(KSDK Sports) -- Four days of top professional cycling are on tap for this Labor Day, as the St. Louis' longest standing competitive cycling event is set to kick off once again.
The TSG Realty Gateway Cup is the biggest and longest running professional and amature bike event in St. Louis. The beauty of the event is its true mix of professional races, including top teams and riders from across the nation, and events for the everyman, in which ridersof all ages can try their hand at little competetion.
The competition is open to riders of all skill sets and ages. The cycling events will be held in the Lafayette Square neighborhood, Francis Park in St. Louis Hills, on the Italian Hill neighborhood and in historic Benton Park. There are competitive races for men, women and juniors ages 10-18 as well as fun races for children each day. The events will be held Friday thought Monday, August 30th - September 2nd.
Headlining the Men's Professional event will be former US Professional Criterium Champion Rahsaan Bahati riding for the Sharecare Cycling Team. The women's professional races will be headlining, Laura Van Gilder, Former US Professional Champion and one of the most successful female cyclists in the sport.
Friday afternoon kicks off the TSG Realty Gateway Cup's first race, the Tour de Lafayette. The nighttime criterium, or short course cycling race, features a .9 mile loop around beautiful Lafayette Park. "Night races are especially exciting, and the lit course just adds to the drama," says Dan Schmatz, former professional cyclist and seven-time winner of The Lafayette Square Race. The Tour de Lafayette is sponsored by Studio 2108.
Participants, volunteers and spectators will enjoy the second leg of the TSG Realty Gateway Cup in Francis Park. St. Louisans take pride in the many charms of the St. Louis Hills district and most famously, the delicious flavors of Ted Drewes custard. 2e Creative Services sponsors the Saturday events. Recreational cyclists will be able to tour the race course embark on the free to the public lengths Ride to Unite recreational ride benefitting the Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments.
On Sunday, The Giro Della Montagna race, presented by Big Shark Bicycle Company will celebrate its 28th anniversary as part of the longest standing bike race in the St. Louis metropolitan area. With roots that go back to 19th century Italy, The Hill in St. Louis is one of the most culturally dynamic neighborhoods in the city. The Hill offers a wealth of authentic Italian restaurants, bakeries, bars, social organizations and churches. Sunday's events will begin and end at the Shaw VPA School at 5329 Columbia Avenue on the Hill, starting with a fun ride sponsored by Trailnet at 7:30 a.m.
The Benton Park Classic Criterium Criterium, presented by local Benton Park eatery, jax Cafe, is the fourth and final stop of the TSG Realty Gateway Cup. Monday's course is framed by the Anheuser Busch Brewery and the historic Soulard and Benton Park neighborhoods. Registration opens at 9 am and the day will conclude with an awards ceremony.
The TSG Realty Gateway Cup depends on help from volunteers. It takes over 100 volunteers every day to stay on schedule. Volunteers are needed for 2-3 hour shifts before, during and after the races. Interested parties may register online at www.Gatewaycup.com
Cyclists interested in competing in the Gateway Cup are encouraged to register as soon as possible, as fields are expected to fill early. To register, visit www.Gatewaycup.com.
The TSG Realty Gateway Cup is sponsored by The Staenberg Group, AB/Inbev-Michelob Ultra, 2e Creative Services, Studio 2018, Brian Cummings Photography, Hill 2000, The Lafayette Square Business Association, The Benton Park Neighborhood Association, The St. Louis Hills Neighborhood Association, Jax Cafe and Big Shark Bicycle Company.