Saint Francis Tulsa Tough preview: Andrea Cyr and Danny Summerhill look to defend their American Criterium Cup lead

The third installment of the ACC will be the most competitive yet of 2023.

Photo: Chris Barnes

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The Saint Francis Tulsa Tough has achieved quite a lot in its 17 years.

Ranked as one of the top omniums in the U.S., the Tulsa Tough three-day omnium consists of the McNellie’s Group Blue Dome Criterium, the FC Tulsa Arts District Criterium, and the McElroy River Parks Criterium, home of the famous Cry Baby Hill. 

It’s the first race, Friday night’s Blue Dome Criterium, that is the ACC event. The race is technical, an eight-corner figure-eight snaking through Tulsa’s Blue Dome district famed for its nightlife and entertainment. Tulsa Tough’s Blue Dome Criterium is race number three of the American Criterium Cup, and the Omnium is one event that draws all the top teams.

Up until now, the calendar has had big races, but attendance is often determined regionally and in competition with other events. Tulsa is often the first race everyone has on the schedule, and it shows, selling out in some categories hours after going live. 

Also read: From altitude camp to taper, base miles to Basque départ: How riders train for the Tour de France

The Tulsa Tough is where it all comes together and where the race for the ACC lead continues. Danny Summerhill of American Cycling Group leads the overall and sprint competitions in the Men’s race.

Keeping the green sprint jersey may prove challenging, as both Dusan Kalaban and Evan McQuirk of ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK and Ty Magner of L39ion of Los Angeles each have 15 points to Summerhill’s 55. It sounds like a lot, but enough points are available to overtake Summerhill and even box him out of the sprint race.

He may let it happen because it’s a race full of sprinters capable of winning. If Summerhill wants to keep the Selle Italia red leader jersey, he must pay attention to who’s at the front: the Miami Nights and Alfredo Rodriguez, and always L39ion of Los Angeles, with a Ty Magner repeat on the mind. 

But no one comes to Tulsa for second place. Fergus Arthur of Texas Roadhouse Cycling p/b VQ Labs sits fifth overall, with well-placed teammates in the ACC top 20. And though they missed Sunny King, ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK’s McQuirk and Kabala are a much more significant threat than their current placings imply.

A noticeable absence is Project Echelon, however. Cade Bickmore will fall from his third-place point tie with Bryan Gomez. One to watch will be Riley Sheehan of the Denver Disruptors. Though this team isn’t currently ranked in the ACC, Sheehan is another of the next generation coming up with some serious speed. It’s only a matter of time before riders from this young group start taking over at the front. If you’re going to make a mark, the Tulsa Tough is a good place to do it.

Pre-Tulsa standings: Men’s P/1

Full results

  1. SUMMERHILL, Danny: ACG 155
  2. RODRIGUEZ, Alfredo: Miami Nights 129
  3. GOMEZ, Bryan: Miami Nights 100
  4. BICKMORE, Cade: Project Echelon Racing 100
  5. ARTHUR, Fergus Texas Roadhouse Cycling p/b VQ Labs 8

Pre-Tulsa standings Men’s P/1 sprint

Full results

  1. SUMMERHILL, Danny: ACG 55
  2. HARDIN, Will: Project Echelon Racing 25
  3. KALABA, Dusan: ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK 15
  4. MCQUIRK, Evan: ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK 15
  5. MAGNER, Ty: L39ION of Los Angeles 15

On the women’s stage, the younger riders are already making their mark, and this will be the first ACC race with a whole L39ion team, including last year’s Blue Dome winner Skylar Schneider.

The L39ion women will be tough to beat and currently occupy second, third, and fourth in the ACC. A podium step by Alexis Ryan, Yarley Salazar, or Kendall Ryan puts them in the series red jersey. But Andrea Cyr of the Miami Nights carries the Selle Italia leader’s jersey to the race. The team will have to work hard to ensure Cyr stays at the front and positioned to keep the ACC lead; there is little room for error with three L39ion and one Disruptor close behind in the standings. Cyr must get a podium spot or ensure the others don’t in order to retain her lead in the ACC.

Without two top teammates who are skilled at controlling races, Brittney Parffrey still injured, and Daniely Garcia not racing, it could be challenging.

Kimberly Lucie of DNA Pro Cycling leads the sprint competition, coming out of nowhere at Sunny King to gain all her points in a single race. Her biggest competition going into Tulsa will be Erica Zavetta of the Denver Disruptors. Zavetta missed points in Anniston, and ButcherBox’s Rachel Plessing isn’t on the Tulsa roster, but with Paige Kostanecki out with a broken collarbone, she may be a late replacement.

Both these riders are only 10 points off Lucie’s lead. The sprint competition, with points gained during sprints at seven in, midway, and seven to go, accumulates separately from a rider’s overall points. But Lucie is experienced, with a strong team behind her, and though she may have a bit more competition in Tulsa, she is a solid bet to retain her lead and keep the green. 

The Women’s events have been among the most competitive this year, and as it stands right now, several teams and riders can take the win at any ACC event and claim the ACC jerseys for themselves. That makes the American Criterium Cup races so exciting; getting the leaders jersey is one thing, but holding on to it, is entirely different. 

We’ll see who takes it in Tulsa.

Pre-Tulsa standings: Women’s P/1/2

Full results

  1. CYR, Andrea: Miami Nights 155
  2. RYAN, Alexis: L39ION of Los Angeles 100
  3. SALAZAR, Yarley: L39ION of Los Angeles 100
  4. RYAN, Kendall: L39ION of Los Angeles 90
  5. ZAVETA, Erica: Denver Disruptors 8

Pre-Tulsa standings: Women’s P/1/2 sprint

Full results

  1. LUCIE, Kimberly: DNA PRO CYCLING 45
  2. ZAVETA, Erica: Denver Disruptors 35
  3. PLESSING, Rachel: ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK 35
  4. KIRCHMANN, Leah: Denver Disruptors 15
  5. EBERHART, Verna: Miami Nights 15

Race times for McNellie’s Group Blue Dome Criterium, Friday, June 9th:

  • 7:05 pm CST – Women’s Pro I/II (ACC)
  • 8:20 pm CST – Men’s Pro I (ACC)

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