|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.
Now in 2016 it would be my 6th edition of racing the 3 day event with my last 5 all being in the pro 1 field. Going into the race weekend I was more calm and relaxed than I have been in years past. Part of it had to do with knowing all the nooks and crannies of every corner of the crits, as well as just being in a good mood and looking forward to racing hard all summer.
The start of the race was fast as always, I calmly clipped in and started to settle into a rythem on the tail end of the pack. Out of all the courses for the weekend Friday night is always the easiest to float at the back of the pack. I used the first few laps to gain a rythem. Afterwards I started to move up towards the front of the pack. I was making sure to use as little energy as possible, picking off one or two spots every few turns.
Things were going great till I came up on my least favorite turn in the country. Turn two of the Blue dome Friday night crit. Sure enough, a rider was on my inside taking the line a little too hot and washed out. I did my best to cut off as much speed as I can. However, the momentum of the crashed riders pushed out further than I could escape and my rear wheel was sweeped out from under me. I was catapulted into the curb and then into a tree.
I laid there in the crowd of spectators making all my mental checks. Breathing was fine, no dizziness. I could move all fingers and toes, shoulders felt fine. Felt a little pain on my hip and reached down and pushed against my leg. Swelling was fine. I laid there for a few minutes to bring my heartrate down. By the time I got up the field came through. I finally made it to my feet and was inspecting my bike. Wheels were true (true enough) and nothing looked too bad with equipment.
I rolled to the pit and could feel some pain in my elbow. I looked and saw some blood coming down my sleeve, but I was able to bend my arm without and sort of sharp pain. I would jump into the pack the next time through (free laps are the best). Although I knew the crash had nothing to do with my own ability, my mind was a little rattled. It is super hard to come back after a crash.. One year earlier I had an early crash in the same corner under similar circumstances.
For the rest of the race I was racing a lot more cautious than I wanted too. There were a few close calls in the final half hour of the race which normally wouldn’t have spooked me but things did not feel too comfortable.
As we entered the final 5 laps of the race I was way out of position and there was no way that I could get up to the front. The top teams were already lining it out and I was stuck in the ruff. I would end up rolling in for a pack finish.
Happy with the way the legs felt and looking forward to the next two days of racing