Rolling Thunder Cyclocross Race November 3rd

Friday, April 25, 2008

Speedwagon Classic

Tomorrow is Matt Seeley's inaugural Speedwagon Classic.  I attached his message about race details to the bottom of this post.  I love non sanctioned random racing.  There is no MT or regional race tomorrow, so if your around you should hit up Polson.  I think there should be more racing/riding like this Saturday.  Hard, semi-organized races with little reward besides the satisfaction of giving it your all.  While this will be a beautiful ride through some of Polson's finest, do not be fooled.  The pace will be hard from the gun.  I don't know if there will be much looking at the scenery.  I'm picturing a 50 mile cross race.  Mass start, triathlete field, dirt roads, Matt Seeley race promoter, yep it's going to be a hell of a race......I'm mean ride :)

Cycling Connoisseurs,


The weather looks great for a spectacular experience at the Speedwagon

Classic cycling event in Polson tomorrow (Saturday, April 26). We already

have riders coming from Bozeman, Helena, and Kalispell, but I am still

hoping to hear from more of the Missoula contingent and particularly the

Five Valley Velo faithful. This event is open to both competitive racers

and more sensible touring types. It will be a great workout with free

food and no entry fee.


Due to some recent road grading activity, we have had to make some changes

in the course, but it will still feature the spectacular REO finishing

climb and some amazing views snow-capped peaks and awe-inspiring valleys. 

The new course will be 50 miles of mixed pavement and gravel, with a few

soft spots and not quite as many climbs. It should be a realistic

challenge on a road bike with good tires. For more course details, see

the link below. We will have good maps, descriptions, and signs on the

course tomorrow.


Here is the schedule for the event -

10-11 am - check-in, info, coffee, treats at the Seeley's (811 11th Ave.


11:30 - gather at Riverside Park for the start

12:00 - START (all riders)

3:00 - approximate finish time atop REO climb

5:00 - barbecue celebration at Seeley's


See you in the morning - Matt


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Kirchen steals the show at Fleche Wellone, Cunego staying consistent

Kim Kirchen powered his way to the victory in today's Fleche Wellone. The race was littered with attacks. CSC's Gustav Larsson had a good dig, as did Fabian Weggman. Early on a 20 man break escaped. It contained Andy Schleck and Philipe Gilbert. I thought the break would stick. However, teams weren't confident with their 3rd and 4th strongest riders being in the group. So, lots of squads began take place in the chase. Once the group was caught attacks came left and right. When it came back together at 500 meters I thought David "tin tin" Rebellion was going to take another Fleche Wallone. Instead Cadel Evans flew out of the lead group. Hot on his wheel was an on form Cunego, Samuel Sanchez, and Kim Kirchen. The ever consisten Kirchen sprinted ahead of Evans to steal the show. Even with 400 meters left I thought Cunego had it in the bag. However, the Little Prince was left for 3rd. Thomas Dekker continued his solid Ardennes Classic week with a strong 5th. Up next is Liege Bastogne Liege. Look for the folks up near the front. My prediction is Cunego. Bring him to the line and he'll bit you. I like the trend of young riders becoming all around racers. Cunego, Kirchen, Schleck, and Valverde are all Grand Tour threats. Here they are battling for the Ardennes. Last year Di Luca made it look easy winning Liege and then the Giro. Even Evans who won the Pro Tour last year can compete in every race. Lance was amazing, and when he wanted to win a race he trained for it and won it. However, towards the end he focused 100% on the Tour de France. I think it got a bit boring for year round cycling fans. Anyways, that's a little rant. I like the next generation.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

MT Cross told ya'll that Brian Williams was legit!

Back in January Brian came to visit for a week in Missoula.  We nordic skied and reminisced about the good old days racing collegiate.  He was in between things and hadn't figured out what he wanted to do with his life.  Well, I guess he wanted to race bikes.  This past weekend he killed the 3's.  Brian won the road race on a solo breakaway and took the crit in a field sprint.  In collegiate races he was always super strong, and grabbed victories left and right.  However, he never really showed his face in USCF races.  Two weekends ago he soloed to a victory at the Boat Street Criterium.  He's a rider for the future for sure.  Look for Brian as a mechanic on Adventure Cycling Tours or killing folks in WA criteriums.  I'll see if I can't convince him to come out for Tour of the Bitterroot.  This photo is him in the Bozeman collegiate race last year climbing L&C Caverns.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Getting worked over AKA The Tour of Walla Walla

I was impressed with the Tour of Walla Walla.  It was a well organized smooth running event.  There were four races in total (two RR's, TT, and crit).  

J Tack, KG, and myself ended up staying at the Waitsburg Inn.  It didn't look like much from the outside, but the place worked out well.  It was close to the start, cheap, and had a sweet diner next door.  Waitsburg is an awesome town.  We watched a cool guitar dude at the bar on Friday, and chilled in town for the majority of the weekend.  It feels great to be on a team again.  

The only other team I've ever been on is UM and that was a couple years back.  I had a tough weekend.  I suffered through every race, and struggled to stay with the peleton.  Although my racing was bad, I had a great weekend.  The team was super supportive, and I had fun watching everyone do there thing.  Going up the final climb in the RR I was off the back and struggling to keep the bike up right.  2/3 up the climb there was an MT cheering section.  It was a sight for sore eyes.  I was very thankful to have the encouragement.  There first time up the climb I attacked and got a 50 meter gap.  I was trying to draw folks out, but also get a head start on the climb.  The group caught and passed me 1/3 up the climb.  I put my head down and watched the group ride away.  At this point I was thinking about turning around, taking a shower, eating a donut, maybe having some Sour Patch Kids.  I got to the top and heard and official say 1:30.  I could see the group in distance, and noticed it had swelled meanding folks were sitting up.  With the tail wind and decent I punched it for a minute or two to see how I felt.  I caught 4 dudes and sat on for 5 or so minutes.  I was still bummed about our chances of catching back on and thoughts of a cheeseburger crept back into my head.  I started rotating with the group and caught a glimpse of the peleton over a rise.  For the next 5 miles we chased all out.  I came around a corner and saw the car train.  I sprinted out of the small group and soloed until I caught the draft of the last car.  I worked my way through the cars and was pack in the peleton like nothing had happened.  Folks were chatting and eating...having a grand old time.  Meanwhile, I was suffering like a dog.  On my getting dropped adventure I had loaded up on water bottles from the feed zone.  So, when I caught back on I wanted to help the team but my legs were shot.  I rode up to Joe and offered him water.  I think he laughed a little bit (I laughed too), it was my sad attempt of being a teammate.  The rest of the day was spent trying to force down food and hang on the back of a 20mph tempo ride.  

New recruit Megan killed the TT in the 4's race with a strong 2nd.  K Grove grabbed another 2nd in the crit.  She rode on the front and kept things aggressive and safe.  T-Money (Tamara) kept it consistent all weekend.  She won the GC in the ladies 3's and was on point all weekend.  Congrats T!

J Tack had a solid race.  He made every split and rode to a strong 26th place on GC.  His TT and final climb held him back, but he performed consistently all weekend and showed that the form is coming.  Bob rode well in the 3's.  The highlight was a 8th place in the brutal 75 mile RR.  I tried to help him on the first lap, but I was no help on the 2nd lap....barely hanging.  Chalmers rode to a consistent 26th on GC.  He road well in the RR and time trial.  Keep in mind on these results that the 1,2 field had 120 starters and the 3's had 98 starters.  Steve road well in the 4's.  I thought his crit performace was very inspiring.  He rode in the top ten all race, and made sure he was a force.

Montana had a good showing.  Brad Morgan looked great in the crit.  He was riding up front, chasing things down, it was fun to watch.  John Curry had a great ride on Friday to make the select group of 30 riders (believe me no easy task, 60mph winds).  Sebastian White and Alex L were in the 3 race and rode strong for GAS all three days.  Frank G was also there and stayed consistent mid pack.  Willy Z had a great time trial finishing 36th.  He also rode great in the crit, staying with the selection.  Erik D had a consistent weekend, with the highlight being a solid crit where he flew the flag for 5VV.

-Ian Tubbs still has it.  He came around in the 1,2 crit and no one was going to pass him.  Great win for the new Carter Team
-Canadians are fast.  Symmetrics and Red Truck Team dominated the race.  Young and fast.
-Tamara is ready to be a cat 2, great job
-NW Racers have TT bikes, MT Racers don't
-Kenny "the cash register" Williams showed up in the crit with two big $100 sprints
-Willy Z is creeping up, watch out in the coming years