words by Alan Atwood cyclocrossworld.com
The cyclo-cross gods blessed the 10th anniversary of this New England classic with bright sunny skies, perfect temperatures, and fast conditions. The leading duo of Amy Dombroski (Velo Bela-Kona) and Ryan Trebon (Kona) took advantage the most in winning both days of the 2008 Erdinger Grand Prix of Gloucester, held at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester.
Dombroski’s weekend got off to a rough start as a first lap crash on Saturday put her in the second group on lap 1. But she eventually recovered to take the lead in a group with Sally Annis (NEBC/CycleLoft/Devonshire Dental), Sarah Kerlin (HRS/Rock Lobster), and Rebecca Wellons (Ridley). The foursome dueled most of the rest of the race until Kerlin ran out of gas, leaving the group at 3. Dombroski then decided to put pressure on the remaining 2 others, sprinting out of the gate on the last lap and holding it for a solo win. Annis surprised Wellons on the final climb with a sprint for 2nd place that left the Ridley rider perplexed and shooting for a better performance tomorrow.
On Sunday, there was no slowing down Dombroski, as she rocketed away from everyone early on before the race got to the newly created super-runup that mirrored the infamous “Putney Wall” to a degree. But unlike yesterday, she led from start to finish completing her second double in 2 weeks, taking a huge lead in the NECCS series and assuming the leadership in the NACT series as well. After lap 2, all eyes were on the race for second, as a big group formed of Kerlin, Wellons, Annis, Kathy Sherwin (Velo Bela/Kona), Josie Jacques-Maynes (Specialized/KMC p/b Cal Giant), and Maureen Bruno Roy (MM Racing p/b Seven Cycles). With her eyes on a NACT lead potentially in the future, Kerlin went for it on the last lap and shot past everyone to take 2nd alone, while Wellons redeemed herself with a big-time sprint over Sherwin and Bruno Roy to round out the podium.
All the pre-race hype for the men centered around the battle between the last 2 national champions, past national champ Trebon and current champ Tim Johnson (Cyclocrossworld.com/Cannondale). But on day 1 the action was centered around 2 others, NECCS leader Jamey Driscoll (Cyclocrossworld.com/Cannondale) and a returning Jesse Anthony (Jamis), who was sporting a wrapped right wrist and was eager to get going with the cross season after fracturing the wrist just ten weeks ago. Anthony managed to get himself in the first group after 2 laps, surprising even himself when questioned about it later. But Driscoll raised everyone’s eyebrows by dropping the rest of the group and was able to maintain a 15-20 second lead solo in the middle of the race. That was just perfect for teammate Johnson, who forced Trebon to do all the chasing and the threesome eventually caught Driscoll with 2 to go. A series of bursts by Trebon then blew the group apart, popping a tired Driscoll first and then letting Anthony go. Johnson held on for dear life but also eventually was popped from Trebon’s wheel, giving round 1 of the battle to the Kona superstar. Johnson and Anthony held on to take the remaining podium spots.
Day 2 brought similar conditions but a much different course, and Trebon would not allow a similar surprising move to force his hand on this day. He took off from the get go and only Johnson could follow, leaving everyone else in the dust. The 2 heavyweights would battle it out all day while the chasing group contained the other contenders, including Driscoll, Dan Timmerman (Team RACE Pro), Justin Lindine (Targettraining), and Andy Jacques-Maynes (Specialized/KMC p/b Cal Giant). The 2 series leaders showed why they were in their respective jerseys at the end when Trebon just powered away from Johnson for the second straight day, while Driscoll dropped his running mates to round out the podium. Trebon now holds a sizable lead in the NACT series, and Driscoll’s 2 top 5 efforts allowed him to maintain the NECCS lead going into the next series races in Northampton, MA on November 1st and 2nd.