If you have a love for crit racing, like Angie Carey does, then you should consider racing Gateway cup next year. Read her recap of the experience in the below post.
If you have a love for crit racing like I do, you are going to want to mark your calendars next year for this awesome race! What’s Gateway Cup? Gateway Cup is four days of criterum racing at its finest. These races are held in the heart of four unique St. Louis neighborhoods. Gateway cup also offers EQUAL payout for the women’s and men’s professional races. So this being my first Gateway cup race I thought I’d share a recap of my experience.
Tour De Lafayette – Day 1
Flat & fast – Loved this course!! This nighttime criterium takes place on a flat, wide-open 0.9-mile course with four wide 90-degree turns. I didn’t know quite what to expect racing with unfamiliar faces, but it was a blast, plenty of counter attacks, two primes to makes things a little Interesting and for me a 6th place finish that paid out!
Tour De Francis Park – Day 2
Flat & fast yet again!! This course is known for its wide tree lined streets, four wide 90-degree turns a great power course! Mid way through this race, I heard someone screaming for me, I kept thinking “who is that” I knew where my family was standing, so not them, as the race went on the cheering continued even louder and defiantly helping my competitive spirits to win another prime and another 6th place finish. After the race I was excited to find out the screaming cheers were coming from our teammate Vera Divenyi! It was so awesome to have that kind of support & cheers at a race, thank you again, Vera!!
Giro Della Montagna – Day 3
One hill that hurts!! Short circuit with a backside climb & tight corners that will have your legs burning mid-way through. I would say I’m a sprinter, not so much a climber so needless to say I was hurting on this course, I did get in another prime which I was happy with, but my finish suffered for that. Overall another great course, plenty of surges and being in the front half on the tight turns is a must on this course……now to work on my climbing skills, ha!
Benton Park Classic – Day 4
Long flat & fast course!! This course is the longest course of all four days and it’s technically demanding- for me, my dream course. I thought this was it, my day to get on the podium, tight technical cornering & long power stretches, I was so hyped up for an awesome race. The whistle goes off and the race starts. We get off to a slow first lap, I’m feeling everyone is a little fatigued after three days of racing, then low and behold the attacks start, one after another. I’m trying to race smart, I don’t want to blow up and not have enough for the finish but also want to help string out the pack. We are now at 35 minutes of racing, I had a great race thus far, and it was time for the final lap. I started making my way to the top four, I knew it was important to be sitting 3rd or 4th wheel coming into the final hair pin turn to the finish line. So it’s here the final straight away before the turn, my adrenaline is pumping I’m ready to start sprinting, we are heading into the final turn, the women in first pedal strikes almost goes down, the women sitting second wheel avoids her & goes left, third wheel goes right, I’m right there on her wheel, as I go right again to get past her, she shimmy’s to the right again cutting me off and throwing me into the barriers. UUUGGGHH, such a bummer, just like that 10 spots go by as I had to brake from crashing, but hey, that’s racing. On the upside of things I finished, my bike and I were still standing upright, and I had a blast racing with all of these strong women.
Overall Gateway Cup is a great racing scene, I highly recommend it. I’m looking forward to next year and reclaiming day four to a podium win! Oh one last thing, all those unfamiliar faces by day four, became new racing friends.