Monday, September 5, 2011

Gateway 2011

Gateway 2011!!!
Well - The theme of Gateway - as always - was the crashes.  Gateway Cup is a four day Crit series and the largest bike race that we have in St. Louis.  Guys from all over the Midwest come and Continental pro teams show up.  This year Ivan (The Cuban Missile) Dominguez and Brad Huff were among the pros.  My plan, was to race the first night, Lafayette Square night crit and watch the rest.  Lafayette Square is wide open and mostly flat - and I have always been to a degree competitive in the race.  However, this year, when we started the temperature was 103 degrees!  We were at the end of some bizarre ass heat wave in September - so the Friday and Saturday were in the 100's and Sunday and Monday were in the 70's - I know, fucked up. 
So anyway, for The Hub, was me, the brothers, Brett, and Todd and honorary member Phil.  the race had 121 guys, was 40 plus 5 and I started in the middle.  Obviously, the race started super fast, and was just sitting in fine and dandy.  At about 20 minutes into the race, I started to cramp up on the backside.  The backside out of turn two has an little uphill into turn three, straight into the wind.  The last few laps seemed like I could never pick the right wheel.  A few times I tried to move up, but the pace was at my limit.  When My stomach started to cramp, that was it, I began to drift back.  I stayed in another 2 or so painful laps and then I fell off, I still had the back of the race in front of me and stayed another two laps or so and then I called it a day - I know, it really sucked.  On self reflection, I don't think it had as much to do about my fitness as it had to do with the heat.  I hate riding like that in extreme humid temps - I never do well, so although I expected more out of myself - my finish was for me predictable.  
Obviously at the end of the race there was a 30 man pile up - what's new?  Here is film from one guy racing.

I missed Saturday and Monday, but I rode to the hill to support the Master's, Cat 4 and Cat3 at the Giro on the Hill - the Italian neighborhood.   I was surprised and then again, not surprised by the low participation by The Hub at Gateway.  No Master's, No 4's and only 2 Cat 3's (Chris Miller and Dave Smith - who crashed out on Monday).  I think a major reason is the amount of serious crashes that happen in these races.  Since I have started racing, I have been in two major crashes - a 50 man pile up at Lafayette 2 years ago and a wipeout in turn 1 at the Hill on the last lap  about 5 years ago.  I think after the crash at the Webster Crit where that Team Mack racer crashed and later died, guys on the team re-thought Gateway.  For the Hill, the entire Hub team was drinking and cheering.  The Cat 3's had a major pile up in turn four - here is video.

Anyway - another Gateway Cup and another year of road is over - now I think I will turn my attention to a little cyclecross!