Returning for its 31st year, all four days of Missouri’s top cycling event, The Staenberg Group (TSG Properties) Gateway Cup (www.gatewaycup.com), are featured for the third year on the prestigious USA Cycling Professional Road Tour (PRT), the premier professionally sanctioned racing series in North America.
“We are always excited to bring professional cycling back to St. Louis. It is a thrill and an honor to bring the PRT status to all four days of the Gateway Cup’s professional men’s and women’s cycling races,” said Mike Weiss, event organizer and owner of St. Louis-based Big Shark Bicycle Company. “The PRT consists of 26 professionally sanctioned races nationwide that showcase the top American teams and riders. We expect to see past and current National Champions, Olympians as well as riders that have achieved international success. Having an event of this caliber in Missouri and the City of St. Louis is great for the region.”
The TSG Gateway Cup takes place September 2-5 in the heart of four unique St. Louis neighborhoods: Lafayette Square, St. Louis Hills (Francis Park), The Hill and Benton Park. Within each of these host communities, the race course is defined by an approximate 1-mile lap known as a “criterium.” This Americanized style of racing appeals to both athletes and spectators alike as the peloton, or pack of cyclists, passes by every few minutes at impressive speeds, holding lines only inches apart from one another. Spectators can watch the race unfold lap after lap as the commentators announce race strategy and rev up the crowd, creating a better understanding and involvement with the events.
The TSG Realty Gateway Cup features eight successive races each day based on ability, ranging from beginner to professional. Each day is punctuated by the men’s and women’s Pro-Am Racing. In this race, 150 of the nation’s top cyclists hurl themselves around corners averaging 30 miles per hour towards a dramatic, thrilling sprint finish. Racers will compete for $70,000 in prize money. Due to the equal prize list for pro men and pro women, the Gateway Cup is a top draw for the best women in the sport.
The nation’s top professional men’s and women’s cycling teams expected to participate in this year’s Gateway Cup (Tour De Lafayette Square, Tour De Francis Park, Giro Della Montagna and The Benton Park Classic) include:
Top US Professional Men’s Cycling Teams:
- United Healthcare Procycling, www.uhcprocycling.com
- Rally Pro Cycling www.rallycycling.com
- Astellas Pro Cycling www.astellascycling.com
- Intelligentsia Coffee/Bahati-WTR, featuring former US Professional Champions and TSG Gateway Cup Champions Rahsan Bahati and Danny Holloway
Top US Professional Women’s Cycling Teams:
- United Healthcare Procycling, www.uhcprocycling.com, featuring former US Olympian Lauren Tamayo
- ISCorp presented by Smart Choice MRI, www.iscorpcycling.com, featuring US National Champion Samantha Schneider
- Mellow Mushroom, www.mellowracing.com, featuring former US World Championship Team Laura Van Gilder
For those who enjoy cycling, but on a more amateur level, The Gateway Cup has scheduled several events throughout the weekend that everyone in the family can enjoy. Visit /www.gatewaycup.com for more information on these events:
- Kid’s Races – Each day, Big Brothers Big Sisters will stage children’s bicycle sprint racing to the finish line. Age range for participants is Big Wheels through age 12. Participants must bring own helmets and bicycles.
- Junior Races – Four days of criterium racing for boys and girls ages 10-18.
- Ride to Unite – A recreational 6-mile ride with the pros for cyclists of ALL abilities to promote the message that cycling can be enjoyed by everyone. Hosted by Delta Gamma, St. Louis Rec Council, TASK, Down Syndrome Association and the Special Olympics of Missouri
- Trailnet Giro Della Montagna Fun Ride – With distances for a variety of riders, take a tour of historic St. Louis.
- The Benton Park Labor Day 5K– Run, walk or stroll in this fun 5K event.