You'd like to call the Missoula races tune-ups or practice races for the Montana weekend events. In theory they are, but in Missoula they have formed into the who's who of bicycle riding. Beyond the top 4 in the men's A group, riders are fighting tooth and nail for every place they can get. Yesterday, as I started my usual race fade from front to back, I started falling farther back then normal and got the pleasure to see some of these battles. The Men A started off ok, with Dave, Toby, and Doug forming a group and putting the pressure on early. Bill did his usual thing, by passing all of us took take a solo fourth place. Doug attacked Dave and Toby on the bunny hop log and then blocked them through the S-curves to take the victory. He did it on his new bike, which I think will give him the confidence he needs to get on the Thunder podium. Dave consistent again, showed why has owned this series for the past couple years and finished 2nd. I believe that puts him on top of the series. Toby, mastered the art of hung over racing and held on for third. I don't quite no where all the A's finished up, but I believe Elliot grabbed and impressive 5th place, followed by Mike, Brink, Horan, and Erik D. This is where some real racing is going on. The 5th-10th places are battled for each week. There is never a pack, it's just every rider going all out trying to catch the person in front of them. It's great racing. Each rider has their own strengths. It was nice to see Horan up there again, he's definetly established himself as a rider for the future. Also, Erik had a good race, staying steady the whole time.
In the men's B Kyle Shannon put on an impressive showing. Some say it was fueled by his lack of being in the pre-Thunder race predictions. Whatever the case Kyle showed the B's what was up last night. Tom Sullivan and Kyle teamed up for the second half of the race and distanced themselves from the masters and men's B fields. Speaking of Tom Sullvian.....he the performance of the night. Tom, came out on a mission and easily won the masters. He's got a new cross bike and he's racing Thunder, watch out! John W., came in a consistent 2nd holding on to his masters series lead. Bookwalter finished second in the B's and continues his impressive riding on a mountain bike.
In the women's race Heidi G. continued her domination. I don't know who came in after that, but I'd really like to know. Megan G. was up there for sure as well as Kelly G. and Danyel. Looks like it will be a strong women's field at Thunder.