The NRC continues this weekend – starting tonight – for both men and women, with the Saint Francis Tulsa Tough in downtown Tulsa OK. Not only does the race provide NRC points but we’re talking big money for the event in its fifth year. How much money? It is billed as ‘3 days, 3 intense crit course, $100K in cash prizes’ after all. The racing is comprised of 3 criteriums including the hilly Riverside Criterium featuring “Cry Baby Hill” and an overall points omnium.
Weather has played a major part in past editions of the race, with thunderstorms and wind causing the shortening and cancellation of some races. This year, the predictions are for extremely hot weather with a high of over 100 called for Saturday.
Unfortunately, the event conflicts with the Philly races (Philadelphia International Championships and Liberty Classic) which meant that teams had to split their roster or skip one of the events.
Follow @podium_live for race updates and stay tuned here for race reports and photos.
With most men teams fielding four or less riders, it will be very difficult to control the sprint finales. Last year’s omnium winner and double-crit winner, Brad Huff is back with three Jelly Belly p/b Kenda teammates to try and get the big prize once again. He’ll have his work cut out for him with Team Hotel San Jose/Mellow Jonny’s p/b Subaru-Gary Fisher fielding a full squad that includes wily Heath Blackgrove and duos from Fly V Australia with Tour of Somerville winner Ben Kersten, Kelly Benefit Strategies and Mountain Khakis f/b Jittery Joe’s. Also in the mix areamateur teams including Amgen-UBS Elite Masters, CRCA/Foundation with Basecamp International Liberty Cycle (Basking Ridge) winner Lisban Quintero, Herbalife-Lagrange, Metro Volkswagen Cycling Team, Williams Cycling p/b SC Velo and Mercy Cycling. (See Roster)
Last year’s omnium winner and double-crit winner, Shelley Evans (Peanut Butter Co TWENTY12) opted for the Philly races but her team will be well represented by uber-junior Coryn Rivera with two teammates. She’ll be challenged by the 6-rider strong TIBCO/To The Top team with Amanda Miller and U23 Crit Champion Samantha Schneider. Another team that will be aggressive is Team VBF with 4 riders which includes sprinter Erica Allar and Canadian National Road champion – and engine – Alison Testroete. Testrote won the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic Criterium and took 2nd overall in the Iron Horse Omnium. Also in the mix is Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) who seems to be riding solo but can always find the right wheel to follow. Other teams include Metro Volkswagen, NOW-MS Society with Dana Point GP winner Ryan Kendall, Team Kenda, Team Type 1, Touchstone Climbing and Treads.com/DFT. (See Roster)
The series starts on Friday evening with the Blue Dome Criterium held on a challenging figure-eight course. The eight 90-degree corner 3/4 mile (1.2km) course passes nearly every bar and club in the Blue Dome District, pretty convenient that. The women start at 7:10 pm and race for 55 min, the men at 9:15 pm for 70 min. (See cheat sheet for more info)
The second crit, the Brady Village Criterium is held on an L-shaped course with 6 corners over 8/10 mile (1.3km) in the historic Brady Arts district. The women start at 6:05 pm for 60 min, the men at 8:30 pm for 80 min.(See cheat sheet for more info)
The third and last crit, the technical Riverview Criterium, includes a short but challenging climb and right-hand hairpin curve in a residential neighborhood. The women start at 2:10 pm for 60 min, the men at 4:25 pm for 80 min. (See cheat sheet for more info)