Cry Baby Hill Preview (2024)

Cry Baby Hill Preview (1)

Not many criteriums come complete with a vibe check, but then again, not many races are Tulsa Tough, let alone the celebration that is Cry Baby Hill. If there is a Queen stage for the great American criterium calendar Cry Baby Hill is it. By its very definition the race evokes passion, hardmen/women, and just epic-ness. I’m excited just thinking about it, so let’s dive in to this course and our preview.

Cry Baby Hill, or as it is officially called McElroy River Parks Criterium, is day three of Tulsa Tough. An interesting feature of the three days of racing is that each race is less than 24 hours after the prior days event. Meaning you get an ever decreasing amount of recovery. So by day three, you have had a lot of miles, a lot of heat, and a lot of humidity. All before you face the most challenging course of the series.

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The description of the race from the promoter describes it best “(f)amilies gather along the river for PG cheerleading, while party-goers line the edges of Cry Baby Hill for an adults-only marriage of Mardi Gras + cycling. Meanwhile, racers just try to do their best to survive to the grueling finish.”

Cry Baby Hill Preview (2)

The course is definitely not a square, and the view from space detracts from the things that make it unique. However, there are three key points to this race that every rider either knows or will soon become very aware of after the whistle. The first is the hill up from the river trail; but not the bottom of it. As a general rule in criterium racing, it’s never the bottom of the climb; but rather the second half of it that is critical. That’s especially true here in a climb that you can coast up the first part with the speed you build along the start/finish line. The climb gains 15 meters of elevation each time around; but the second half is where you see grades over 7%. Burn matches early in that climb and you’ll regret it, not on the first lap but about 10 laps in for sure.

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The second key point is the real climb, that’s the climb after the cry baby hill part. Yes, the road kicks you in the gut a second time after you come around the bend on the top. You get a second worth of downhill before it drives back up again. This is where the moves tend to develop. When people are played out from repeated efforts and the lactate is at its highest. The final key point is later in the race at the bottom of the course and the tight right hand corner back on to the flat stretch. Go too wide and you have to scrub speed. The acceleration following it will put your heart rate up higher going into corner one on the next lap and set you deeper into the hole. It also really matters in the rare case that a large groups comes into a sprint finish. Get a gap before the bottom and you have a solid chance of holding it.

Women’s Race

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Seventy three women are lining up for this year’s race, including both of the Schneider sisters, Miami Blazers, who went one-two last year. However, last year’s most dominant criterium racer, Skylar, seems to be a step behind this year. And we say that fully acknowledging that she has three podiums including the win at the Redland’s criterium. However, last year you would almost never see her off the podium much less outside of the top ten. Sam, however, has started heating up lately with a second at Somerville and third at Crystal City. One out of the two of them have been on the top step of this podium since the pandemic, so it is a good bet to look at them again for this year as well.

Last year’s third place, Olivia Cummins is not participating this year; so we need to look elsewhere. Paola Munoz, of Goldman-Sachs ETFs has performed well here in the past, finishing fourth in 2023, along with her teammate Stephanie Halamek who finished ninth but has been riding strong so far this year. Cynicsa is also rolling deep this week with six riders including Chloe Patrick who has been hanging out just waiting for a solid non-age-graded result; and they will also have Katia Sarkisov who had a surprising top five here last year.

Then there is DNA Pro Cycling who has started to climb back up onto the podium after a midseason lull. The women in pink started the season going gangbusters but they hit a stretch of results which felt like underperforming for them. However, they put some folks on the wide-angle podium at Armed Forces and are poised to make a go of things again. A course like this one would favor someone like Rylee McMullen or Makayla McPherson; but never count out Kim Lucie who can be a crafty finisher if she is still in the mix.

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One team we want to keep our eyes on this weekend is Kingdom Elite Racing. We’ve seen their names on the registration lists and have watched them perform over the past couple of weeks. We’ve yet to see them crack the results but they were one of the teams that animated the most at U.S. criterium nationals and maybe they can put on a solid performance for us this weekend too.

Men’s Race

This is undoubtedly one of the deepest fields we’ve seen so far this year, or frankly in a long time. One hundred and thirty riders are starting, not that many will finish. However we’ve been assured by Dusan Kalaba, Butcherbox Pro Cycling, that “if you want to get second place you should get on my wheel.” That sentiment is likely to be tested. Team control of this race will devolve rapidly and only the cream will rise. One name that immediately sticks out is former winner Luke Lamperti, Soudal Quick-Step, who is back in the United States following some European World Tour racing. If anyone has been putting in the miles it would be the guy who just finished his first grand tour with the Giro d’Italia where he finished 15th on stage 9.

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Sam Boardman, last year’s winner will not be taking the start line since he is heading to the Tour de Beauce in Canada along with the rest of the Project Echelon squad. However, last year’s podium finisher, Jonas Schmeiser of DCC will be on the line along with a very deep squad. Another name to watch out for is Clever Martinez, Rocklands Development Program. Papi has been off prepping for the bid at the Olympics on the track; but folks will remember that Cry Baby Hill was the race that put him on the map a few years back with a surprise podium. He might not have a lot criterium miles in his legs; but the man loves a finish line and is a born and bred winner. Then there is Michael Garrison, the official race provocateur from Athen’s Twilight, racing for NICH + Speed Club. He has adapted strongly to his role as a solo rider and is ready to take advantage of situations that present.

Of course, no prediction article is complete this year without talking about REIGN Storm. Tom Craven’s squad proved at Armed Forces that they are just as good as we all thought they were, putting three on the boxes at Crystal City and with Bryan Gomez in the winning break playing the role of kingmaker at Clarendon. One has to imagine that any winning move will run through this team.

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Then we come to the three Williams Racing Development teams, Austin, L39ion and Miami. We are not sure what is happening here; but according to the registration list there is a serious personnel shake up. Brandon Feehery is listed with Austin and Spencer Moavenzadeh is listed with L39ion. Both had previously raced as recently as last week with Miami. We’ve been told that riders can transfer up to two times mid-year; but given that this is happening within one over-arching ownership structure raises a lot of questions. It’ll be very interesting to see how the rules apply in this situation and how the community accepts the personnel changes.

Photos by Snowy Mountain Photography.

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Cry Baby Hill Preview (2024)

FAQs

How long does Crybaby Hill last? ›

Throwback Tulsa: Cry Baby Hill is the annual highlight of Tulsa Tough bike races. It's once again time for Tulsa's three-day party on wheels.

Why is it called Cry Baby Hill? ›

Why is it cry baby? The name Cry Baby Hill is not just about a steep hill. A lot of partygoers bring dolls to the event. It's because the original clan brought a baby doll to one of the first events to taunt the cyclists.

What grade is Cry Baby Hill Tulsa? ›

The steepest quarter mile of this climb is 3.9%. 0 miles of the climb is at or above 10% grade.

What is Crybaby Hill in Tulsa, Oklahoma? ›

A hill named " Cry Baby Hill” is the scene for one massive block party. Freaks of all shapes and sizes line the street on both sides(which is not barricaded) while riders whiz through the ensuing anarchy. In between laps the party keeps pace with the riders.

What is the age rating for Cry-Baby? ›

What year is Cry-Baby based on? ›

The film centers on a group of delinquent youth who refer to themselves as "drapes" and their interaction with the rest of the town and its other subculture, the "squares", in 1950s Baltimore, Maryland.

What is Cry-Baby a parody of? ›

The movie is a parody of 50's teen rebel films and it spoofs musicals like Grease.

What is the point of the movie Cry-Baby? ›

The movie tells the story of Cry-Baby himself, played by teen idol Johnny Depp as a juvenile delinquent who forever has a tear sliding halfway down his cheek, a reminder of a grief he will live with forever, a teenage tragedy that has left its mark on his soul, a lost romance.

Where is Crybaby Bridge in Kentucky? ›

A bridge on Sleepy Hollow Road near the border between Jefferson and Oldham counties in Kentucky was known as Crybaby Bridge. Reportedly, mothers would drop their unwanted, sick, or deformed babies off the bridge to drown in the water, and their crying can still be heard there.

How scary is Cry-Baby Lane? ›

The film was intended to be only mildly scary and suitable for children, similar to Nickelodeon's own Are You Afraid of the Dark series. However, many parents allegedly found it to be too graphic and disturbing for their children, and complained to Nick the next day.

Is Cry-Baby a comedy? ›

I'll give you funny, or at least tell you where to find it: Cry-Baby, the new John Waters musical, is campy, cynical, totally insincere and fabulously well crafted. And funny. Madly, outrageously funny. It is, in fact, the funniest new musical since Avenue Q.

How long is Crybaby Hill? ›

Tulsa Tough Cry Baby Hill | 18.4 mi Cycling Route on Strava.

How long is the Cry-Baby musical? ›

Cry-Baby runs 2 hours and 15 minutes. Tickets are $35-$120 and are available by calling 212.307-4100 or 800.755. 4000.

How long is Cry-Baby? ›

Cry Baby (Melanie Martinez album)
Cry Baby
Length46:38
LabelAtlantic
ProducerKinetics & One Love Christopher J. Baran Kara DioGuardi Kyle Shearer SmarterChild Babydaddy Frequency Aalias Felix Snow
Melanie Martinez chronology
10 more rows

What grade is Cry-Baby in k12? ›

Despite the name implying the school spans from kindergarten to twelfth grade, there is no sign of kindergarten classes, with Cry Baby and Angelita both starting in first grade. The number for Cry Baby and Angelita's first-grade classroom is "222", which is one of Melanie's lucky numbers.

What time is Cry-Baby set in? ›

In 1950s Baltimore, a bad boy with a heart of gold wins the love of a good girl, whose boyfriend sets out for revenge.

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