Annalisa is…TULSA TOUGH!Jun 11 2013 · 0 comments · Race Updates ·1
Here is a recap of Annalisa’s Tulsa Tough Race – Enjoy!
Wow, what a weekend at Tulsa Tough! When you have riders like Alison Powers and Theresa Cliff-Ryan amongst a field of 70+ women, its safe to say you’re racing with the big girls. As this is my first season racing as a Cat 2, I had my work cut out for me in this P12 women’s field, but I was looking forward to the challenge. Tulsa Tough is a race that every female racer needs to go to regardless of category. They love the women there and it shows! It was for sure, a special weekend for the ladies.
I raced the weekend with the River City Market logo, as we were trying to put together a composite team. After illness and injury prevented some of the ladies from joining us, it was my friend Kate Sherwin and I representing. It’s nice to have a former pro racer with you in your first big race. Not to mention I also had my coach, Anne Samplonius, giving me valuable advice as she dominated Cry Baby hill just a couple years ago.
Day 1 in the Blue Dome district was an evening race…I mean crashfest. It was crazy the risks gals were taking for better positioning throughout the race. The course wasn’t that challenging which made it difficult for the top gals to get away and thus, gruppo compacto. I got caught in a crash about 25 minutes in, took a free, lap but failed to examine my bike well enough. I dropped my chain as I was about to get pushed back on and then never made contact again. Might have had something to do with my wheel being super out of true due to a broken spoke and a bent chainring. My brake was rubbing with every revolution. “Ugh, it shouldn’t be this hard?!?!”
After gathering my wits from the crashfest the previous day, Tulsa day 2 was over in the Brady District. This was a fun course! I maintained decent positioning throughout the race and there were very few, if any crashes. Folks seemed to have a little more self-preservation on this day, thankfully. With about 3 laps to go, I hopped on a Fearless Femme’s wheel (omg) and got into a chase group after Alison Powers who had been solo for quite some time. Honestly, this was like my moment of glory for the weekend. I was actually doing something rather than just sitting in! It was short lived and by the last lap, the paced picked up and all I could do was roll across the line. I was pleased with day 2.
Last day at Tulsa is what everyone waits for…Cry Baby Hill! The scene is nuts. Our race was midday and was hot at the start line. Even though I soaked my jersey in ice water, put ice in my bibs and sports bra, I was still baking. My freckled fair skin isn’t cut out for this heat and humidity! On the start line, I was at the back. Thankfully, I clipped in quick and made my way to mid pack before the hill. I couldn’t help but smile the first time up as people were going nuts for us. And they were barely an arms length away, shouting words of encouragement. As we continued to go up and over Cry Baby, the smile turned to a grimace and the legs and lungs ran out of gas. I lost contact and eventually got pulled. Alison Powers went on to win solo, almost lapping the field. The first day she got caught in a crash 100m from the line and the second day she got caught by the field after her solo attempt 100m from the line. It was hers to win on Cry Baby!
Tulsa Tough was a fantastic event to be a part of. Maybe we can get a Bozeman contingent together for next year?! Thanks to everyone for the cheers from home. Was a tough weekend, but full of valuable experience.