Stage 3 of the gateway cup was probably my favorite race of the weekend. A short but steep climb on the backside, and a downhill finish.

I had decided that I would double up today, and raced both the 4/5 and the 4. The 4/5, after being blessed by the cardinal and sent off by the Lieutenant governed of Missouri, two riders were given a 15 second head start. Both were older riders who only race this race every year, so they shouldn't have been a threat. I decided to make sure, and gunned it from the start. I flew by them after turn 2 onto "The Hill" (the name of the neighborhood, the race, and the fixture that would define it). I passed both of them on lap one and one said to me "Really? Already?" and they dug in and held on with me up the hill. I crossed the first lap in front, thinking to myself that while I knew this was foolish, I was going to make sure St. Louis knew Chicago was there to race. (This would later get me on local TV as well ;))

I fought the hill for a half hour, staying near the front the entire time, pulling several laps, and swapping spots with Tracy D. The final lap I was positioned well, but a crash at the top of the hill made me swerve and lose a few spots, and I finished 10th on the downhill finish to a whole slew of skinny mountain goat Juniors and Tracy one spot ahead of me. A good showing from the team, but not quite enough.

I ran and ate some local food favorites (fried raviolis and coke, to be specific) and waited the hour until the cat 4 race, lined up with Jared, Tracy, and Charley Meyer, and pretty much repeated my performance from the 4/5. Once again Tracy and I took turns going in the front and stretching out the field, and in the end, I wound up 19th in a 99 strong field. I was happy with our performance as a team, and felt we represented strong. I had a lot of regrets to racing the 4/5, but in the end, I don't think not doubling up would have done the job against the strong field I was facing.

An awesome free pasta dinner and a few choice recovery beverages later, and I hit the sack ready to do this one more time the next day.