Rolling Thunder Cyclocross Race November 3rd

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Tour of the Bitterroot

Tour of the Bitterroot is this coming weekend. I'm really looking forward to it. Belt seemed like a great race and I expect more of the same from ToB. You can register online at John Sieber will be on hand to take photos. Last year he shot the infamous rainy crit photos. I've hear rumors that both Montana Velo and Five Valley Velo will bring full teams to the 1,2,3 race. This will bring a different dynamic. Last year Montana Velo had a great race with Kiefer Hahn taking the overall. Matt Seeley has already registered. 5VV will also have Elliot B. in his 3's debut, Erik Digby who made his debut in Belt, John W. they cagey veteran, and possibly Brendan Halpin. A solid squad of young and old. MT Velo should be the favorites with a possible squad of Brink, Kiefer, Geoff P., and Frank. The road race should be a war of attrition. I think it's hard to make a breakaway stick on that course. The crit and tt are on Sunday and will decide the race.

The ladies race is brewing nicely. Northern Rockies has stepped hard on to the women's scene with Danyel Longmire and Tamara (t-money). Lisa Curry took a convincing win at Roubaix, but Danyel stole the show at Belt. The NRO Lisa Curry batte should be in full effect at ToB.

These are just initial thoughts.....more to come as the week progresses.

Did anyone see Ricardo Ricco today? Anybody who can outkick Bettini, Di Luca, and Rebellion on an uphill finish has a bright future. Watch out for him in the overall. In the pool MT Cross Field Reporter has taken a commanding lead as the Giro heads towards the flats tomorrow. Look for my man Bennati!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Belt Omnium - MT Cross Field Reporter Joe Chalmers

Belt Omnium Time Trial
I rode to the top of this tough course early to get a good spot for some pics at around the 1K to go mark. One obvious thing that sticks out is the wind that always seems to blow in the face during this all out five mile effort and it can really take beat you down both physically and mentally. It’s possible to see almost the entire 2 plus mile climbing section of the course if you are placed right and the first racers came into view shortly before 11:00 a.m. For the woman Tamara Bassette and Danyel Longmire finished within two seconds of each other and were well clear of the next fastest woman. Tamara got the win and was the first woman to come past me pushing a big gear and was in and out of the saddle giving it everything. In comparison Danyel was in the saddle the whole time spinning a high cadence but her face also showed the obvious pain of the effort. Team Delphine had a strong start to the day putting a rider in the top three.
In the mens 1,2,3 time trial Josh Tack and Brad Morgan tied for the best time of the morning but were followed closely by Scott Hertzig, Clint Muhlfeld, John Curry and Andy Fischer. One side note to Josh and Brad’s performances was to my eye they seemed keep the lowest and the most aero position even on the climb.
There was a great turnout in the juniors, masters and cat 4/5 fields however I didn’t get a chance to see the full results for these races.
Road Race
I drove to what I thought would be the most significant section of the road race which was the top of the out and back climb. That is where most of the action would take place and for the most part it did.

An early attack on the first climb into the head wind by Bill ? from Bozeman seemed like a death march to me and I didn’t think he would stay away very long but twenty miles later as the masters field came back up the backside of the climb he was still off the front but there was a small group closing the gap and they ended up catching him and this select group of four fought it out for the finish. I don’t have official results but a gutsy move by Bill to attack early like that was one of the gutsiest moves of the day.

Cat 4/5
This race consisted of a large group of experienced Cat 4’s and some new looking Cat 5’s giving it there all on a not so easy course. This group started the first climb together but instantly lost at least ten riders mid way up and after the out and back section and coming up the backside of the climb it was shattered into groups of one’s and two’s. A strong racer from the GAS team came over the climb first with Jeff Twohig and three other racers chasing hard but all were all riding by themselves as they came past me on the climb. It sounds like they came together towards the finish with Twohig coming in second to ???. Again I have yet to get a list of full results for this group.

Womans Cat 3/4
The womans race was well represented by racers from Northern Rockies, Team Delphine, GAS as well as professional mountain bike Zephani Blassi of Team Kenda mixing it up in there.
Up climb one the woman’s race was down to a group of eight or nine girls and they all looked pretty serious as they crested the climb and drove on into the wind. It was Just after the turn around that an attack by Lisa Curry cut the lead group down to four. She was joined by Danyel Longmire, Joe Lenaburg and Amy ? from Team Delphine. At the base of the last climb Danyel attacked the lead group and after cresting the climb with a lead of about thirty seconds she was able to solo to the finish to take the win over Lisa and Amy with Joey coming in a strong fourth on the day.

Mens 1,2,3
It was all together early in the race as Andy Fischer led the group up the first climb. Fischer and his Northern Rockies teammate Josh Tack drove hard into the wind to try and break the race apart and the small field did split up into a small group of seven with another small chase group catching back on after a hard chase just as they started the backside of the return climb. GAS rider John Curry led the group over the climb with thirty tough miles still to go. The most significant climb came out on a section of the course that only this men’s field completed and it was Sportsman’s Clint Muhlfeld who turned the screws and split the race apart for good. The five heavy hitters that survived his pace were Scott Hertzig, Josh Tack, Andy Fischer, Brad Morgan and John Curry. It came down to an all out sprint with two hundred meters to go with Tack taking his second win of the day over Fischer with Morgan and Curry coming in a strong third and fourth.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Giro Stages 1 and 2

Slipstream does it! Great win yesterday for the Argyle crew. Ryder Hesjedal, Millar, Dave Z and the gange looked like well drilled machine. I wonder why Vande Velde crossed the line first. I heard the Dave Z didn't want to deal with the media. Millar said Vande Velde was the strongest and he deserved it. I'm happy to see an American in the pink jersey. It's been way to long. The TTT went as predicted with CSC and High Road claiming the final podim spots.

In stage 2 (view it on Versus 2pm today), Dave Z took an unfortunate spill and is out of the race. The course was a classics course and therefore suited classics riders. Folks like Bettini and Rebellion were licking their chops. My pick was Bettini. Not only is he on my fantasy team but he's the World Champ and when he says he wants to win something you listen. Ricardo Ricco has always been touted as the next star of Italian Cycling. Today he took another small step to filling that role. He sprinted out of the peleton past Rodriguez to take the stage. Vandel Velde is out of the jersey by 1 second to Pellizotti of Liquigas. Come on Slipstream!!! Do work to keep that jersey.

Fantasy Standings:
1. Mrs. Montana Cross 60
2. Dolce Vita 60
3. J-Dunph 60
4. WA Pride 45
5. Montana Cross Field Reporter 30
6. Montana Cross 15
7. Nacho Tack 15

*If you want to enter the pool email your picks. Since were still in the initial stages I'll let you enter late.