By Johnny Purvis
[Photo By Olathe Subaru Trek Racing]
Late night crit racing in Bentonville, Arkansas is awesome. There was a ton of people out watching the race last Friday. The course was super unique with lots of variety, 90 degree corners, sweeping downhill corners and brick corners. The turnout ended up being pretty good considering it was the first year for the event. I think there was around 50 racers in the Pro 1/2 race with some of the best riders in the region.
My race started at 9:35pm, the latest I’ve ever started a bike race for sure. It was super fast from the gun with $800 in primes up for grabs, and the first one coming on the 2nd lap. Unfortunately my teammate Will Frank went down early and broke his collarbone in what was a hometown race for him. Several crashes occurred due to the darkness or the technical corners or both I don’t really know. A few sections of the course on the backside were really dark, you really needed to trust the rider you were behind. The primes kept coming so the pace never really eased up. I tried to make it into a few moves hoping a break would form but there was a lot of strong riders shutting everything down pretty quick. So I decided to conserve as much as I could for the finish. I started to position myself on a few guys that I knew would be there at the finish no matter what. It was pretty hard the last few laps getting on the right wheels. With a strong last lap and hitting the last 2 corners well I was able to throw my bike for 5th but ended up 6th. I was hoping for a podium but crit racing can be tricky. Overall I’m really happy with how the race went. It was a great event on a super course, with huge payouts and primes. You should definitely put this on your race calendar for next year.
Thanks for following and a big thanks to all our sponsors (Tyson Foods, Shoulder Center of Arkansas, The Bike Route, Creative Awards, CLIF BAR) who make it possible for me to travel around the region competing in these great races.
Distance 36.5 miles
Time 1 hour 23 minutes
Average Speed 26.4 mph
Average Power 276 watts
Total Work 1296 kj
I left a comment a few weeks back about not seeing the Wheel A Mena Ride listed on the events for September. There was almost no representation from NW Arkansas at the event…just a lot of fast folks from Texas. Maybe you could change that by listing it.
Hi James, thanks for reaching out. I replied to your comment asking for details on the ride. Please send them to me in advance and I will list the event. My contact information is under Contact.