A report by Mark Horn, KCBC Racing member:
Three KCBC Racing members traveled to Tulsa to check out the competition at the Tulsa Tough Criterium. Kyle Guinn, Mark Horn, and Tyler Steele lined up in the Cat 4 races on both Saturday in the downtown Brady District, and on Sunday at the Cry Baby Hill Riverfront course.
Tulsa Tough is not just a catchy name. Those courses, and the competition on them are TOUGH!
The Saturday race downtown was fast, with 6 corners and a long straight to the finish line. It definitely suited the powerhouse racers. Crashes were frequent. The wind was strong. The heat was high, and the competition was top notch. With a field of 100+, it was elbow to elbow for 50 minutes. The KCBC boys managed to steer clear of the crashes, but Tyler got caught behind one, lost the lead pack, suffered in the wind by himself, and eventually got pulled. Mark pulled his regular stunt and went off the front half-way through, only to run out of gas and get absorbed back into the pack. But was able to re-group, and move into position to be with reach during the field sprint. Kyle sat in and rode the wild beast that was the peloton, moving around to stay out of trouble, and stay connected.
Sunday was a completely different story. The infamous Cry Baby Hill was made for the climbers, or at least for the guys who can truly suffer. The rowdy bunches of spectators on the hill gave the feeling of a Tour de France climb. Then there was the fast, off-camber turn onto the straight away which claimed it's more than fair share of casualties. Again, the race was fast, hot, and filled with big bad men. However, the race was won by a 15 year old from Grandview, MO.
The KCBC Racing Team lined up on the front, and were the first ones to hit the hill. The Orange Guys, as a 4 year old Tulsa bicycle racing fan called us, were a dominant force the first half of the race. Mark Horn, again went off the front, working with the eventual winner. Tyler and Kyle got caught up in and behind a crash on the hill, causing Tyler to have to go to the pits, and Kyle to briefly lose contact. Mark, after falling back into the pack, helped to pull Tyler back out of the pit area. Tyler and Kyle were in the second group going into the last turn of the last lap when Tyler clipped his pedal on the pavement and sent him sliding. Kyle continued to finish at the front of the chase group. Mark worked by himself, slowly picking riders off, finishing at the back of the lead lap.
Definitely an event that should be on the yearly calendar. It's a blast, even though its insanely difficult.
Saturday: (104 competitors)
Mark Horn - 22
Kyle Guinn - 51
Tyler Steele - 71
Sunday: (98 competitors)
Kyle Guinn - 26
Mark Horn - 37
Tyler Steele - DNF