Day two of the Staenberg Group Gateway Cup brought the peloton to the rolling course around Francis Park in St. Louis Hills. Aggressive racing in the thick heat of late summer marked both the men and women’s races as United Health Care tried to make amends for the mistakes of the previous night.
In the women’s race, UHC sought the role of the animators, lighting up nearly every lap with attacks and making sure to mark the wheels of any move they didn’t instigate. Seeking to match UHC’s aggression, the team of Colavita was equally active. Although there were a number of short-lived breakaways, the field stayed largely together. Notably, the IS-Corp team of National Criterium Calendar leader, Sam Schneider seemed content to play a waiting game and let the other leading teams share the pace making. Mirroring the tactics of stage one, the UHC juggernaut massed to the front with three laps to go, hoping to set up a sprint win. Also mirroring stage one, the team that showed the most patience came out on top, with Schneider and wunderkind sister, Skylar Schneider going one-two for IS-Corp. Veteran Tina Pic of Pepper Palace rounded out the podium and UHC was left empty handed.
The men’s race showed blistering aggression from the beginning with attacks flying almost immediately. Throughout the race, groups of five to ten would gain upwards of fifteen seconds before being swallowed by the strung out field. The entirety of the race was marked by numerous crashes, taking out large chunks of the field and disrupting the rhythm of the race. Stage one winner, Daniel Holloway crashed heavily and showed substantial road rash to the left side of his body, but managed to stay in the race. In the final seven laps, a break of three riders peeled clear led by local strongman Devin Clark, a former teammate of Holloway’s. The trio held on to a fifteen second lead until two laps to go, when it was finally brought back by the efforts of the Astellas team.
Once the break was caught, United Health Care, who had been largely inactive throughout the race, took to the front and delivered a win for sprinter Carlos Alzate with Luke Keough taking third. Incredibly, despite his injuries, Holloway finished second and maintained his overall lead.
Day three of the Gateway Cup heads to the Hill neighborhood of St. Louis for the Giro della Montagna, the oldest race of the series. So far, patience has been the key in each race, but that dynamic may change, as each course gets successively harder.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team|
|1||Carlos Alzate UnitedHealthcare|
|2||Daniel Holloway Alto Velo-Seasucker|
|3||Luke Keough UnitedHealthcare|
|5||Mehdi Benhamouda Team Novo Nordisk|
|6||Brad Huff Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|7||Martin Reinert Stradalli Cycle~Safftti Smart|
|9||Quentin Valognes Team Novo Nordisk|
|10||Aldo Ino Ilesic Alto Velo-Seasucker|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team|
|1||Samantha Schneider ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice|
|2||Skylar Schneider ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice|
|3||Tina Pic Pepper Palace Pro Cycling|
|4||Leah Kirchmann Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|5||Cari Higgins UnitedHealthcare|
|8||Yussely Soto ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice|
|9||Amy Cutler Fearless Femme p/b Haute Wheels|
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