This past weekend, I took the Heritage Race Club show on the road, competing at the Gateway Cross Cup UCI event in St. Louis, Missouri. A city rich in cycling history, with deep fields of talented athletes, St. Louis continues to be a racing hub of the Midwest, attracting competitors from around the country. With two cyclocross racing series in the metropolitan area, and now a UCI level weekend event, it’s apt to say that the sport is flourishing down south.
Saturday - My prior racing endeavors this season netted me a front row call up for the USAC Men’s Open race. From the whistle, I took the hole shot, ceding the lead upon entering the grass. With long stretches of thick grass and prevailing winds, the field quickly fractured. An eight-man lead group pushed hard on lap one, establishing a 20 second gap ahead of the rest of the Men’s field. Sitting fourth on Lap 3, a tangle in the first of two stair run-up sections cost me my position in the lead group. Chasing alone for the remaining five laps, the strong headwinds inhibited catching back on with the leaders, resulting in an 8th place for the day.
Sunday; Starting on the front row, with another holeshot, I wasted no time taking command of the race. By Lap 2, a fellow Kansas rider and I established a small gap ahead of the field. Two riders eventually bridged up, generating a four man race for the remainder of the day. With one lap to go, a Tulsa rider put in an explosive attack mid-lap. I countered the attack, rocketing through the final technical sections. However, unable to close, I sprinted down the asphalt finishing stretch, nipping 2nd place by a wheel for my first podium of the season.
Meanwhile at the CCC race at Sunrise Park the team had another consistent weekend of racing on a deceptively hard course. A top ten finish for Al, top 20 finishes for Pat and Lindsay, and another Heritage podium for Mike and David.
I will use this momentum and continue to build fitness, returning to Chicago racing this weekend at Campton Cross. More importantly, there were loads of questions and excitement around the new team and our sponsors! I think all of our sponsors can expect some visits when Central and Southern Illinois racers make the trek to Chicago this winter for the State and Regional Cyclocross Championships.
Thanks again for your support!!
Heritage Race Club