Providence CX Festival: A Recap
After missing Gloucester last week, I was definitely looking forward to the Providence Cyclocross festival. For those who aren’t familiar with either event, they are part of what is known as holy week here in New England for cyclocross. If you don’t know what cyclocross is, I encourage you to check out the following videos (feel free to fast forward or just look at clips from each).
So now that we all are on the same page, a quick recap. I knew I wouldn’t be getting home from my work conference until VERY late on Friday night, after travelling and presenting all week, so I had decided ahead of time I would not be racing Saturday. Instead, I decided to volunteer, as I know it takes a lot of people to make these events happen. I agreed to do a 6 hour shift and said they could put me anywhere. I ended up with the 6am-noon shift at the registration tent. I was happy to have a morning shift, but not looking forward to volunteering on just a couple hours sleep.
It ended up being a great opportunity. I met some wonderful people (shout-out to Cyndy Diaz), and I actually felt like I was able to make people’s day a little less stressful (even if in a minor way). I remember last year when Rich and I showed up before his race (first of the day) and there was NO ONE at the registration tent bc the volunteers hadn’t shown up!
After volunteering, I met up with some friends to watch the Cat 3 and the Elite men’s & women’s races. I watched Anson and Jesse go 7th and 8th in the Cat 3, which was a huge improvement for both of them over last season, and then it was time for the pro women’s race. It was a beautiful day, though a little warm for cx racing, but the course was dry and fast.
There were no real surprises in the women’s race, with the exception of a possibly season ending crash for Meredith Miller. This brought us to the completely stacked men’s race. Half way through it became apparent that it was going to be a battle between this season’s two front runners, Ryan Trebon and Jeremy Powers.
Coming through the start/finish with one to go, JPow looked like he was hurting and we fully expected Trebon to make a pass and take the win after letting Jeremy set the pace all day. Unfortunately for him, his attempt didn’t work and he was forced off his bike into the stair section. This left him with time to makeup and he didn’t have room to close the gap and win in the final straightaway. That meant another C1 win for the local favorite, leaving him undefeated in them this year.
I was planning to race Sunday, however, the addition of the flyover did not bode well with my fear of heights and the threat of massive rain had me indecisive going to bed Saturday night. After waking up Sunday, it was obvious my body needed the rest and racing was not in the cards. Rich and I ended up relaxing that morning before heading back to providence for day two’s pro races.
The end of the cat 3 race saw the course still dry and fast, much like the other races that day had been. However, shortly after their race was over the skies began to open. The rain started and the course was quickly changing. The elite women’s race turned into one of survival and minimizing mistakes as the course was like an ice rink!
Then came the men’s race, where we saw a stark contrast from day 1. After Powers fell out of the lead group, it became obvious it had become a training day for him, and it appeared Ryan didn’t even finish the race. Zack McDonald was the star of the race, leading from the 3rd lap on, even taking a dollar hand-up mid race!
The fans were all cheering on local Tim Johnson, as he fought to catch Ian Fields in 2nd. He managed to on the second to last lap, however, so too was Ben Berden (Belgium) on the final lap. It came down to a sprint finish, with Berden taking 2nd away from TJ at the line, much to the disappointment of the crowd.
Although I didn’t race, and the weather was wet and cold on Sunday, it still was a great event. The extra publicity really appeared to pay off as their were more racers, spectators and volunteers all around. I think everyone in attendance will say they can’t wait for next year!
Posted on October 11, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged Ben Berden, cyclocross, Grand Prix of Gloucester, Helen Wyman, Ian Fields, jeremy powers, Meredith Miller, Pink is the new fast, Providence Cyclocross Festival, racing, Ryan Trebon, Shimano Series, Tim Johnson, Zach McDonald. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.