Images:RIVER PARKS CRITERIUM(Cry Baby Hill)

River-Parks-Criterium-94

 

Traveling from Southern California to Tulsa, Oklahoma is an event in and of itself, never-mind spending a weekend among thousands of enthusiastic, and somewhat intoxicated, ok, heavily intoxicated cycling fanatics!  It was a weekend to be remembered and that is an understatement.

BTW:

All images contained within the pages of CI may not be used for ANY purposes what so ever without the written permission of CI and the photographer and are protected under copyright law. Enjoy ©Danny Munson

Results: It’s The UHC Show In Tulsa

Brady District-2

@Luke_Keough wins in the sprint at the Brady District crit

Brady District-3

@bannahharnes takes the top step of podium again & @CorynRivera right behind takes 2nd Erica Allar 3rd-

Brady District

@bannahharnes takes the win and @CorynRivera right behind takes 2nd – 2 nights on the podium

Brady District-7

Co-Ed UHC

Brady District-6 Brady District-5 Brady District-4

2014 TT Brady District Women’s Pro-1-2 RESULT

2014 TT Brady District Men’s Pro-1 RESULT

©Danny Munson

Doing Battle at Tulsa Tough

Travis McCabe (Elbowz Racing p/b Boneshaker Project)

Travis McCabe (Elbowz Racing p/b Boneshaker Project)

By Travis McCabe (Elbowz)

Tulsa Tough is a race that a lot of racers look forward to each year, and this year was no exception.  I think it is safe to say that Tulsa Tough is our favorite race of the year, and with Eric winning on Cry Baby Hill last year we were coming into the race with high expectations.  I was excited to have a full squad, since it would be the first NCC series where we would have everyone. After racing the Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic, we all knew how much firepower we had and we were wanting to show it off the crowd.  We all knew how difficult it would be to line up against United Healthcare and take on such a powerful and efficient team, but we were up to the challenge and confident in each other’s abilities.

Friday night’s race around the Blue Dome district in downtown Tulsa tends to tell the same tale each year. It’s a blazing-fast, 8-corner course that ends with a sprint finish.  Our plan was to try and initiate a breakaway, forcing UHC to work off a couple of their guys, and then, with 1.5 laps to go, try to jump their train and have Eric lead me out into the sprint.  Of course, racing is always easier said than done.  We stayed quite active throughout the race, grabbing the major primes trying to initiate a breakaway, which we eventually did.  It was a solo break by one of our Liwi strongmen, Logan Hutchings.  Having one guy off the front was great for coverage for the team, but it didn’t quite put any fear into UHC.

It became evident that the rest of the field was content with fighting for each other’s wheels behind the UHC train instead of playing some other cards.  When so many people are fighting for only a few wheels the race becomes very dangerous, and this race proved no different.  Crashes were consistent throughout the one-hour race with the game changer coming with 3 laps to go.  On the 2nd corner someone pushed his luck just a little too far and what seemed like half the field went down. Caught in the crash were 3 of my teammates, leaving only Eric (who was one of the last riders to make it) and me to fend for ourselves.  The next two laps were so fast that it was difficult to make up any ground.  I was content with sitting top 10 and finished 9th in the sprint with Eric 23rd. UHC once again swept the podium.

After Friday night’s race it was apparent that no teams wanted to initiate a serious breakaway, so we took it into our own hands to make the race as hard as we could.  Our plan was to launch at least 2 guys in any move and save me for the sprint if it came down to it.  Right away, a group of four men were off the front with one of them containing team captain Heath Blackgrove.  Shortly after, two more bridged across.  This time we had our breakaway specialist Eric Marcotte joining Heath in the break.  It was only a matter of 10-15 minutes before it was just the two of them working together to stay away.  The two of them quickly established a 40-second gap on the field and were able to sustain the space for the majority of the race. Even when the gap was at 40 seconds there were multiple attacks from the other amateur teams who were dismally trying to bridge across, instead of sitting back and forcing United to work and bring the two back. Once United organized at the front, it took them multiple laps before a dent was put into the 40-second gap of Eric and Heath.  At one lap reading the two had only 28 seconds, but within a few more laps the gap was back up to 32 seconds.  For those few laps there was hope that they might stick it, or at least wear United down enough to the point where there would be a chance to jump what was left of them at the end. Then, for reasons unknown, another team came to the front to assist UHC. Instead of four men working to bring back the two, there was 6-7.  Our chances went out the window at that point and I was in position and preparing for the field sprint.  Eric and Heath’s brave attempt to steal a victory was crushed with 4 laps to go and the fight to sit behind the Blue Train was on.  On the last lap, I managed to latch onto one of the UHC riders’ wheel and I was sitting 6th position.  Unfortunately, a gap opened up into the last corner and I was forced to sprint to hold 5th place.

The team was a little disappointed by the outcome of the race, but we were also grateful to become fan favorites at Tulsa and we were now even more determined to place on the podium at Sunday’s marquee event.  Again, the plan from the start was to race aggressively and initiate a break, ideally saving me and Eric for the end.  But with the energy of the crowd, I became a little too excited and attacked the field, bringing along only one other rider.  We worked together smoothly until 3 more bridged across.  With 5 of us working together we began to gain time on the field.  Primes began to be thrown our way, which created a bit of chaos in the break and eventually we lost the three that bridged across.  With only two of us left and less than 8 laps to go, we did our best to stay off the front and I tried to grab as many crowd primes as I could on top of Cry Baby Hill. It was only 6 bucks, but it was the most rewarding $6.00 I have ever received!  We were brought back in by the blue train once again with 4 laps to go, so I did what I could to recover and found Eric and the rest of the team as quickly as I could.  Coming into the final climb up Cry Baby Hill, I knew Eric was on my wheel, so I gave it whatever I had left to get up and over the climb, dropping him off onto Karl Menzies’ wheel. I left it up to him to fight for position from there.  I fell back and tried to just follow wheels so I could still finish in the money.  Eric finally broke the podium sweep of UHC and finished 3rd.  I finished 9th and ended up 5th in the omnium.

Travis McCabe (Elbowz Racing p/b Boneshaker Project)

Travis McCabe (Elbowz Racing p/b Boneshaker Project)

At the end of this weekend I think we are all happy with our results and grateful that we were all able to keep the rubber on the pavement…well, except for Andres Diaz, he managed to crash on the climb up Cry Baby Hill! (amateur move!)   Hats off to United Health Care. Those guys are truly professional racers and have criterium racing down to a “t”.  We had such an amazing time in Tulsa, on and off the bikes, that we are all looking forward to racing it again in 2014! By far my favorite race of the year thus far!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Tulsa Here:

 

St. Francis Tulsa Tough

St. Francis Tulsa Tough

St. Francis Tulsa Tough

By:

Tyler Schwartz (Get Crack’in)

 

The St. Francis Tulsa Tough started with the flat and fast Blue Dome District Criterium. The race started a bit sketchy, but soon everyone got a handle on himself. In the 1/2′s we had Erik Volotzky, Collin Berry, Connor McCutcheon, and me racing. We immediately began shooting attacks left and right, but with no success. Connor and I kept attacking every few laps to see if we could score a break with someone who would be willing to do some work, but it didn’t happen. I decided, around five laps to go, to sit in and give it a hard attack when there were two laps remaining, but with three to go I flatted going around turn four, putting me out of the race. The team was pretty spread out throughout the pack and couldn’t get in formation to lead out Erik, yet he still sprinted to an impressive 7th place. [Read more...]

Tulsa Tough and Cry Baby Hill

Tulsa Tough and Cry Baby Hill

Tulsa Tough and Cry Baby Hill ©Brandon Hale

by Karl Menzies (United Healthcare)

This is what criterium racing should be! The atmosphere, the crowds, fast aggressive racing, the fire works–Tulsa Tough knows how to do it right.

Tulsa Tough and Cry Baby Hill did not disappoint. I now understand why everyone wants to come back each year. I was a Tulsa Tough virgin and blown away by the crowds, the build-up, and the anticipation leading into the three days of racing.  As for Cry Baby Hill, it was going to be tough to top the first two days of racing with massive crowds and great energy, but Cry Baby Hill did just that. Cry Baby Hill had quite a reputation, so I guess the big show was expected, but for sure this was the most enthusiastic crowd I’ve ever experienced. We had our RV parked at the top, so we were able to take in all that energy and enthusiasm before the start of our race. Although photos and video were able to paint a great picture, it was something that you have to experience at least once.

Tulsa Tough and Cry Baby Hill

Tulsa Tough and Cry Baby Hill

As for the racing side of things UHC was once again put under pressure with a motivated group of 5 getting away early into the race putting us on the chase from a long way out. Each lap, the tension would build on the climb. As we got closer to catching the break, the laps were winding down and counter attacks were expected on the climb. As it played out, we were able to bring in the break with a few laps remaining (and reel in Cole House who took a flyer with two laps to go) and set up our fast guys for the last hit up Cry Baby Hill. We had some great competition from the Elbowz guys, but were able to hold on for a 1,2 finish. It was quite the weekend of racing and hopefully we can make it back next year to do it all again. And I guess the trip would not have been the same without a few beers at Soundpony to top off a great weekend of racing.

Thanks, Tulsa!

Full Results- Cry Baby Hill (Tulsa Tough)Tulsa

 

Women – Pro/Cat 1/2

Place Points Name City, State Time USAC # Bib Team

1 56.55 Alison POWERS Pinecliffe, CO 98704 34 NOW and Novartis for MS

2 57.66 Jennifer PURCELL Austin, TX 193628 56 Team Colavita Fine Cooking

3 58.78 Jessica PRINNER (1 – Cat1) South Elgin, IL 225342 3 CARE4CYCLING p/b Solomon Corp

4 59.89 Christina GOKEY-SMITH Denton, TX 217750 50 ROUSE/OOGIE RACING

5 61.01 Jacquelyn CROWELL (1 – Pro) Maitland, FL 185441 10 Exergy TWENTY16

6 62.12 Theresa CLIFF-RYAN Cedar Springs, MI 231296 16 Fearless Femme p/b Pure Energy

7 63.24 Liza RACHETTO Los Altos, CA 145511 69 Vanderkitten

[Read more...]