Everyone in the Midwest (and pretty much everywhere else, too!) has a Steve Tilford story. Steve passed away recently and the world will miss him. Tracy Smith, an OG from Columbia, Missouri called me up the other day and told me about a photo he'd found from the 1999 Missouri State Championship Criterium in Jefferson City. He graciously sent a copy to me and for that I'm grateful. In the top photo, you can see Tracy putting the hurt to Steve and you can see that I'm simply staring at Steve's hub because that was all that I could do.
In this photo, taken by Phil Shoulberg, I have miraculously recovered for the finish line sprint. Steve beat me by a tiny bit but I won the state championship medal since Steve is from Kansas. To be fair, I was hurting but I was sandbagging. These two guys were quite a bit faster than me so I thought it wise to play dead until the right moment. Steve, never short on words, called me out on it after the finish but he was laughing about it. It wasn't my finest moment, but it was the only way I was ever going to beat Steve and it still didn't work out.