Cyclists from across the U.S. come together for annual championship

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JEFFERSON CITY – Gloomy weather didn’t stop cyclists and spectators from attending the annual Missouri State Championship Criterium on Sunday.

A total of eight races occurred at the event. The day started out with the junior races and ended with the Cat 1/2 Bar race. The event is sanctioned and recognized as a state championship by USA Cycling. USA Cycling provided the medals and will record all the results. 

The championship has been going on for a number of years. Mike Weiss, the event director, and his company inherited it from a Jefferson City team in the early 2000s.

Weiss, who also took part in one of the races, said taking part in the race is no easy feat.

“It’s actually pretty challenging because Jeff City is pretty hilly,” he said. “It would be easier to put it on in our hometown, but it’s nice to do something out of town.”

Weiss said the race is pretty popular among cyclists.

“It’s challenging, but not too challenging,” he said. “It’s a little selective, so it makes you work even if you’re not going that hard.”

Weiss said many national level cyclists come to compete.

Reva Gomes, a parent of a few of the cyclists, said the event helps kid cyclists learn valuable lessons.

“It teaches them to be good sports," she said. "Because they win, they lose and sometimes fall in between. And it's a beautiful thing."

Gomes said one of the best parts about the event is seeing familiar faces.

“We’ve created a huge family in the cycling community in St. Louis, so when we come up here, it is absolutely phenomenal to see friends get together,” she said. “Win, lose or draw, you support each other and you help each other.”

Weiss said he hopes more people attend the races next year.