Chris Winn: Ramblings From The Road


23 June 2011

Tulsa Tough Day Two And Three.

 Photo Credit - Lyne @ Podium Insight

Night two I guess we were pretty keen to keep the winning streak alive.  I was okay with this, as long as I didn't have to go over the bars again.  Another night crit meant another long day of hotel time and taking it easy.  Believe me, staying in the business district of downtown Tulsa made life tough even finding a sandwich for lunch, let alone a decent coffee shop.  Soon enough race time rolled around, and once again the skies opened up during the warm up, just to keep the consistent theme of wet races in check.  Thankfully the majority of the roads had dried up before the 9pm start and once again we were away at a furious pace.  Just a handfull of laps in and I was already in the pits with a flat which is never fun, having to work my way from the back of the race to the pointy end again.

  Photo Credit - Lyne @ Podium Insight

With Jelly Belly missing out on the win the first night, those guys were keen as mustard to make amends, and between Hanson and Huff they sure had some cards to play.  Taking control in the last three laps it was Ken Hanson in the end who took the W, while for us JC ended up fourth.  I did what I could but the last few laps but it was our big man Sean Sully that was a machine, working with Jelly Belly in setting tempo and keeping things strung out.  Looks like the overall omnium would be decided at the final River View Criterium. Exciting!

The last day is always quite simply off the chart.  It's a much tougher and technical course compared to the others, featuring a steep kicker of a hill on the backside, and a funky off camber right hand downhill corner onto the finish straight.  Literally hundreds of fans line up either side of "Cry Baby Hill" around the back and quite simply just go completely bezerk.  It's pretty awesome actually, and the years I've done it have always been stinking hot so the hose spraying and water cups have been much appreciated.  This year was no different, and despite JC getting fourth last night we were still leading the overall by just one point to the Borrajo brothers from Jamis.

 Setting tempo on Cry Baby Hill.  Photo Credit - Lyne @ Podium Insight

With a full squad Jamis were always poised to strike, sending both Borrajo's up the road to try and crack Jelly Belly and us wanting to keep it together for our sprinters.  Essentially this is what they did until the rubber band snapped mid race, and Alejandro slipped away with one other in a break.  At this point we were running low on manpower and with 5 to go the gap was still out to 15sec.  Ale out kicked his breakaway partner for the stage win and also taking the overall omnium, with JC ending up with another fourth and a third overall.  My last few laps I was running on fumes, and coming into two laps to go got caught behind a crash and my day was done.  Overall it was great to be racing again.  Being a lighter guy it was a real challenge at times to mix it up with the crit specialists, but either way it was great to get some intensity in before a return to Nature Valley.  Thanks to our team sponsors for looking after us, and my team mates on the trip for a bunch of fun and suffering!

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