This past weekend Tulsa hosted a major cycling event, the Tulsa Tough. This is the fourth year for this event and it gets bigger each year. It consisted of criterium racing for novices up to the pro category. Floyd Landis even made an appearance and raced. There were also tour rides in the Tulsa countryside for all skill levels. For the last week in May, Tulsa was on the cycling map.
Dana and I opened our home to some pro cyclists for the home stay program. We hosted four female pros from Team Type 1, Jen Mcrae , Alison Powers, Morgan Patton, and Jackie Crowell. It was a great experience. We all went out to cheer them on and watch them dominate in their three days of racing.
One thing that I noticed that most triathletes often don’t do that much of is.... the all important... Rest. The team did quite a few more coffee shop rides than I do. Maybe I need to do more of those? Sounds like a better plan than the over/under intervals.
In Daniel Coyle’s Book “Lance’s War” he writes that when a cyclist is off their bike they are like babies. They conserve energy as much as possible and get plenty of rest and shield themselves from places which might make them sick. Their habits are similar to one of a cat, sleeping and resting up for that all out attack. Jen Mcrae said that when Chan, her husband, was racing pro they went to the zoo with the kids once and he strolled in a wheelchair to save his legs. Extreme? Yes, but I have been known to do similar things before a big race. Ever go to an exotic place to race and just rest the whole time in the hotel room? I have.
Jen Mcrae is hoping to win the criterium national championships this year. She has been second and third many times and is motivated to make it to the top step this year. She did that without the support of a team. Maybe this year she will be able to pull it off with her strong Type 1 team mates.
Alison is the national time trial champion. I got some tips from her. I need to find someone who will motor pace me. She said she paid a guy to do that for her on a scooter a few times, but he didn’t go fast enough for her. Now she paces behind a car. Yeah, she’s that fast;-)
Jackie is a college student at the University of Florida with a swimming and triathlon background. This is her first year as a pro and she was impressive with her teamwork in the races.
Morgan is one of the team’s type 1 diabetics. She is 20 years old and just started racing 3 years ago. She did very well in the races with the veteran women pro cyclists. It’s motivating that she can hold her own at this level with this serious disease.
The women were very particular about what they were eating. All the food they bought was from Whole Foods and was organic. These women are professional athletes and they approach all aspects of their racing with a professional attitude. They all raced brilliantly. I stood next to Jack, the team manager, on the last race day when he was on the two way radio telling Allison to make her breakaway and commit. That was cool to see.
Above in this pic Alison Powers is leading for 10 laps and broke the field to pieces.
On the final day I made them a grilled dinner and we enjoyed each others company for a while. Alison brought home a envelope filled with money to be divvied out the team’s winnings.
The team is off to Philadelphia for the Liberty cup next weekend. We wish them good luck. The Chance family will be up for this again next year. It was a blast.
Here’s a link to the team blog