Gloucester Cyclocross 40+ Race Report
By David Hildebrand
Gloucester is one of those races that everyone looks forward to. When I say everyone, I mean everyone! This race pulls in around 2,200 racers from around the country and is the cornerstone of what is called “the Holy Week of Cyclocross” and it takes place right here in good ole New England. I headed up to Gloucester the night before with my family to enjoy the town and all it has to offer. The event takes place as Stage Fort Park and is the perfect venue for a fast and technical Cyclocross race and they sure delivered this weekend. The weather was warmer than expected at an unseasonal 86 degrees. The course was bone dry and the air filled with a massive dust cloud after the first lap was under way.
I was lining up on the second row with a head cold. I’d been off the bike for the entire week nursing myself back to health and thought I could get by in the race as long as it was in my head and not the chest. The whistle sounded and I quickly jumped right to the front and slotted 3rd wheel coming into the first turns; I would stay here in 3rd for the remainder of my time – My legs felt good but I immediately started to feel a burn in my chest. After the dust bowl kicked up, it hit me hard and soon I realized I needed to pull the plug on the race and call it a weekend. This is tough to do as a competitive person, but I’ve learned one thing, it’s better to be smart about your health than push the limits. That usually ends up digging a big hole in your health. This race would prove too much for me this time. It gave me time to chill out and cheer for all my teammates racing on Sunday, of which we had plenty and many of them did great!