The Gateway Cup Cycling Championship is on this weekend in St. Louis. Chris Creed, owner of the Gateway Devo Cycling Team, took a few minutes to share some thoughts on what makes this race event special.
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PEZ: Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your team.
My name is Chris Creed, and together with my wife Rene’, we own the Gateway Devo Cycling Team. I raced in the late 80’s and early 90’s for the Spirits of St. Louis Cycling team as well as Team MJF. I stopped racing and riding my bike in 1994. Bike racing made its way back into my life in 2007 with an opportunity for us to sponsor the Tour of Missouri professional bike race through our motorcycle dealership. We loved sponsoring the race and I enjoyed being back in the sport, sadly the race went away after 2009, which coincidentally is when I started riding and racing my bike again.
The following year, I asked Rene’ what she thought about sponsoring a team. I was racing for my old friends Russ and Adrienne’s team, and they had some really great kids, that I thought we might be able to help out….just like all of the people that helped me when I was coming up. Rene’ was on board, so I called my old coach from the Spirits days, Jim Schneider and my good friend Josh Favus who I raced for at MJF and the team was born. We had an agreement to run it for 3 years….wait…what year is it?
Since the beginning we have always wanted to remain a developmental team, meaning that we want to be a launching pad for our riders to the professional ranks. Our hope is that our riders don’t stick around too long… like Sepp Kuss for example. It was awesome to give him his start on the road, but absolutely incredible watching his career take off. To date we’ve had 15 riders sign pro contracts after riding for us.
Each year the crop of riders just gets better and better. We receive resumes from all over the world of which Jim uses his 40 plus years of coaching experience to handpick the perfect fits for the program.
We definitely would have not been able to keep the program running without the incredible help from our sponsors most of which are long-term relationships like Trek Bicycles, Jim’s company, Power Up Cycling, Verge clothing, SRAM, Bontrager, FinishLine Bicycle Care Products, Powerbar Sport or without the new relationships like HOK and Corvias which were grateful to Rob Laybourne for those introductions and we’re very thankful for all the work that Rob is putting into our sport and we look forward to growing our relationships with HOK and Corvias.
2. Gateway Cup – What’s your history with this race and what makes this race different unique from other races?
I first raced the Gateway Cup races way back in 1988…so many great memories from so many great races. I would definitely say that the neighborhoods are what sets the Gateway Cup races apart. Four different challenging and very St. Louis neighborhoods… that and the undeniable fire and energy that Mike Weiss puts into the cycling scene for our area… all year long. Lafayette Square offers an awesome twilight experience, the course is relatively flat and lightning-fast. Francis Park offers a longer course with wide-open turns for maximum speed. The Hill is just an incredible neighborhood experience where families and friends are all out in the yards partying and having a great time watching the race. Benton Park is by far the most challenging course that just detonates the field after 4 hard days of racing.
3. Any special memories or stories from racing here in the past?
So many great memories… like 2013 when our squad hit the front with 10 to go pulling the field around (even though we didn’t have a sprinter but they rode like beasts), or to 2016 when we took 1st, 3rd, and 5th at Benton Park with George Simpson, Dennis Ramirez & Bryan Gomez…or to 2019 when Bryan Gomez won the first 3 days and got second on the final day.
4. Goals for this weekend – what do you and the team hope to achieve?
Well its no secret…we want to crack the Legion code
5. What would you say to riders and fans who haven’t seen this race before?
Come out for 1 or all 4 days and see the best bike racers in the country racing in some iconic St. Louis neighborhoods…bring the kids and let’s get them inspired to get on a bike.
I just sincerely would also like to send out a big THANK YOU to Mike Weiss and his Chain Gang for the monumental amount of work they put into not only make Gateway Cup one of our favorite stops on the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour, but for all that they do for the sport of cycling.
• See the Gateway Devo Cycling Team website.