Tulsa Tough Riders Credit Crowds For Event's Rapid Growth

Friday, June 6th 2014, 10:21 pm
By: Tess Maune

The sounds of a speedway are humming through downtown Tulsa's Blue Dome district, where the Tulsa Tough races began Friday.

The fans were all having a good time and racers said the crowds are why they keep coming back.

The moment many riders had been waiting and training for finally began Friday; the Tulsa Tough races.

"Anywhere from 10 to 12 hours a week riding," Denver resident Justin Herd said. "This is a big goal for the team."

Keep Up With Tulsa Tough Online

Herd and his two Ritta Sports Garage Racing teammates are toughing it out in Tulsa from Denver, Colorado.

"Feels like it's a little more humid this year," he said.

He doesn't mind the humidity, though, because this is the race to ride in if you're an amateur. Tulsa Tough isn't even ten years old yet, but it's grown into one of the nation's most elite criterium races.

6/5/2014 Related Story: Safety A Top Priority For 2014 Tulsa Tough

"This awesome weekend of bike racing is like the three best days of crit racing in the country," Herd said.

The racers credit the crowds for the growing event. They say spectators in Tulsa are second to none in the amateur world of cycling.

"I've only seen pro races have crowds like this," said Herd.

Tulsa resident, Gene Daniel, said, "The crowds certainly are more energized year over year."

The crowds, the people, the organization, just awesome," said Ginny King from Dallas.

Friday night's course was a little over half a mile around the Blue Dome District, with four different events, two men's and two women's, and the cyclists spun their wheels around the course for 45 minutes.

The endurance races start bright and early Saturday morning.

The criterium races will move over to the Brady Arts District starting at 10, going through eight Saturday night.

There will be more races Sunday.