We got to Tulsa Sat. morning in time for Steve's race while Matt and I hung out until our race at 3. Steve raced well...spent some time in the front with a few laps to go and got his name called a few times by the announcers.
Our race started with 100 riders. I started at the back and slowly worked my way up. With about 15 laps to go I found myself off the front with a very strong rider from Arkansas and two others. We were hovering 20 seconds off the front for a while and then this little dude quit taking pulls, it screwed us all up...he acted tired, I asked if he has a sprinter in the field and he said he is tired. Then the arkansas rider attacked and the little dude had to bring him back, obviously, he had a sprinter he was working for. Another lap and we were caught. I stayed in the top 5 positions for the last 10 laps. The pace increased each lap and it was getting hard. With 1 to go I was in the 3rd position going down the descent, into a left 90 degree corner where you sprint 600 meters to the finish. The guy leading took the corner very wide and slow, I stayed on his wheel grabbing my brakes while 14 riders took the inside corner much faster and started their sprint.
Next time I will attack down the hill and take the inside line with momentum, I may not have a sprint to get on the podium, but I would have gotten a better result than 18th.
Sundays race was more my level. The course seemed very short and simple. 1000 meters of flat land by the river, then a very steep short climb, then straight for a while and then down a hill where there is a 120 degree turn at the bottom with another 600 meters to the finish.
Everyone at the line was very fit, you could tell that many of the bigger sprinter/power riders didn't bother to show up.
After about 5 laps my rear tire blew up (no more pt data) going down the hill, it was tricky keeping the bike on two wheels but I did it. There was a sram pit where the dude hooked me up with a zipp 404 clincher with 125 psi, and didn't lock up my rear brake either. It was tricky getting use to such a stiff wheel on the tricky corner, especially with all that psi. I felt my wheel sliding a few times, eventually I adapted to it.
The race went on and with about 10 to go the field was down to 30 riders instead of the original 80+. Each lap got harder with each rider taking a chance and shooting up the hill attacking crazy only to be caught on the descent. Everyone was careful on the descent which I appreciated. I heard that 4-5 different riders crashed directly into the 1st aid tent which was strategically placed at the bottom of the corner.
I stayed in the top 5 positions for the last 5 laps. Everything stayed together for the most part except for the arkansas rider who took off the front for a while, and he was caught with 1 to go.
Here I was in 4th position up the hill. The 1st rider attacked, the 2nd went with him, and the 3rd sat up...I grabbed my brakes...and I felt the race was over. I got on another guys wheel(since the wheel I was on was blocking) and went down the hill in 3rd position. At the bottom of the hill I started my sprint, only 1 rider got around me, I ended the race with 6th place.
Had I been ready for the attacked...or actually raced offensively instead of playing defense, I could have had a better result. I'll no for next time.
KS State Champs this weekend in Pittsburg.
Oh, my favorite part of the day. I go back to get my wheel and look it over. Turned out I broke a nipple while trying to ride the flat down the hill. So guess what the mechanic from the wheelpit does...he takes the $4 cx-ray spoke and folds it around another spoke...ruining it! He's wasn't a volunteer, he is a paid mechanic for Sram...I like sram, I use all their rival parts...they are very good, the best for the money...but this dude needs a change of scenery or something.