This was the hottest race of the year for me. The announcer told us at the start that the temperature was over 100 degrees and the heat index was 114. Considering the weather, I actually felt pretty good throughout this race.
The course was a pretty simple 6 corner crit. All of the corners were wide open. One was slightly off camber but it was wide enough that you could take it with pretty good speed. The corners were in pretty good shape but one of the straightaways was loaded with cracks and potholes. Overall though, it was a good course, although not a decisive one for the race.
The deciding factor was the size and number of teams. There was one team (Tulsa Tough) that had 8 guys. The next largest team was a tie between ours and BOT with 2 riders each. Joey was sick, Brad was still resting, and Jeremy was in CO. Everyone else out there was riding solo.
I was really surprised at how some of the solo riders raced. It’s like they wanted Tulsa Tough to beat up on them. Everytime a Tulsa Tough guy would jump they would pull the whole field up to them. Another Tulsa guy would go and the same thing would happen. It happened over and over again.
Brian and I each got in some decent moves but nothing we were in was going to stick. I tried talking to a BOT guy to get something going. I told him when I was going to go and I told him he should come with me. He said smugly “are you sure about that?” I’m not sure what he meant by that, but I just laughed and said he can do whatever he wants. I jumped with him on my wheel. We got a big gap and I tried to get him to pull through. He came through but then took a weird outside line in the corner and basically sat up. I still don’t get the whole interaction. I don’t think he was too tired. I guess he just didn’t want to take a chance at winning.
When you are outnumbered that bad, it is impossible to get in every break. Eventually you’ll have to watch somebody get away. In the case of this race, I had to watch three get away.
With just a few laps to go I tried to get away again. Brian had a nice counter and was able to get away with Yanni. Brian was forced to do all the work and ended up 5th. I took 7th with a 2nd place finish in the field sprint.