After several podiums over five days of racing, including winning the Shorewood Classic Criterium, Harvest Racing's Tyler Reynolds won the Jrs 15-16 Omnium at the Tour of America Dairylands (ToAD).
The Tour of America's Dairyland has five criterium races for junior development. Several prominent national devo teams race ToAD as a final tune-up race for Nationals, including Hincapie, Hot Tubes, and LUX to name a few. After Tyler's results, Harvest Racing Development certainly has a claim to be included in this conversation. At any rate, Tyler quite possibly stole the Jrs 15-16 Omnium podium right out from underneath the favorites as he peaked in the final three days with a win at Shorewood Classic, and two other podiums.
Tyler's Individual Day Race Results:
- 15th, Schlitz Park Criterium
- 7th, Race the Harbor Criterium
- 1st, Shorewood Criterium Cycling Classic
- 3rd, Cafe Central Bay View Classic
- 2nd, ISCorp Downer Classic
After Shorewood Classic win, we caught up with Tyler and his father Steve Reynolds, to ask them what they thought of ToAD.
What did you think of the competition at ToAD?
It's great. One of the things I like most about ToAD is how aggressive the racing is. Some of the fastest racers in the country are here, and many of the juniors are cat 1-2. The attacks in the race were just vicious, and I heard that our pace was comparable to what the Pros were doing, in some laps maybe even faster. I also liked the European style of racing, with tight quarters and lots of incidental contact that resulted from fighting for position. It was fun. I found it motivating.
Your motivation must be on the rise after the Shorewood Classic win. How did that play out?
It came down to a large field sprint. I waited until the final five laps to attempt to move up through the field, which was probably a mistake. I spent a lot of energy working my way up to the front, and didn't have as much time to recover for the bell lap. On that last lap, I had fight a lot to maintain position. It was going well until the second to last corner. There was an uphill false flat, and then I got stuck behind a Hincapie rider who was going backward through the field after doing a lot of work up front. It was kinda demoralizing after all the effort and fighting for position. Anyway, I made the best of it, and took the final corner inside and jumped hard, hammering it down the long start/finish straightaway. It was a long chute to the finish, with over the three blocks to the line. But I stayed on the gas and passed the main group that I was in, and was closing in on the group that barely broke away before I ran out of asphalt. I crossed the line, lungs gasping for air, and couldn't believe that I just sprinted that far. After the race, I heard that I was seventh overall among the 15-18s, but I wasn't sure where I stacked up among the 15-16s. Someone said I should go to the podium because they asked for my name. When they called up the first two Hot Tubes riders, I felt that they must have made a mistake about me, as I figured I was probably fourth. But then they called my name for the top step. It was one of those unexpected happy moments. I was just so psyched for the win.
That win put Tyler in the running for the overall omnium. Steve, as Tyler's father, what was it like to watch the racing from the sideline?
It was a lot of fun. The races were large with 70-80 guys in the field each day, and some of the teams brought up to ten juniors to the race. Harvest Devo is a small team, but Tyler and teammate Cole Limpach discussed strategy and tactics every night. They had a plan. Because the pace was so fast, and big primes ($250), the early laps of the races were at a blistering pace. The boys quickly realized that if they were to have any success, it meant getting into the elite group of 20 or so that broke away in the first few laps of each race, and then try to hang on as the teams launched several attacks. The boys raced well. It was great watching their progress as the week went on. Each of them adapted and got stronger. Just racing here was excellent experience. Not only Tyler, but Cole had a good week too. On the first of the final two days, Cole made it into the elite group, finishing 7th on the first day. On the final day, Cole just missed being there when he clipped a pedal on a turn, got sideways, and made a remarkable recovery to avoid crashing. This separated him from the elite group, but he certainly improved this week. I was just happy to see that the boys both had clean weeks, that nothing happened to them and their bikes. Having some success along the way wasn't so bad, either.
We got home at 3AM Sunday, slept some, and then unpacked the van. Today we're getting things turned around for the trip to Louisville for Nationals later this week. That involves putting in a day at the office, getting things washed, and re-packed, and tracking down a 52 tooth chain ring and junior cassette for Tyler's time trial bike before Friday's TT. If you've got these parts, send it our way!
We'll dig through our parts boneyard for the parts. In the meantime, congratulations to Tyler for a great week of racing at ToAD, safe travels and good luck racing at Nationals!