Matrix Challenge Day 2 – Normal Fun Driving Home through Texas

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Yesterday was the 2nd day of the Matrix Challenge. It was held on the same course in Garland, but they switched it up some and made the course even more technical. The longest straight was the start/finish line, which was maybe 150 meters long and other than that, it was very twisty.

Bill and I rode to the race from White Rock Lake. It was only 15 miles, which was shorter than we’d anticipated, so we got there way early. It was pretty hot when the sun came out, but clouds were moving in, so heat really wasn’t an issue.

I felt much better yesterday than I did on Saturday. It was really windy, so the race was continually breaking up. I was trying to hover near the front of the race, but like bike racing goes, sometimes got rotated back. The problem, or a by-product of a parking lot type criterium is that the field tends to be single file a lot more than with a more regular criterium. There is always a short aspect to a corner and the led rider tends to take the shortest line, so the field tends to be really strung out. The wind just added to this.

Anyway, eventually 4 guys rolled away. Stefan Rothe is never happy not hammering off the front, so he was there, of course. Bret Crosby bridged up by himself, so the break was dangerous because Michael Sheehan, from Boneshaker was already there. I knew that Heath Blackgrove wouldn’t be happy with the mix, so I assumed he’d be launching up there. But, I missed it. Stupid Steve. When I was flailing around in front of the field, Tristan Uhl came blowing by and I missed him too. That was it, 6 guys and no one left to chase. I was in a small group of 5, but we were losing ground. Eventually we were reabsorbed by the remainder of the field.

The break just hovered ahead, but their lead was secured. Bill got in a small move with 4 laps to go, but they never really got too far ahead of us. With just 1/4 lap to go, Jason Wadell jumped and I chased. We caught the back of Bill’s group right at the last corner. Jason got past a few guys, but I started at the back. So, Bill finished 11th and I finished 12th, the last two paying places. A little consolation.

I finished much worse than I felt, but that happens all the time in bike racing. The day before, I finished better than I felt, so it’s probably a wash. I am glad that I have some sort of form. I was a little worried I was in a real funk. Now I just think it is a partial slump.

We went by Sue’s mom’s house in Richardson and showered and then started the 500 mile drive back home. Within 30 minutes we were in a heavy thunderstorm with an inch of standing water on the interstate. So, we drove about 60 miles during the first 2 hours. That made us get back closer to 1am than 11pm.

I’m not sure what I’m doing this week. Brian can’t race Joe Martin, so I can’t do the Pro race there. I might do the 1/2 race or maybe go to Hillsboro or maybe even Iowa City. I heard that Hillsboro only had 18 guys preregisterd in the Pro 1/2 race there. 4 women. The field used to fill at 125. Man, our sport knows how to shoot itself in the foot continually. Why can’t they get some sort of scheduling figured out?

Okay, I’m going to try to catch up on sleep some now.

Bill was always following me around yesterday.  He did beat me by .02 seconds.  Team bragging rights.

Bill was always following me around yesterday. He did beat me by .02 seconds. Team bragging rights.

Results. Click to enlarge.

Results. Click to enlarge.

Jimmy Hoyt, czar of Richardson BikeMart.  He doesn't just sit around at the events his guys promote.  He gets down and dirty.

Jimmy Hoyt, czar of Richardson BikeMart. He doesn’t just sit around at the events his guys promote. He gets down and dirty.

We had to drive through this for the first two hours.  Lots of back up and road construction too.

We had to drive through this for the first two hours. Lots of back up and road construction too.

Trudi and Bromont aren't short of sleep today.  They slept most of the way back to Topeka.

Trudi and Bromont aren’t short of sleep today. They slept most of the way back to Topeka.

16 thoughts on “Matrix Challenge Day 2 – Normal Fun Driving Home through Texas

  1. CatRacer

    Just curious… In MANY posts you mention bridging up and going with someone to do it. Do you never go it alone or at least make the initial move to bridge yourself? I was just curious is all. Seems like you are always just looking for a wheel to ride on instead of taking the inititive to do it yourself or at least attempt too.

  2. Rod


    Tilford is 54 for god’s sake. The fact he’s competing with pro 1/2s most of whom are half his age is fucking amazing, and the fact his results are so high is even more amazing. If he’s using some of those young turks as a bridge, that’s just part of the survival game we play as we get older and have to rely on smarts as much as strength.

  3. Steve Tilford Post author

    CatRacer-Sure I bridge to breaks alone. But, as I wrote in my post, I’m just going so/so, I only have a couple of those efforts in me. When I know the break isn’t good, I have no desire to be in it. When Heath bridged to the break, I missed it. Not by much, but still I missed it. At that point I was gassed and Tristan just rode by and up to the break. Then, I wanted to be in the break, but obviously didn’t have the ability to do just that.

  4. Bret Crosby

    Steve, its Bret Crosby. BRET! 😉 I mean, we’ve been racing on and off together since the Lajitas days, damn near 20 years! Even rode and roomed on a composite team for the Housatonic race that one year on Mathis Bros. Lets get it together!!!
    Just kiddin, you call me Bret/Bert/Casey, whatever you want. 🙂

  5. Rod Lake

    Steve: it was great watching you and Bill race Saturday and catching up with Trudi. Too bad CatRacer wasn’t there to so he could have saw how you bridged solo up to a small break late in the race. Anyway, thanks for dropping by and congratulations to Brent/Bret Cosby. PS: I sent you a package today.

  6. Steve Tilford Post author

    Bret-Just because I screw your name up two days in a row doesn’t mean nothing. Weird coincidence. I know your name.

    Man, are you going good. You need to wander further away from Texas and use some of that form at a bigger venue.

    Good riding this weekend!

  7. Francisco Mancebo

    I would have wailed on everyone, but only pulled when I had to CatRacer. As long as the UCI wasn’t present, I would have had Joe Papp set up shop out of the back of my rental car. What better way to celebrate Easter

    CatRacer, you are welcome to go on the lunch ride with the Emir and myself – collectively we will crush your soul and then make you sleep in a tent with a flea bitten camel

  8. Clay Moseley

    Steve, don’t let Brent Crosby push you around. 😉

    Ha ha…I noted that typo as well.

  9. Mike Rodose

    This Bill Cosby sounds like he’s flying! I’m now a fan of Cosby and will look for him in the results. Very strong rider.

  10. Mike Rodose

    Whoa there, CatRacer. Hold your darn horses.

    Steve bridged up solo to one of the strongest guys in the race! Bill Cosby. You know that guy, right? Tilford raced with him years ago. Team math or something.

    So, CatRacer. Just ask Cosby for his thoughts on this topic and you’ll have your answer.

  11. Jeff Lucido

    Steve, thanks for dropping by Dallas for the weekend before you headed back home to KS. I hope your teammate enjoyed the racing and Dallas area too.

    As for bridging gaps, etc. I saw Steve make a fast move to try and get around a slower Boneshaker racer earlier on who sat up coming out of a critical momentum corner since his teammates just went up the road. In this case Steve was the driving for to keep the peloton hammering and making it that much harder for the break to succeed.

    As for Bret, great guy, family man and competitor too. I think he has found a good balance between family and racing. You can tell he is a competitor at heart and loves to compete on two wheels. Now if we could just get him to race more CX and see the light!

    Finally, the finish was 210 meters. 😉
    (I measured it and wanted to make sure the final sprint was “legit” by USAC rules, hence the reason you had to take the run-off on the final lap.)

    Thanks again for coming out and racing. Looking forward to having you back down in the Fall for some CX skills drills.

  12. SB

    I also noted how Steve was racing right on the curb… and going full sprint at the same time… impressive, I kept flinching, thinking he was going to hit a pedal or something… but nope, it’s just skill. Anyway, I watched both crits and I saw Tilly eat plenty of wind going across to moves etc.


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