Gateway Cup – St. Louis/Labor Day Weekend

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The Gateway Cup is usually a good weekend to get some year-end speed work in.  It’s 4 criteriums in four days.  The first 2 are night time races.  The last three are on good hard courses.  Small hills that wear on you.  I love racing at night.  The speed sense is increased so much it seems like you’re going 40 mph all the time.

Friday’s race started pretty late.  Nearly 10pm.   It was only an hour 15 because of permit issues, etc.  Nothing to really report here.  Was suprised I felt better riding.  I was having some issues with cadence.  Thought my leg speed was down the drain.  The field was together at the end.  I had some other issues with positioning.  I had to make a big effort on the last lap to just get up to 10th in the last corner.  I was on my team mates, Bill Stolte’s, wheel.  I told him to punch it.  He rode me off his wheel.  He finished 7th and I was 10th.  I was perplexed. Dan Schmatz won which was good for the hometown crowd and his local sponsor.  He’s won the race something like 5 times or so.  He has that sprint timed perfectly.   Anyway, got to the hotel after 1am.  Ordered some pizza, took the dog for a walk and got to bed an hour later.  Around 3 am I woke and figured out that I was riding the wrong rear wheel and only had a 12 on the rear.  No 11.  I wasn’t really thinking about the race, but somewhere in the back of my mind, it must of still been there.  If I have to sit down, the sprint is over for me.  I need to put on a bigger front ring.

Saturday was a good race too.  Evening.  New course.  Hard.  Felt good.  I won a couple primes and felt better again.  But, I missed a huge move with about everyone in the race up the road.  Brian Jensen won.  He outsprinted Colby Pierce who nearly made the Olympic track team a couple months ago.  Pretty good result for sure.

Sunday and Monday were both field sprints also.  I was off the front for a few laps both days, but nothing was working.  Actually, Sunday was a field sprint for 2nd.  Coby Pierce rode away by himself and made it two for THF Realtry.  Sunday was hot.  95 maybe.  Middle of the day.  Hour and a half race.  Alot of guys melted.  More than half the field quit.  The end was pretty chaotic.  Brian jumped hard a half lap out on the uphill back side.  Kind of caught the field by suprise.  I was 10 or so back.  Had to weave my way through a few guys dieing.  I was 3 or 4 bike lengths off Henk Vogels going into the last sweeper.  Then it is 600 meters downhill to the finish.  I was paniced not drafting into the sprint.  I got onto the front group, onto Henk’s wheel just when he went by the small group at 300 meters.  But, I miss timed it abit/alot and ended up 5th at the end.  I should of been 2nd, but should of’s don’t really mean much after the fact.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised Tuesday that I was pretty fresh still.  Even with the sleep deprivation going on over the weekend.   Maybe it’s the start of something.  Cooler weather at least.

I’m building up a few cross bikes the next couple days.  Getting my MTB bike back in racing order.  I’m going up to Chequamegon early next week.  I guess Lance is coming, so it’s going to be a circus somewhat.  Good for the promoter, Gary Crandell, though.  He deserves it.  Anyway, there’s still a ton of racing to be had.  I’m doing 6 races in a 9 days period over the Interbike week.  5 cross races and 1 criterium.  I’m pretty sure that is a receipe for disaster.  But, you never know if you don’t try it.  OK.  I’ll find some photos to post later.  Out.