The Gateway cup is a 4 race serious over Labor Day here in St Louis. Home of the Rams, Cardinals and of course home of Nelly!
Day 1 80km Crit
Rained all day and by the time we got to race is was only drizzling a little. The circuit was very slippery and it was hard to see cos we were racing at 9pm. We had brought a very strong team to these races as one of 7UP/Maxxis' major sponsors (THF Realty) comes from this town.
We had John and Jason who could attack crazy out of the field and then Dan, Brice and myself who are probably some of the fastest finishers in our team. As it turned out John and Jason got away with one other guy just after half way so we just got set up for the sprint. I was going to lead out Dan and Brice for 4th and 5th but with 4 to go they rang the bell for a hundred dollar prime. Dan said got get that because he could sprint for himself. I won the sprint then kept going for the next 4 laps trying to hold off the charging bunch. I got caught with 500m to go but Jason won the night with John 2nd and Dan took 4th with Brice getting 6th.
Day2 Hill Circuit
Last year John lapped the field solo cos its uphill one side then downhill the other. This day was really positive racing with a heap of attacking. Once again John and Jason where attacking hard but nothing would stick. Brice and I were covering as many of the moves as possible so we would have good numbers in the breaks. Dan was sitting pretty just incase it come down to a bunch kick. After 80mins of racing it did come down to a sprint so I lead Dan out with the team staked on his wheel. I came off John with 400m to go and he slipped back on Dans wheel. I jumped and with 100m to go Dan came past. I looked back and there was a big gap. I rolled across the line for second. Jason managed 3rd and John held on for 5th. Another good day for us.
Day 3 70km Crit.
Really humid!!! Racing was a little sluggish today as everyone was tired from yesterday. No moves were sticking and Jason and Brice where covering everything. At about half way I thought right, stop being lazy Greg and get on the attack. 3 laps later I was off the front with 2 guys. I was going pretty good today. 4 laps later I heard on the radio...Greg look behind you! John was trying to bridge across solo. When he got there we just drilled it and let the other 2 guys sit in. When it come to the finish I won the sprint with John taking second and Brice taking 6th again from the bunch.
Day 4 75km Crit
Pouring rain!!! We lined up on the front with the whole team. As soon as the gun went we rolled the front for 20 mins flat stick....when we looked around there was only about 20 guys left in the race. There was crashes and all sorts of chaos going on behind us because of the rain and the tight corners. We attacked the race hard and finally ended up with 4 guys in the final split. With about 6 laps to go John and Jason slipped off the front. I was about to go across to them but thought we had better make sure we win the sprint with Dan and I. As it turned out when Dan took off no one could hold his wheel so I took third and he got 4th. For the overall Gateway Cup team 7up/Maxxis took 1 thru 4....kinda greedy but it was our sponsors money so surely we deserved it?!?
Pretty happy with how I was going. Feels like my training over the last 2 weeks has done something for my road racing. Still a bit of work to be done though in a few areas. I still feel too much like a track racer and keep riding tiny gears. My results for the long weekend look good also with a 1st, 2nd and a 3rd out of 4 races.
Sanfran is only two weeks so Ill be training real hard trying to get a little more strength in these legs of mine. Lance Armstrong and most of his Tour de France team are confirmed starters so it will be a hard race to finish off my season thats for sure...then its home for to NZ for me....