Holloway, Kirchmann take 2015 Gateway Cup opener

St. Louis race begins in Lafayette Square

The 2015 Staenberg Group Gateway Cup opened with its traditional night race under the lights in the Lafayette Square neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri. Immediately, the series delivered an unpredictable duo of races in both the men and women’s fields.

In both races, it was clear that the United Health Care team wanted to stamp their authority on the event, which they thoroughly dominated in both fields the previous year. The women’s race began with a number of probing attacks by various UHC riders, gaining a scant margin before the peloton regrouped. Samantha Schneider’s IS-Corp team was equal in its aggression in the hopes of keeping control over the NCC overall title. Eventually, when a field sprint became obvious, UHC massed to the front and tried to set up a win for the team. What no one accounted for was the devastating kick of Leah Kirchmann of Optum, a team that had waited patiently throughout the race, only to turn on the afterburners when it really mattered. Ultimately, Lauren Tamayo of UHC was second and Schneider took third, strengthening her hold in the NCC overall.

The Men’s race began with equal parts aggression and comedy from the two main teams seeking to be protagonists throughout he series. As UHC monitored attacks and sent riders off the front, AltoVelo, Seasucker’s Daniel Holloway, the current national criterium champion, sat at the back, hyping the crowd through ever lap and generally enjoying himself. At one point he even bridged to a three man break, straight from the very back of the group before the peloton decided that it was time to exercise some control on the field. As the race went on, numerous attacks of ones and twos would drift off the front, only to be immediately reeled back on the lightning fast course around Lafayette Park.

Heading into the final seven laps, United Health Care put their lead-out out train on the front, controlling the pace and discouraging attacks. The final few laps ticked by with UHC firmly in control until the final corner, when Daniel Holloway stormed out of turn four with Missouri native and Optum rider Brad Huff in tow to take the win with Huff second and Ryan Atcheson of Astellas rounding out the podium. For all their perceived domination, and certainly after last year’s total Gateway Cup lockdown, United Health Care will have to regroup in both the men and women’s field if they hope to reclaim their stranglehold of the previous year.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dan Holloway (USA) Alto Velo-Seasucker  
2Brad Huff (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
3Ryan Aitcheson (USA)  
4Rafel Meran (USA)  
5Luke Keough (USA) UnitedHealthcare  
6Colton Barrett (USA) Texas Roadhouse  
7Brad Neagos (USA) Bissell-ABG-Giant  
8Dennis Ramirez (USA) Gatewahy Harley Davidson  
9Mehdi Benhamouda (USA)  
10Martin Reinert (USA)  

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Leah Kirchmann (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
2Lauren Tamayo (USA) UnitedHealthcare  
3Samantha Schneider (USA) ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice  
4Joanne Kiesanowski (Nzl)  
5Erica Allar (USA)  
6Yussely Soto (USA) ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice  
7Diana Penuela (USA) Park Palace Dealerships  
8Laureta Hansen (USA)  
9Tina Pic (USA) Pepper Palace Pro Cycling  
10Katherine Shewrin (USA) River City Market Racing  

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