`Crossing it up in Gloucester

A Gran Prix effort

This past weekend, the Richard Sachs Cyclocross Team spent two days in the Cape Ann Region of Massachusetts and raced the Gran Prix of Gloucester. Gloucester hosts a weekend UCI event that has few equals. I would need a fact check on this, but I believe the race organization is in its 10th year, and nearly every iteration has been on the National or International calendar.

Our little group takes this weekend very seriously, and it normally starts by getting the best parking space(s) in the lot. Once the first vehicle arrives, the others basically circle the wagon and we form our own little shtetl right there in Stage Fort Park. We have had years of practice at these things, and most of the venues we arrive at have what we view as RS Team worthy areas, or trees, or picnic tables at which to stake our claim(s), vehicles-wise. But the team area at Gloucester is the same each year, and once Dave or I get in at the early hour, our team mates know that the compound is ready for the weekend, and that the tailgating and the exorcisms body talk can begin.

It's silly, I know, but it's these little things that allow the bonding and sharing and memory making to occur, and we all leave every venue and each season hungry for that next race. Like surfers chasing that perfect wave, the RS 'Cross Team lives for race weekends.

Because the UCI races that we do are the highest rated events, the competition is always fierce and the body count in each race is very high. If I recall, Gloucester had over 1,200 registrations for the weekend. While there was a concurrent UCI weekend in Ohio that tapped some of the talent, the folks that showed up to race here in New England ensured that the nickname of the Gloucester Worlds would stick for another year.

The Elite Men's and Women's events each had their share of current and former National Champions. Because our Jon Hamblen, Matt Kraus, and Amy Wallace all have a decent ranking in the UCI points standings, they were given the privilege of call-ups which meant that the scrum to the first race obstacle was a tad easier since they get lined up in the first row. Life-at-the-top.

Results wise, we did quite well. On Saturday, Jon and Matt were 22nd and 24th respectively. Across the hall in the Women's race, Amy got the issimo working and finished 4th, while Alie Kenzer came in 21st. I'll take these results any day of the week!

On Sunday, Jon and Matt ramped it up a bit and finished 17th and 19th, while Amy was 10th in her race. Unfortunately, Alie may have zigged when she should have zagged, and ended up on the pavement and ultimately in the emergency room. She sustained major bruises and abrasions and will be on the injured list for at least two weeks. We try to always see the bright side when life serves us lemons, so I certainly felt better about all this when the negatives showed up in my inbox.

Alie is in good spirits and will travel with us to the Mid Atlantic Conference UCI races next weekend when we drive to Wilmington, Delaware and then to Ludwig's Corner, Pennsylvania for another couple of uber high-end events.

© BikeRadar 2007

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