Gran Prix Gloucester cancelled for 2019

JOSEPH PREZIOSO/File photo/Elite Women ride a turn on the course during the 2018 Craft Sportswear Gran Prix of Gloucester at Stage Fort Park last October. The race will not take place this year.

One of Gloucester's longest running and most unique sporting events has been cancelled for this fall.

The annual Gran Prix of Gloucester has taken place at Stage Fort Park for more than two decades and has drawn hundreds of amateur and professional cyclocross athletes to the city each October.

"After 20 years this decision isn't made lightly," race director Paul Boudreau said in a press release issued Tuesday evening. "For various reasons, this year's preparation is significantly behind where it needs to be."

"We take pride in promoting a high-quality event that people look forward to," he continued. "We aren't willing to put on an event that doesn't meet the high bar set by previous editions."

The Gran Prix of Gloucester showcases the sport of cyclocross, which is called the steeplechase of cycling as it not only features road racing, but features off-road racing and multiple obstacles throughout the race course such as water traps and sand pits.

Problems arose in late August when it was announced that there would be a two-week delay in registration. According to Boudreau, the Gran Prix put in a request to work with the city on a participant survey, which was not completed before the original registration date. There were also scheduling changes involving the junior races, which recently became official Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) events.

The future of the event beyond 2019 is also in doubt as the Gran Prix is an official UCI event and the UCI schedule must be finalized by Dec. 15.

"Every year, planning the calendar process for UCI starts soon after GP Gloucester," Boudrea said. "At this point we can't say for certain that plans for 2020 can be finalized before the UCI deadline."


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