MT cyclocross is coming out with a new shirt for the 4th of July extravaganza. Limited edition.
While road season is dwindling down in Montana, mountain season is in full swing and cross season is on the horizon. Let's take a look back at the road season thus far. Don't forget July 20th Bearmouth road race, and Valley West Crit in Bozeman.
Most Improved: Most improved on the male side goes to Marshall Opel. He bust onto the scene at Tour of the Bitteroot, and contined his hot riding at Cow Country. He wasn't finished and placed 2nd two times in a row at Star Meadows and Eden. Bright future. On the ladies side Danyel Longmire gets the nod. She has always had the talent but this year really pushed herself into the elite ladies club. Honorable mention goes to Jean Meyer, Willy Zellmer, Howard Williams, and Kelly Grove.
Ageless Wonders: It's easy to pick the all time ageless wonder Longmire, but I really can't go with anyone else. He's so fast. On the ladies side it's and easy pick for me. Possibly one of the strongest road riders Montana has ever see, Tamara (T-money) takes honors. She will be at Nationals this weekend.
Best Team: On the guys side you gotta go with the defending champs. GAS carpools to races and is the only team who truly races as a team. Regardless of reputation they race for the rider who is on form for that race. Any rider on their team is ready to dedicate themselves to the leader. Veterans Morgan, Lussier, and Curry (not really a veteran) show great leadership and that sets the tone for the team. Sebastian, Jason, Tomas, Lackey, and Frykman race hard regardless of form. Each year it seems like they gain 1 or 2 quality riders. On the ladies side a re-vamped Northern Rockies squad takes the prize. Led by much improved Grove, Longmire, and the captain Tamara. Solid consistent peformers Nadia, G-dine, Joey, Megan and can win on their own but usually provide strength to the team cause.
Best Race: Rocky Mountain Roubaix. Not just because NRO put it on!!!!!!! Hear me out. It was the most competitive race in the state. Erik Andersen and his Vertical Earth squad pushed Montana cyclists to the limit. My only regret is that it wasn't a little later in the season. Muhlfeld and Josh were on solid form, but what if GAS, Frank, Scotty, Kiefer, Marshmellow were on form as well. Were talking major showdown. Already, there were groups all over the road, and the racing was hot and heavy.
Most Underated: Most underated on the men's side is Alex Lussier. He's always there. More folks noticed him this year, but usually he doesn't get much props. To me it started at the State Championship cross race where I think he took fourth and tooled the crap out of Doug Dale. A close second is the Flathead Team. Greenburg is a hell of a time trialist and Noonan is a great rider that will bring one of his breakaways to the line some day soon. Also, Gaertner, Chauner, Chance, the squad is legit. On the ladies side Amy Frykman from Team Delphine gets the nod. She is leading the cat 4 women's series and is strong part of an impressive Delphine Team. Besides after the year the Frykmans' are having one of them needs to win something.