The KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo returned to Tulsa Tough for the 5th year in a row. In 2014, Fabrizio Von Nacher and the team won the overall of the NCC event in an exciting finale on Cry Baby Hill. The 2015 installment of the race would prove to be just as exciting, with Von Nacher narrowly missing the top step of the podium on the final day. The team fielded a squad of 6 for the 3 stage omnium event. Brian McCulloch, Chris Barton, Ulises Castillo, Shawn Wayland, and Efren Flores raced each event with the hopes of helping Fabrizio gain the lead.
Chris Barton raced the event in 2013 with the team, and he was excited to return to the event this year.
“My fitness is much better than it was in 2013, so this year’s Tulsa Tough was much more enjoyable for me. That being said, I think the level of competition still caught me a bit off-guard the first night and forced me to step up my game fast!
My favorite part of Tulsa Tough is the fans. We went out each day and gave everything we had to the race, and the fans gave it right back. No words can describe the enthusiasm of the crowd on Crybaby Hill!”
In 2014, Shawn Wayland traveled to Tulsa and did the event in the 1/2 field, so this year he was able to try his legs in the Pro NCC races.
“There is no comparison between the field. The 1/2 field last year was fast, but it didn’t hold a candle to the NCC Pro 1 this year. I started in the front row, missed my clip-in and was instantly 30 guys back. It’s just a different ballgame. The twilight crit has you seeing shadows and makes seeing all-around harder. The course was technical and had so many turns, it’s like riding around on a tilt-o-whirl at a carnival. Everything off the course passed by in a blur, and the fireworks that lit up the sky with 10 laps to go just added to controlled chaos.
I don’t think you can quite put the right words together to fully describe Tulsa Tough. From the crowds to the energy to the noise to the racing, everything is just cranked to 11. It’s just an incredible event and race, and if you get the opportunity to race or simply spectate on Cry Baby Hill you should absolutely do so! It’s wild! I’m super thankful to have been able to race the event with the team, and I look forward to coming back next year!”
Ulises Castillo has raced extensively in Belgium, where the fans and crowds make a sport out of spectating and cheering on the racers. This was his first time racing in Tulsa, and the experienced rivaled his days racing across the pond.
“I loved it, the people made a crazy atmosphere – they were great, and the race is really hard. With the rain the, group became more nervous. The racing was similar to Belgium, but nothing compares to Cry Baby Hill. I am very happy with the Second overall with Fabrizio and the great job of team. I hope and we come back next year.”
This was the 5th year team racer Brian McCulloch raced the three days of Tulsa Tough. That sure didn’t make it any easier, or any less exciting for him come race time.
“This year marked the tenth anniversary of Tulsa Tough, having raced four of the last five editions of the event, I have come to appreciate all that this event has to offer. From the aggressive racing to the incredible energy of the crowd and the technical courses to the sudden rain events that always seem to happen, this race is an electrifying event that needs to be experienced by any cycling fan. I love this race in all its madness, and I must say I am very appreciative of the incredible community that embraces the event. To the locals we have been affectionately termed ‘the spandex rodeo’…and if you have ever been to Tulsa Tough you would understand why this name is so fitting.”
Joy McCulloch raced the Pro Women’s event, holding her own finishing 7th at the Blue Dome Critium and 14th overall. Cry Baby Hill was a 60 minute criterium for the women and 30 minutes in, a torrential downpour began. The race officials decided to stop the race for 30 minutes, only to begin it again with 10 laps/20 minutes remaining. The heat coupled with the rain and challenging pace of the event had already shredded the field from 75 to 31. Tulsa Tough proved yet again, that it has some of the hardest racing in the country.
Thank you to our sponsors: KHS Bicycles, Maxxis Tires, JLVelo, Serfas, Shimano, Velo Saddles, Praxis Works, Xpedo Pedals, Kali Protectives, NDXSports, Bike Religion, Bicycle Blue Book, WD-40 BIKE, Chamois Butt’r, Cycling Illustrated, Rennie & Associates, Kramp Krushers, Ultra Cycle, and Q2.
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