The riders battled not only each other but mother nature on Sunday’s Riverview Criterium, the last race of the Tulsa Tough series. On Saturday, races were postponed due to thunderstorms, but the weather got ever worse on Sunday. So bad in fast, that the heavy rain and winds that reached speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour, caused the cancellation of some of the morning activities.
Also, the organization announced that all checks were destroyed in the storm and they were unable to reproduce them on Sunday and therefore, the checks will be mailed as soon as possible.
Back to racing. Well a new name made it on the podium in the women’s race, but not a new team. Stacy Maple (Cheerwine) won the bunch sprint ahead of Shelley Olds (Proman) and teammate Kelly Benjamin. Jen McRae (Advil/Chapstick) who podiumed in the previous two crits finished fourth.
Only half the field, 28 women finished the tough and technical crit which included a short yet challenging climb.
With her two wins and one third place finish, Benjamin wins the overall omnium with 71 points followed by Olds with three podium finishes with 63 points and McRae was third.
In the men’s race, Stefano Barbieri (THF Racing) broke through the Toyota-United strangehold on the podium and finished in third place. As with the two previous races, a break escaped from the field, but unlike yesterday it contained more than just Toyota-United riders.
An 8-man group, which included 3 Toyota-United riders, and Barbieri lapped the field. Ivan Stevic (Toyota-United) won the final sprint and took his second win of the series, while his teammate Caleb Manion was second.
Toyota-United swept the top 5 in the omnium, Hilton Clarke was first with 53 points, Stevic second, Jonnie Clarke third, each with 51 points.
By my calculations, the Cheerwine team rides away with $14,300, Olds, as the only representative from her team, gets $6,050 and McRae finishes with $4,800. The Toyota-United team have quite the paycheck coming to them, $49,800. Or cha-ching as anonymous said.
One wonders if the organizers will set a team limit for next year, as the 9-man Toyota-United team consisted of over 10% of the field with 88 riders. On that note, here’s Steve Tilford’s take on the last 2 races.
Photos: middle: Kelly Benjamin at the Sequoia Cycling Classic 2008, bottom: Ivan Stevic at the Mt Hood Cycling Classic, Stage 5