Friday, September 9, 2011

Gatweay Cup... no wins, no crashes, never got dropped, i'll take it.

Last weekend i did 4 days or racing in St. Louis. Gateway Cup. Crits. It went well.

I've been hoping for a great performance in a race on my road bike, this weekend was the last opportunity of the year, it almost delivered.

Day 1

Big square course with wide roads, basically flat. Around 120 starters. I made one attempt to move up but besides that I rode in the back all day. This proved to be good since there was a big crash in front of me at the finish. We all had to slam the breaks and pick our way across the finish line and around the carnage. It was bad. One dude didn't get up for 15 minutes. Kind of a surreal way to start the weekend. But i was fine and ready for the next three days. The beer hand-up on the cool down lap helped to calm the nerves.

While watching the pro 1 2 race i noticed this guy in the very back on almost every lap, then i realized it was Ivan Dominguez, recently back from retirement, then all the sudden he was in the front and sprinting for the win. That's my style. He never got a 'W' but he always spent the first half of the race at the very back and then all the sudden would be at the front mixing it up. I love this guy. Plus we snapped pic of him on the drive home, he got a kick out of that.

Day 2

Big square with wide roads, mostly flat. About 109 starters. I was more aggressive today and found myself at the front halfway thru, two guys were off the front about 100 yards so i attempted to bridge. It wasn't a thought out move, just happened, it was awesome. It was also short lived. After about 15 seconds i realized i was going to blow up if i kept chasing so i signaled to the lone rider who had joined me to come around and take a pull... he wasn't interested... the peloton caught us and i hung on for a few laps and caught my breath.

After that i just chilled in the middle and when the wind-up for the sprint started i said 'peace out' and coasted in for a casual finish. There had already been a fair amount of crashing so i didn't' feel like risking anything. Cross is coming up and i want my body to be functioning properly.

The most exciting part of the day had to be watching KC local Cameron Rex take a nail biting win in the cat 3 field. He was off solo with 15 seconds on the last lap and ended up winning by about 3 bike lengths. Check out the three photos of him below. The podium of the cat 3 race were all 17 year olds.

Day 3

Rectangular course with a big climb and much narrower roads than the first two days. 106 starters and my favorite course of the weekend.

After two days of racing i could feel that my body was warming up so my hopes were high. On paper a climbing course should favor me since i'm a pretty light dude. The race started and i was surprised at how fast we were going up. I never looked at my computer but we seemed to be flying up the hill. We did have a tail wind. I should also mention that the crowds for the weekend were great, lots of folks came out. Today was particularly good as the local community really embraced the event. It was in the italian neighborhood and this was the 27th running of the race. Awesome stuff. When you ask some locals where's a good spot to get pizza and they tell you 'Guidos' you know your in good hands.

So, back to the race, most passes up the hill i would make up some spots. Wether from actively trying to move up or just going around folks who were struggling with the pace. With about 5 laps to go i got really aggressive, found myself behind El Baggero, and moved up even more. I didn't think to far ahead because i was focused on the task at hand but in the back of my mind i thought i might finally have a good result in a race on my road bike.

As the final lap started i was sitting around 30th, not great, but i was on the outside which i thought would give me a fast line around the corner leading to the hill. Thats where I (and lots of other folks) would make my move. Unfortunately this outside line was suddenly occupied by the slowest dude to take a corner ever. Seriously, this guy went so slow! So i had to scrub all this speed, then re-accelerate up the hill, then finish an anonymous 40th place.

Oh well, the dude abides.

Cameron Rex almost won solo again, dude's on fire.

Later that night we went to a pig roast and drank Budweiser. I'll take it.

Day 4

The most intricate course of the weekend. 12 turns, mostly flat, cool setting. I felt better on day 3 but today was actually my best result. 33rd out of about 100. Perhaps it's because we were racing in the shadow of the Budweiser brewery. I did a good job of moving up a little bit here and there and was able to avoid the splits that were caused by all the turns.

Cameron Rex won the cat 3 race.

So that's it, road season is over for me. I'm don't feel like analyzing it except to say that it was fun, disappointing, illuminating, and i still love riding my bike.

See you at the cross races.

1 comment:

  1. I love a good long post. Before reading this one; i took a shower, made a drink, got my green on, and settled in. And this one did not disappoint. SC is like a fine wine, not to be rushed. No b.s.