Ben Berden and Amanda Miller Take Day One of the Gateway Cross Cup – Report, Photos and Results

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Women head up the steps under the lights at the Gateway Cross Cup. © Matt James

Women head up the steps under the lights at the Gateway Cross Cup. © Matt James

by Matt James

St. Louis, MO —The third year of the Gateway Cross Cup, part of the Cross After Dark Series, saw a date change and a second day of racing added to its new weekend position. Moved from the early season midweek slot of the previous years, the race brought a bigger field than years past and the bone dry conditions led to racing that was heavy on tactics.

Both the men’s and the women’s field had big groups together through the opening laps as the blistering fast and relatively non-technical course forced racers to choose their efforts wisely and race as much with their heads as their legs.

Anderson went out hard for the first lap. © Matt James

Anderson went out hard for the first lap. © Matt James

In the women’s race, a large group together through the opening lap was broken up by a surge from early season dominator, Elle Anderson of Cal Giant.

When Anderson accelerated, Nicole Duke of Marin/Spy Optics said “I knew at some point she’d take off and unfortunately at that point, I was behind Amanda Miller so Elle was able to gap us. I finally came around and tried to catch her, but I felt like I was maybe going to put too much out there so I was waiting for her to come back a bit.”

Duke hits the stairs. © Matt James

Duke hits the stairs. © Matt James

As Duke was reeling Anderson in, the Cal Giant rider flatted and was forced to pit, opening the door for the chase group that also contained Miller and Courtenay McFadden. Once Anderson was gapped, the leading trio worked to keep her at bay, trying to do as much as possible to hold the gap while still conserving a bit for the sprint. A bobble in one the final corners led Duke to give a bit of space to Miller and she used her powerful road sprint to hold the advantage for the win.

Miller takes the win on Day 1 of the Gateway Cross Cup. © Matt James

Miller takes the win on Day 1 of the Gateway Cross Cup. © Matt James

McDonald hits the flyover. © Matt James

McDonald hits the flyover. © Matt James

For the first two laps of the men’s race, nearly the entire field was stuck together, wheels to wheel in what looked more like a road race than a ’cross one. The ultra fast course didn’t provide many opportunities for big attacks, but a group of ten eventually peeled clear of the head of the race and stormed through the third and fourth laps, snaking through the course.

Kaiser rides the stairs. © Matt James

Kaiser rides the stairs. © Matt James

Through the middle of the race, the elastic began to stretch to a quartet of Ben Berden, Zach McDonald, Cody Kaiser and Troy Wells.  2012 Gateway Cross Cup winner, Berden, had slowly ground his way to the front from midfield and worked comfortably with his younger rivals.

Their gap to the chase grew steadily and eventually, Kaiser was dropped to fight it out by himself in no man’s land, the gap to the leaders around eight seconds for the rest of the race.

In the front group, Berden commented, “Troy Wells was really strong and pulled a lot, but I knew I had something left. The guys up front probably thought I would wait for the finish, but I did a surprise attack with one half lap to go. I have a fast sprint so I didn’t need to attack, but if you can drop them with one to go, it’s more secure.”

After Berden left his breakaway companions, McDonald came in for second with Troy Wells taking the third step of the podium. Cody Kaiser hung on for fourth.

Berden takes the win. © Matt James

Berden takes the win. © Matt James

The Gateway Cross Cup continues today with another day of UCI racing for men and women and a full day of racing in St. Louis’s Heman Park.

Men Elite Cross After Dark Series #2 - Gateway Cross 2013

RankNameNat.Result
1Ben BERDENBEL1:02:21
2Zach MCDONALDUSA1:02:29
3Troy WELLSUSA1:02:50
4Cody KAISERUSA1:03:15
5Mike GARRIGANCAN1:03:30
6Robert MARIONUSA1:03:37
7Tristan SCHOUTENUSA1:03:37
8Michael VAN DEN HAMCAN1:03:37
9Mitchell HOKEUSA1:03:37
10Ryan KNAPPUSA1:03:38
11Eric THOMPSONUSA1:03:41
12Isaac NEFFUSA1:03:52
13Skyler TRUJILLOUSA1:04:58
14Taylor CARRINGTONUSA1:04:59
15Craig ETHERIDGEUSA1:05:04
16Mark SAVERYUSA1:05:15
17Rotem ISHAYISR1:05:42
18Tom BURKEUSA1:05:44
19Josh JOHNSONUSA1:05:48
20Daniel MILLERUSA1:05:48
21Shadd SMITHUSA1:05:52
22Andrew REARDONUSA1:06:24
23Dylan POSTIERUSA1:07:10
24Travis BRAUNUSA1:07:10
25Devin CLARKUSA1:09:23
26Skyler MACKEYUSA
27Anthony DUSTUSA
28Scott PEIPERTUSA
29Eric FISCHERUSA

 

 

 

Cyclocross Magazine, Issue 22, Print and digital subscriptionsHave you subscribed yet? You're missing out if not. Get all-original content and your cyclocross fix throughout the year with a subscription and Issue 23 back copy, with features on Lars van der Haar, Jonathan Page, Elle Anderson and more!
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