Brian Matter, Sunny Gilbert bounce back in day 2 of Gateway Cross Cup

Sunny Gilbert solos away with three laps to go as Brian Matter holds his fire until the last minute

ST. LOUIS (VN) —Brian Matter (Team Wisconsin-Clif Bar) and Sunny Gilbert (Michelob Ultra-Big Shark) prevailed on day two of the Gateway Cross Cup.

The women’s race opened with a storming attack from Courtenay McFadden (GE Capital-American Classic), who was looking to make amends for the disappointment of Saturday’s race.

McFadden’s fearsome pace off the line split the field to pieces, and only the favorites from day one gathered together five seconds behind her.

After two laps, she was caught by a chase led by Gilbert, who had Nicole Duke (Marin-Spy) and Caroline Mani (Raleigh-Clement) for company. Missing from the group was Saturday’s winner, Erica Zaveta (Amy D Racing), perhaps feeling her efforts of the previous day.

Halfway through the race, with McFadden caught, there was a momentary cease-fire before Gilbert went clear with three laps to go. Initially, her lead was tenuous as her pursuers looked to each other to make the chase. McFadden finally took the reins, but faded in the end, and Mani slipped past to take second and relegate the GE Capital rider to third on the day.

In the men’s race, the field set an explosive pace from the line. Again, Cody Kaiser (LangeTwins-Specialized) pushed the pace with Soundpony’s Jacob Lasley to force the opening splits while the top five from the previous day waited in the wings.

Once the initial selection was made, Travis Livermon (Mock Orange Racing) took to the front, trading pulls with Troy Wells (Team Clif Bar) to pare down the field as Matter and Raleigh-Clement teammates Ben Berden and Jamey Driscoll sat on, marking moves as the race fell apart behind them.

At midpoint, a group of five was clear with Wells on an obvious mission to light up the front at every opportunity. He attacked repeatedly, but was only given a five-second lead by the break, patrolled primarily by the Raleigh-Clement duo.

With three to go, Berden countered Wells after the stairs before Driscoll set off on his own, hoping to replicate his solo win from the day before. As soon as Driscoll jumped, Matter followed, holding his wheel into the closing lap. On the final descent and steep climb, Matter made his move and held his advantage to the line. Driscoll finished second with Berden third.