There are not many racers that I know of that do now know of the 10 days of racing that go on in the Milwaukee area during the month of June. Back in the day these races were known as Superweek, and typically brought in the best road racers and crit racers to compete in back to back 100km crits on courses in the surrounding towns across the greater Milwaukee area. Today the races are known as the Tour of America’s Dairylands, or TOAD.
June 23, 2016
June 15, 2016
|WAIT, This is in Tulsa OK??|
I cannot think of another criterium in the country as iconic as day three of Tulsa tough. Also known as Cry Baby Hill. Although the course is not too technical, it does offer its own unique characteristics to challenge the riders. Every lap involves sprinting up a short but steep hill (CBH) into a mosh pit of spectators, and then immediately come down through the start finish. Rinse and repeat.
What makes the race so unique is the party at the top of the hill. The whole city comes out every year to drink, dance, and party, all while a peloton of riders races through the middle of the group. The party on the hill starts early in the morning as the races begin. As the beer, liquor, and dehydration start to set in throughout the day, the party reaches maximum intensity by the time to pro men and pro women go off to end the weekend of races.
June 12, 2016
With my elbow bandaged up, I eagerly went to the start line of the second day of Tulsa tough. Earlier than morning the team had a little photo shoot with Lee McDaniel and we were looking forward to not only looking good off the bike, but also looking good on the bike and in race mode. Rolling into the race for the second day of Tulsa the squad would be Scott V, Beau E, Tristan U, and myself. In years past I have always seemed to have a better performance on the second day of Tulsa and with the crash still fresh on my mind, I knew it was not going to take much to improve upon yesterday’s race.
Heading into the race the team plan was to help Tristan get the result. With his finish yesterday, he grabbed some points for the overall. It was the job of the rest of the team to help Tristan not only stay safe and in a good position, but to also do whatever it takes to help him extend his overall.
June 11, 2016
|When you can's slide in her DM's... so you decied to jump in head first!|
VIDEO OF CRASH: Vid of Crash
There is no other race in the country that I cannot think of that has changed the way I viewed P1 racing in my life as much as Tulsa Tough has. The first year I did Tulsa would be 2010 where I raced the 1/2 event. My next time would be in 2012 where I raced the P1. It was that year in 2012 where I was first exposed to how fast criterium races can be. I remember that as my first year as a category 1 racer, I was fresh off of graduating high school, and Tulsa Tough was going to be my first event of the summer to kick off my summer of racing.
The third and final day of OKC would be on a wide open dog leg course with a slight raise coming off of one of the late turns in the race before the turn into the final. Out of all the courses I’ve seen for the weekend this was the one that I was most excited about being part of. I was able to survey the course the night before at the pizza joint on turn one over some cheese, dough, and beer. Now it was time to take those calories and improve upon my two 15th places and try to sneak into that top 10 if possible.
June 10, 2016
|IDK when this photo was taken, they all seem to blend in together. (OKC day 2 or 3)|
Day 2 of okc was on a flat figure 8 course. It was a pretty tight course where all the turns were on fairly wide roads. I started near the front of the group based on what my teammates told me about how hard things were going to be to move up. I decided to save the effort and start near the front.
The start of the race was fast as Arapaho and Elbowz were eagerly trying to see how many riders they can send up the road in the first 20 mins. I slowly started to fade back from all the early attacks. I felt a little sluggish and I wanted to save more energy in the center of the pack. As the laps started to go down I looked up and saw Beau all over the front of the race. He was racing in the top 15 riders for the first half hour of the race. I started to move up to do my best to ride up there with Beau. As the two of us were up there Scott would come by and take some massive pulls on the front if we missed any sort of break of split in the field.
June 8, 2016
|Spangle back at it again with the race pics!|
oooo the start line artistry
With the success of memorial weekend still fresh on everyone’s minds, we were ready to head up to Oklahoma for some crit racing. Unlike the races we have been doing all season, the OKC PRO AM was part of the PRT calendar (or the first day was) and was bringing in a higher caliber field. Although many of the team names were familiar, there was an added twist with several pairs of new and old faces toeing up to the start lines.
June 7, 2016
|Tristan Takes the win aboard his TCR Advanced|
With the team firing on all cylinders after a very successful start to memorial weekend, it was time to rally our week’s earlier efforts and get someone on the top step of the P1 state Crit championships. I went into the race thinking that the course was going to be the same as the age based crit we did the day before. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the course was now a drivers course with 9 turns in just under a mile or so of racing.
As we lined up to the start line I remembered that this was going to be a 90 minute criterium. Although I am no stranger to a long crit, it has been some time since I did one this long. I was looking forward to attrition that was going to happen as the laps ticked down.
June 6, 2016
|Fastest Stache in Texas!|
With 2016 being my 10th season it is also the first time I am racing outside of the u23 ranks, which meant my new age group is the 23-29 year olds. Although a bit older, it is great to see how long I have kept up with the sport. Sadly, I know more riders that started out as Jr’s and quite before getting past their u23s then riders that have kept it going. This sport has greatly shaped who I am as a person as well as the direction my life has taken with my friends, school and experiences.
June 4, 2016
With the multiple races and the great success of GIANT Racing, these next few posts are going to be a bit on the shorter end of things.
The morning of the race had the chance to be a logistical nightmare. I was leaving my home at around 6:30am, needed to drive through Dallas to Flowermound to where I was staying (thank you JD, Tiffany and Jade!), build Sara’s bike, drive to airport to pick Sara up, and then head up North to Frisco with enough time for Sara to get ready for the women’s race.