Natasha Elliott took another impressive victory. ?Chris Milliman

Natasha Elliott took impressive back-to-back victories in Gloucester last year © Chris Milliman

North American Cyclocross Trophy Series Rolls into the Northeast

After a great start in the Northwest, the North American Cyclocross Trophy (NACT) series rolls into the Northeast this weekend for two days of racing in Gloucester, Mass., at the Great Brewers Gran Prix of Gloucester.

What’s the best description of the Gran Prix of Gloucester? Take a dramatic harbor-front park at the height of fall foliage season. Set up a twisting grass, dirt and asphalt racecourse with challenging obstacles. Unleash a crowd of world-class cyclists to charge through the sharp curves and barriers. Add screaming, cowbell ringing fans incited by dynamic announcers. Toss in a great beer tent with a dozen-plus brewers, and the result is one of the premier cross races in the country.

Held in Stage Fort Park overlooking historic Gloucester Harbor and bound on two sides by Cressey and Half Moon Beaches, the Gran Prix of Gloucester course has become famous as one of the most spectator-friendly venues for cyclocross.

After the first weekend of NACT racing in the Seattle area, the men’s jersey holder, five-time French national champion Francis Mourey, returned to start the European season leaving that spot up for grabs. A new jersey-wearer and series leader could emerge at the end of the weekend. On the women’s side, Katerina Nash comes off of back-to-back wins at the season-opening Starcrossed and the RAD Racing GP, so expect the LUNA Chix pro to sport the Castelli Leader’s kit. (See our Product Spotlight on the Castelli leader’s Skinsuit from Interbike.)

Gloucester race director Paul Boudreau described the NACT men’s series as “Kind of a like a reset button. The leader is out of the picture, and some of the top racers who did not race in Seattle can be counted on to be active in Gloucester. The reset has been pushed and this weekend is going to result in a new leader.”

Created in 2008, the NACT series is made up of “the classic cyclocross races” across North America, showcasing the best ‘cross courses and attracting internationally ranked competitors. The overall series winnings combined with daily prizes make it the richest cyclocross series outside of Europe.

Key among the changes for the 2010 season is an equal prize list for Men and Women. Also new for 2010 is rider travel support for the top three riders each race weekend to recognize the effort and expenses top competitors face. Finally, a change was made for 2010 to base the final series championship on a rider’s best six of eight race results to account for any illness, injury or mechanical difficulties that can occur over a 10-week season.

For Great Brewers Gran Prix of Gloucester information:

For NACT information:

2010 Schedule

9/18 – Star Crossed p/b Stanley – A brand of PMI
- Seattle, WA
9/19 – Rad Racing Gran Prix p/b Hammer Nutrition
- Seattle, WA
10/2-3 – Great Brews Gran Prix of Gloucester
 – Gloucester, MA
10/30 – Pedal to Properties Colorado Cross Classic
 – Boulder, CO
10/31 – Victory Circle Graphix Boulder Cup
- Broomfield, CO
11/20-21 – Whitmore’s Landscape Super Cross Cup – Southampton, NY

2010 Series Sponsors include Bob’s Red Mill, Castelli and