Sterling last weekend, Jeremy Durrin (JAM Fund/NCC/Vittoria) will be a strong contender; however, in order to earn the points for second place overall, he must defeat Dylan McNicholas (Cyclocrossworld.com) and Justin Lindine (Redline) – no small task for the young and talented racer.
Meanwhile, in the U23 categories, the crowd will be rooting for Manny Goguen (CF Racing p/b Trek Portsmouth), who will win his division only if he is the first racer under the age of 23 to cross the line on both days of racing. Ellen Noble (Trek Cyclocross Collective) looks certain to take the win in the U23 Women’s division in her first season as a UCI Elite racer. Noble is a mere sixteen years of age, celebrating her seventeenth birthday the Monday following NBX. Both Goguen and Noble are promising racers worth watching in the years to come.
Record crowds will descend on Goddard Park in Warwick, RI spectate these exciting races on a scenic course. This challenging course offers fans plenty of exciting spots to cheer for their favorite racers while enjoying fare from the plentiful vendors in the pavilion and food trucks. Registration for NBX closes Thursday, November 29 at 7 p.m. on bikereg.com. Follow the races live on Twitter at @NEProCX. The weekend’s hashtag will be #NBX.