A crashfest in the men pro/1 Blue Dome Criterium, the first race of the St Francis Tulsa Tough. Non-stop crashing which started on the first and continued until the last.
A thunderstorm brought pouring rain in the final laps of the men cat/1/2 race scheduled right before causing that race to be shortened and the pro men’s race to be delayed 15 minutes. Though it stopped raining, the damage was done, the city streets were slick, especially near the parked cars and on the outside of the corners. Riders were going down left and right throughout the 70-minute race.
The pace stayed relatively slow in the opening laps with the first crash causing some concerns and splits in the fields, but attacks were flying once the apex of the corners started to dry off. Trying their luck were riders from CashCall Mortgage, Aerocat, Jamis/Sutter Home, NOW-MS and SKLZ/Palace but nothing was sticking. A few groups managed to get 5 to 10 seconds on the field for a couple of laps but again, the pack was having none of it with Jamis/Sutter Home using its numbers to bring back moves they didn’t like.
With 12 laps to go, six riders managed to escape and this one looked promising but first a re-shuffle. About to be caught, Joseph Schmalz (ELBOWZ Racing) hit the gas in a counter-attack with Alejandro Borrajo (Jamis/Sutter Home) going with him. One lap later, they were joined by Juan Pablo Dotti (Aerocat) and Dan Holt (Team Type 1-Development). With ten laps to go, the four had a gap of 10 seconds while Jamis/Sutter Home, happy with the combination, was slowing down the field. Seeing that this one might stick, Ken Hanson (Jelly Belly) jumped and bridged up to the four, going straight to the front to push the pace.
With five to go, the gap was down to 5 seconds but the five riders in the move didn’t look back and another crash in the field at four laps to go helped their cause. With two to go, the break still had a few seconds and it looked good but the chase was on, led by V Australia.
The five off the front were caught with half a lap remaining by a small chase group that had broken away from the field after, you guessed it, another crash. The chase group included Australian National Crit Champion Jonathan Cantwell (V Australia), Anibal Borrajo (Jamis/Sutter Home), two-time Tulsa Tough omnium winner Brad Huff (Jelly Belly), Chris deMarchi (SKLZ/Pista Palace), Lawson Craddock (Trek-Livestrong) and Benny Swedberg (CalGiant). The sprint was on.
Cantwell was able to come around the Borrajo brothers for the win, with Anibal Borrajo taking second and Alejandro third.
Many riders crashed during the race, with 69 riders not finishing. Kennett Peterson (Hagens-Berman) was one of those and was later diagnosed with a broken collarbone.
Racing continues on Saturday evening with the Brady Village Criterium, held on an L-shaped course with 6 corners over 8/10 mile (1.3km) in the historic Brady Arts district. The men start at 9:00 pm and race for 80 min. Let’s hope that it stays dry and everyone stays upright.
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Top 10 Results (Complete Results)
|1. Jonny Cantwell (V Australia)|
|2. Anibal Borrajo (Jamis Sutter Home)|
|3. Alejandro Borrajo (Jamis Sutter Home)|
|4. Charles Huff (Jelly Belly p/b KENDA)|
|5. Kenneth Hanson (Jelly Belly p/b KENDA)|
|6. Juan Pablo Dotti (Aerocat Cycling Team)|
|7. G Lawson Craddock (Trek-Livestrong U23 Developmen)|
|8. Chris Demarchi (SKLZ p/b Pista Palace)|
|9. Joseph Schmalz (ELBOWZ RACING)|
|10. Benny Swedberg (California Giant Berry Farms/S)|