Jeremy Powers wins 2011 Gateway Cup. Courtesy Brook Watts

by Matt James

St. Louis, MO.—On a crisp, fall evening in St. Louis, Missouri, a collection of top domestic and international cyclocross racers took to a twisting and technical course in Heman Park to contest the third round of the newly minted Cross After Dark series. With top class fields in both the men’s and women’s race, aggressive racing opened the accounts of two of the nation’s best racers as each field sought a collection of highly coveted early season UCI points. In the end, astute tactical racing brought home a major win for Jeremy Powers in his first season with Rapha-Focus while Teal Stetson-Lee confirmed her status as an emerging powerhouse with a dominating display in the women’s race.

From the start of the men’s race, it was clear that the course, which featured two run ups, a flyover, barriers and constant twists and turns, would favor technical, attacking riders. The flat nature of the terrain also played to those with power in reserve. So it would prove as Belgian transplant Ben Berden lit up the race early on with a bold solo move, breaking the race apart for the rest of the field. Behind him, a chase group of Jonathan Page, Jamey Driscoll, Jeremy Powers and national champion Todd Wells formed, working seamlessly to reel Berden in two laps later. From there, the group showed remarkable cohesion and distanced the rest of the field, making it a five man race for the win. By far the most aggressive of the group was Berden, who tried numerous attacks, each one closely marked by Powers, as the group continued to put time into the chase. Forty minutes into the hour-long race, an attack by Page disrupted the group and momentarily gapped Driscoll, who dangled at the back. It wasn’t enough to break up the leaders and Powers put in a surge of his own with two to go, taking the ever-present Berden with him. The cat and mouse continued as the fractured group looked as if it was about to regroup with 500m to go until a final push by Powers took him across the line solo, with Berden following in second, and Page rounding out the podium. Despite his apparent difficulty two-thirds of the way through the race, Driscoll took home the fourth place spot while Todd Wells rolled his stars and stripes skinsuit in for fifth.

The women’s race was virtually a one woman show, with Teal Stetson-Lee (Cal Giant Berry Farm) attacking on the first lap and not looking back until she crossed the line. Behind her, a chase group tried valiantly to close the gap, but the presence of Stetson-Lee’s teammate, Meredith Miller, in the group disrupted a concerted chase. Once Stetson-Lee’s lead had reached insurmountable levels, Miller attacked and quickly carved out a position in second place, which she would easily hold to the line. As the remnants of the chase broke apart, Katherine Sherwin of Stan’s NoTubes took the sprint over Carrie Cash-Wooten for third with Kelsy Bingham of Roosters/Biker’s Edge filling out the top five.

Following the successful start to the season with CrossVegas, StarCrossed and now the Gateway Cross Cup, the inaugural Cross After Dark series concludes October 15th and 16th with Spooky Cross in Irvine, CA.

Full Results

Elite Women:

1 Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Sp 0:40:36
2 Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Sp 0:00:33
3 Katherine Sherwin (USA) Stan’s NoTubes Elite Cyclocross 0:01:04
4 Carrie Cash-Wooten (USA) Pedal the Cause
5 Kelsy Bingham (USA) Roosters/Bikers Edge 0:01:07
6 Sunny Gilbert (USA) Michelob Ultra – Big Shark Raci
7 Annajean Dallaire (USA) Alderfer Bergen 0:01:16
8 Ashley James (USA) KCCX Elite 0:01:28
9 Kelly Benjamin (USA) KCCX Elite 0:02:33
10 Linda Sone (USA)
11 Corrie Osborne (USA) ISCorp 0:03:51
12 Sarah Lukas (USA) Lindenwood University 0:08:41
DNS Kari Studley (USA) Velo Bella

Elite Men:

1 Jeremy Powers (USA) Team Rapha-Focus 0:57:23
2 Ben Berden (Bel) Stoemper 0:00:05
3 Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike-Blue Bicycles 0:00:08
5 Todd Wells (USA) GT Bicycles 0:00:34
6 Bryan Fawley (USA) ORBEA USA 0:01:54
7 Barry Wicks (USA) Kona Les Gets
8 Jake Wells (USA) Stan’s NoTubes Elite Cyclocros
9 Jacob Lasley (USA) Team Soundpony 0:02:02
10 Tim Allen (USA) Feedback Sports 0:02:41
11 Kevin Fish (USA) 0:02:46
12 Jonathan Sundt (USA) Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling 0:03:12
13 Jonathan Schottler (USA) Big Shark/Mich Ultra 0:03:23
14 Devin Clark (USA) Hub Cycle Company/The Cannonbal 0:03:36
15 Joshua Johnson (USA) Michelob Ultra – Big Shark Rac
16 Andrew Reardon (USA) Bob’s Red Mill CX Team 0:04:05
17 Jason Rassi (USA) Psimet Elite
18 Mathew Ankney (USA) Tulsa Tough 0:04:42
19 Stephen Tilford (USA) TradeWind Energy/The Trek Stor 0:05:51
20 Charles Huff (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda 0:06:54
+ 1 Lap Jay Strothman (USA) rokkit racing
+ 3 Laps Matthew Allen (USA)
DNF Christopher Jones (USA) Rapha-FOCUS
DNF Taylor Carrington (USA) Turin Bikes – TLR
DNF Chris Mackay (USA) Cole Sport Racing
DNF Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) DCM- G B Vorselaar Cycling Team
DNS Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar
DNS Zoltan Tisza (Hun) AXIS
DNS Timothy Johnson (USA) UnitedHealthcare presented by
DNS Daniel Eiten (USA)
DNS Jacob Lasley (USA) Team Soundpony