Here is an update from our East Coast team, written by Tom Horrocks
You’ve no doubt seen the hash tag #crossiscoming across all forms of social media as excitement builds for the coming season. In fact, we’ve been stoking the #crossiscoming fire too as we swelter through the hazy, hot and humid days of summer here in New England with gravel and road rides.
Soon enough though, cool, crisp mornings will be greeted with long sleeve jerseys and knee warmers as we gear up for the first cyclocross races of the season.
This year, the big buzz revolves around calendar and venue changes for some of New England’s iconic events. Gone is New England’s Holy Week, which in the past opened with two days of racing in late September at Gloucester, Massachusetts, then sandwiched two midweek races before culminating at the Cross alter of Roger Williams Park for the KMC Cross Festival in Providence, Rhode Island.
Gloucester has moved back almost a month to mid-October dates and the KMC Cross Festival is heading North outta Rhode Island to Connecticut’s Thompson Motor Speedway, which promises a Zolder, Belgium-like course and increased capacity to handle New England’s largest CX event, which hopefully gains future World Cup status. Despite the later dates though, the hype continues for Gloucester as the Master 35+, 45+ and Junior categories all filled up in less than 90 minutes once registration opening on Bikereg.com. For those of you keeping score, there are already close to 1,500 registered for a cross event 60 days out. Compare that to only 459 registered for the Iconic Green Mountain Stage Race Labor Day weekend … #crossiscoming, or #roadracingisdead?
After a solid early season of gravel, mountain bike and road races, Tom, Jamie, Chris and Andrew have been prepping for the season despite a few setbacks. Chris torn his meniscus and then two weeks later suffered an infection in the same knee that landed him in the hospital for three days. A couple weeks after getting back out on the bike, Chris hit the deck and broke a couple ribs, while Tom broke his collarbone in the same crash. Both boys are on a speedy road to recovery and already back out on the bike.
Andrew recently won the New England Regional Criterium Championships and promptly upgraded to Cat 3. In addition, the strapping young man recently received his UCI license and is ready to rub elbows with the big boys at the UCI’s Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series (Gloucester, Northampton International, Supercross Cup and NBX Gran Prix of ’Cross). Jamie has been piloting his Jamis Nemeses around the New England trails and jumping in a few mountain bike races here and there.
So, the final #crossiscoming prep is underway, starting with the Vermont Overland, featuring 50 miles of classic Vermont dirt and seven sections of “Vermont pave.” Toss in a few “big name” riders among the 700+ entrants, such as Ned Overend, the Bouchard-Hall Brothers (yes, that’s USA Cycling CEO DBH), Ellie Anderson and Tim Johnson, post ride food and beer, and we’ve got one helluva race! Then it’s on to the Stone Valley 50 gravel race in Western Vermont in September. In the meantime, new Jamis Supernova Team Team frames have arrived, the leaves will soon be changing, and #crossiscoming.