Back on Track with Tyler O’Hara
Speeding to a Podium at the 2021 Daytona 200
Tyler O’Hara was flying the Floyd’s of Leadville flag as he sped his way to a podium at the legendary Daytona 200 on March 13th. We poked some holes in his tires to slow him down and then chased him on the bicycle for some answers:
Floyd’s: We’re nerds for numbers. Let’s hear some stats to put this whole thing in perspective.
Tyler: The race was 200 miles and I held an average speed of 110.6mph and hit a maximum speed of 183mph in the draft.
Floyd’s: So… you could cover the whole Tour de France route in now many minutes? Wait, don’t answer that. How were you feeling going into the race, you’ve been off the track for a while?
Tyler: I felt the best I’ve ever felt leading into the race. I wrote out a pre-performance plan and focused on my nutrition, good healthy snacks, and getting good sleep. I felt relaxed and recovered and one hundred percent ready to go all in mind and body.
Floyd’s: What did your nutrition plan look like?
Tyler: A pack of Recovery Protein before bed, a chocolate and peanut butter Recovery Bar after my morning warm up and first practice, and Hydration Fuel throughout the day for an edge over the competition. The 30g of complex carbs gave me the energy I needed and the BCAA’s electrolyte blend gave me the strength and mobility at the end of the race to charge to the front and not feel fatigue or cramps after maximum effort for over two hours.
Floyd’s of Leadville had me covered every step of the way all the way to the podium.
Floyd’s: That’s awesome to hear! We sent you with a ton of samples to hand out, but that’s cool too if you ate them all. When was your last race before Daytona?
Tyler: The last time I raced was in October with MotoAmerica at Laguna Seca. It was a deal that came up to race for Indian Motorcycles at the King of the Baggers. I was training for the Daytona 200 that got postponed from March 2020 to October 2020 then got canceled until March 2021. So, leading into the event I was well prepared physically and mentally and won the race. It was definitely a tough year to train and peak with all the postponements. But, it all worked out. I was able to pass Michael Barns on the last lap draft pass to the finish line. All those days alone on the bike were worth the podium finish at Daytona.
Floyd’s: What were your goals going into Daytona. In cycling we just push as hard as we can and try not to blow up before we cross the finish line. Is racing motorcycles the same, just with a more literal possibility of blowing up?
Tyler: My race goal was to get a good start in the front lead group for the first pit stop. I wanted to attack with eight laps left to go before each pit stop, not five before like every else. I knew I wanted to control the race from start to finish, have good clean pit stops, and be aggressive out of the pits. After the final pit stop and a seventeen lap sprint, I knew it was time to drop the hammer and not hold anything back. You know, just go all in and let it fly so I could lead the last lap and win.
Floyd’s: So, how’d it play out?
Tyler: With ten laps to go I was about 3.5 seconds off the podium and in 4th place, in road racing that’s about two football fields behind. The tires started to go off and I knew I was going to start catching the guy in 3rd place. But, he was not making it easy. I had to go to school and learn on the fly and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. With two laps to go I caught up to his rear wheel and knew I had him. His bike was fast and he started weaving around trying to break the draft. I learned in crit bicycle races to watch the flags to see the direction the wind was blowing. I sat on him the whole last lap and waited to attack like a sprinter. I read the flags. I waited to pull out like I had planned in my dreams, then I made the move and won the battle by half a wheel.
Floyd’s: Applying some bicycle racing knowledge at 180mph, we love that! Did you learn anything from this experience?
Tyler: We learned what it takes to win the race next year. I’ll be back. Count on it, I want to win that Rolex.
Floyd’s: Who wouldn’t!? Back up plan; we got a guy in the alley of the jewelry district. What’s up next?
Tyler: My next race will be a Wild Card race with American Flat Track on the Factory Indian Motorcycle FTR750 at Atlanta Motor Speedway May 1st. That same weekend I’ll also be racing with MotoAmerica in the King of the Baggers class on an Indian Challenger. At Road Atlanta I will be racing for the Factory Indian Motorcycle Team. We will be competing for the MotoAmerica National Championship in the King of the Baggers class. As well the Bagger Racing League racing for the world title. My goal is to win everything!
Floyd’s: Congrats! We have no doubt that’s an achievable goal. Thanks for being such a great athlete, role model, and genuinely awesome human being. The world needs more folks like you, Tyler. We’re so excited to see you racing for Indian! You’re the pure embodiment of pursuing your dreams and making things happen.
Any parting pro CBD tips?
“Before every ride I use 3-4 pumps of the Sports Cream, it helps me stay loose and keeps me from getting arm pump. Definitely my secret to success and relaxing under pressure.”