Food, drink and bike racing under the lights, what better way to spend a Friday night? The traditional opener of the THF Realty Gateway Cup brings exactly that to the fans, at the Studio 2108 presents The Tour de Lafayette, a traditional 4-corner crit raced on a flat, wide-open .9 mile course in the Lafayette Square neighborhood of St Louis, Missouri.
With the Tour of Missouri canceled, many pros looked to the Gateway Cup to get some racing into their legs to get ready for the upcoming US Pro Road Championships.
In his Stars & Stripes, Daniel Holloway (BISSELL) came out of the gate blasting some high speed for the 120+ field, he meant business. Attacks flew with a few short-lived breaks with a dangerous one going off at 10 laps to go which included Chad Hartley (Kenda p/b GearGrinders), Scott Moninger (Michelob Ultra – Big Shark Racing), Dan Ramsey (Williams Cycling) and Holloway. But the field was all back together with around three laps to go in the 75-minute (+5 laps) race, all to set up the expected bunch sprint. Holloway took the win with Rob Bush (Kenda p/b GearGrinders) taking 2nd and Brad Huff (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda) third.
For the women, the race offers up equal payouts to the pro/1/2 category with the Gateway Cup Women’s Series and a combined purse of $10,000.. Only 30 women lined up for the Friday race.
Modesta Vzesniauskaite won the bunch sprint in the 45-min (+5 laps) crit, delivering another win for the Colavita/Baci squad winner of the 2010 NRC. Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) came in second with Lauren Hall (Team VBF) in third. Hall also managed to win three of the four primes during the race for a nice chunk of change. Kristin Sanders (Colavita/Baci) took the fourth prime.
In its 19th year, Gateway Cup consists of 4 criteriums over the Labor Day Weekend, each with distinct personalities. Saturday brings the Big Shark Bicycle Company – St. Louis Hills Park Crit, in a neighborhood with gingerbread bungalows, stately homes. Course is a 1.3 mile rectangle around Francis Park itself.
The third stop is the longest standing bike race in the St Louis area, the Giro Della Montagna which is celebrating its 25th year, races through the heart of the City’s Italian neighborhood. A four-corner rectangle with the finish in front of St. Ambrose church. In honor of the 25th consecutive Giro della Montagna, the neighborhood organization Hill 2000 is providing an additional $2,500 in prize money to be used specifically for the Giro.
And the fourth and last race on Sunday is brand new, the Greenstreet Properties Benton Park Classic Criterium. A technical 1.77-mile, figure-8 course that races around historic St. Louis architecture, Anheuser-Busch and some of St. Louis Landmark businesses.
Top 10 Women Results
1. Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Colavita/Baci Pro Cycling Team)
2. Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom)
3. Lauren Hall (Team Vera Bradley Foundation)
4. Samantha Schneider (Team TIBCO)
5. Shontell Gauthier (Colavita/Baci)
6. Carrie Cash Wootten (Team Vera Bradley Foundation)
7. Tiffany Pezzulo (Treads.com/DFT)
8. Erin Silliman (Fruit66/Artemis)
9. Vanessa Drigo (Team Vanderkitten)
10. Shalie Sanbrooks (Russ Hays)
Top 10 Men Results
1. Daniel Holloway (BISSELL Pro Cycling)
2. Robert Bush (Kenda Pro Cycling Team p/b GearGrinders)
3. Brad Huff (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda)
4. Chad Cagle (Park Place Dealerships)
5. Colton Barrett (Texas Roadhouse p/b Motorex)
6. Nick Frey (Jamis/Sutter Home pb Colavita)
7. Stephen Tilford (Tradewind Energy/The Trek Store)
8. Daniel Schmatz (Michelob Ultra-Big Shark Racing)
9. Chad Hartley (Kenda Pro Cycling p/b GearGrinders)
10. Joshua Carter (Hotel San Jose/Juwi Solar)
Photo Gallery (click for larger images)