Harvest Racing Development team member Tyler Reynolds recently won the Cat 4 Tour De Husker criterium. After the race, we got together with Tyler's father, Steve, to discuss Tyler's development as a junior. Steve is also a competitive cat 4 cyclist, and is currently able to offer support to Tyler during the race itself.
It’s fun seeing a Father/Son duo racing together. How is that working out?
I had raced years ago, then took some time off to run the family business. Then as Tyler started developing, I figured I'd better get back involved before he passed me by. So, we started racing together during last year’s cyclocross season. It didn't take him long before he was leaving me behind -- last year's Cincy 3 cyclocross race was the first time Tyler officially beat me in a race. More recently, we did the Froze Toes race in Missouri. We were looking forward to working together during the road season, with my goal to help him progress where I could, or stay out of the way when necessary. Anyway, Tyler made a gutsy call in the race to attack during a 40mph cross wind. A break formed. While I felt strong enough to bridge across, I wasn’t going to pull the peloton up to my son. He ended up 11th of 45-50 starters.
How much racing do you plan to do together?
We are committed to a full road and cyclocross season, racing nearly every weekend. We like to mix it up with local races and a few big ones each year including Road and Cross Nationals. For example, in addition to some regional Midwest Flyover races last year, we also did the Tour of America's Dairyland, and Tulsa Tough. This year, we are committed to the Joe Martin Memorial. Next year, Tyler is planning on racing the Valley of the Suns in Arizona, and the Tour of the Southern Highlands Stage race in Georgia.
Is anyone else in the Reynolds family involved with bicycle racing?
My wife, Deisha, has been an active Iowa USAC official for several years now. She's one of Tyler's biggest fans, and when she's not officiating, she's cheering and snapping photos of Tyler. Our daughter, however, is more interested in soccer. As you can imagine, we often have to tag-team to keep up with our childrens' activities.
Was this your first Tour De Husker?
Yes. We enjoyed it. The Branched Oak Road course’s 48 miles of rolling hills on closed circuit loop was ideal, though we didn’t necessarily like how cold the gusty winds made it feel. Still, it made for good tactical racing conditions, which Tyler enjoys about road racing. Anyway, half way into the race, Tyler attacked the field in a particular windy section of road across the dam. The attack succeeded when a few others latched on. I would have liked to have been there with him, but I was out of position to jump when he did. Tyler hung in there despite the group of three yelling at him to do more work. He contributed what he could, and fended off repeated attacks. The group of four held together, and then with just over a mile to go, there was some jostling for position as they rounded a corner. Tyler went off road and then had to fight his way back on to the group as they approached the finish line. As a result, he came in on the rivet and didn’t have the best sprint. He was a little disappointed but in good spirits overall and enjoyed the competition.
We had better results on Sunday's criterium at Pioneer's Park. Going into the final climb of the criterium, I positioned myself well to make it difficult for the competition to have the best line when Tyler spun it up for sprint to the line. It was textbook teamwork. Tyler crossed the line with a couple bike lengths lead.
Tyler’s won several races before, but has he ever won a cat 4 race?
This was his first outright cat 4 victory.
What drives Tyler in cycling?
Tyler is passionate about cycling. He always has been. You could see it in his eyes when posting up across the finish line of a kid’s race. He was all-in. While he likes cyclocross, Tyler loves the tactics of road racing. That, and going fast. He’s hungry to go faster, and is doing what he can to increase speed. To pay for road bike upgrades, Tyler has taken a job selling and building bikes out of boxes from a local bike store. He has an eye for carbon, and values the effort it takes to acquire it.
What are some of Tyler's Palmares?
10-12: 2nd, 2014 Road Nationals (Road)
13-14: 3rd, 2015 Road Nationals (Criterium)
13-14 7th, 2015 Road Race Nationals (Road)
How did you get involved with Harvest Racing?
We got to know about Harvest racing through Kent McNeill, owner of the Trek Stores of Omaha. But even before that, Tyler was already competing against Kent's son, Dillon McNeill, and his teammate Cole Limpach, both of whom we racing for Omaha Devo. Tyler got to know those two pretty well, as they pushed each other to excel during competitions. In fact, they made pacts among each other that they’d help establish breaks, then once away, they’d duel it out among themselves. Their competition styles complemented each other, and the three started becoming friends. Later, at Cyclocross Nationals, Kent told me about his vision for developing youth cycling in the Midwest region, and had us consider looking into Harvest Racing Development team. Harvest seemed to be a good fit for Tyler. It makes sense geographically, we appreciate the racing support, and Tyler has friends to compete with. What more could we ask for? We are honored to be a part of this program.