Thursday, December 30, 2010

Diegem....under the lights






Diegem held a Superprestige race on Monday under the lights. And if you read the snippit from my last post, it was frickin' awesome.

Superprestige is a season series consiting of around 10 races in Belgium and the Netherlands. It's one of three season. The Superprestige is organized by the trade teams, as opposed to the national teams like the World Cup. I also learned that night that the Superprestige race has its' own soundtrack.

The Junior race went off first, and immediately it started splitting up. Yannick Eckmann, a German rider who lives in Boulder, CO and is part of the camp, was towards the front. He's a strong rider who's currently in the top 5 in UCI points. He was steadily in the 10 all day, but had crashed in Zolder the day before and had a sore knee. He did end up finishing 10th. The other groups of camp riders were scattered throughout the rest of the standings, but meeting them at the finish line they were all pumped. Andrew Dillman, a Junior racer who's been the top American for a few races, dropped his chain on the third corner after the start. He slowly started picking off riders during the race, but got the most joy out of bunny hopping the barriers. He hopped them one lap and got big cheers. He didn't hop them the next lap and got some jeers. So the last lap he hopped them again and it was a celebration.

The other thing that stood out about the Junior race was watching Geoff Proctor engage with the officials about making sure the American riders got their proper call-ups. It seems to me that at the World Cup that they go strictly by the book, but at this race it seemed a little more lax. At one point, Bjorn Fox looked like he wasn't getting called up so Geoff just sent him up anyway. Nobody said anything. Geoff really does so much on race day...including making sure these riders get what's coming to them.

It was like that all day. The barriers were up by the beer tent, so perhaps that was part of the energy on that part of the course. One of the interesting things about the crowd, especially with the elite race, is that the roars are huge for the front group. But the farther it gets back in the crowds, the quieter it gets. It can be an odd thing, with the crowd just staring at the riders and not making noise. Ryan Iddings, an elite racer, described it in his blog post for cyclingnews.com....saying that you can hear the crickets chirping. Not that there are crickets out there...but you get it. Right?

The crowd was large. I searched the internet for numbers, but was unsuccesful in finding a number. I'd say 20,000+ thousand. Maybe that's high, and maybe it's low....maybe that's why I settled on that number.

All of the top riders have huge fan clubs. Supporters if you will, that carry large banners and flags, and wear jackets that show their affiliation. They can be somewhat aggressive about it as well. At the podium presentation after Neils Albert won, his supporters were right behind me signing at the top of their lungs. Waving flags, screaming for me to take their photo, and cheering loudly when he stepped onto the top step of the podium.

Speaking of taking photos, I got more request at Diegem to take photos of fans than any other race so far. It usually starts with a couple of folks saying something to me in Flemish. I say "English" and then they smile. Most start talking in English, but some can't. Whatever the case, I get the gist of it. They then put their arm around their buddy and smile big for the camera.

The best way I can describe Diegem is what I said earlier, Rolling Thunder times 1,000....maybe more. It's just a huge party with a bike race going through it. The screams, the flags, the banging on the barriers and the singing.

For some photos and a short article on I wrote for Cyclocross Magazine you can go here. And to view additional photos, you can visit here.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Zolder





The second World Cup for me was in Zolder. At least I think Zolder is a town, for sure it's an F1 Speedway. The other things that I know off the top of my head about it is that it hosts a lot of World Cup cross races, and a couple of years ago it hosted the World Championships in Cyclocross and there were 60,000 spectators. I don't think their were that many this year, but there were a lot. At one point, I think a quarter of them were in the beer tent. In fact, an hour after the race was over, I think all those folks were still in the beer tent singing Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline".

Zolder, like the rest of the races I've shot here, was snowy. And not only snowy, but compact, slick snow. This led to a lot of crashes...both for the racers, and for the people walking around. The car I was traveling in had to get pushed out of places a couple of times. But the more beer the Belgians drink, the more they want to help you push your car.

If you poke around on the internet, you might be able to find some highlights of the race. And those highlights will most likely be one crash after another. The whole race was a crash....just amazing. For the Americans, Danny Summerhill was the top placed racer in any of the racers (as far as the Euro Cross Campers go... Katie Compton crushed the women's field. I mean crushed it). Danny was hovering around the top 10 and crashed 3 times alone on the last lap. He finished 13th.

I'll look for a video to post soon. I just threw up a link to the photos from the race. There's also a link to the race from Diegem last night. I really want to write more about that, and will in the next day or two. I've been going to sporting events since I was two (that's what happen when you grow up where I did...you start with college football pretty early). I've been to all sorts of pro and college sporting events.... World Series games, National Championship games, Major golf and tennis events, a World Cup Soccer event, and the last two weeks of the 2004 Tour de France. But last night's cyclocross race through the streets of Diegem topped them all. It ended with me shooting the podium, and Neils Albert's fans right behind me singing at the top of their lungs (He won). That was right after he had cross the finish line where there must have been 2,000 people banging on the barriers. I'm getting chills just thinking about it. (Shaun.....Rolling Thunder needs barriers for folks to bang on).

But more about that later. There's an early wake up call for a race tomorrow.

The way things are



I saw something yesterday that made me realize why Belgians are so good at cyclocross. Two kids, fully kitted out, were zipping around on their cross bikes between the U23 and Elite races at Diegem. The one in green was working on his dismounts and shouldering his bike. Someone later told me it was Sven Nys' son. If he has Sven's genetics, I'd say he has a couple of legs up on his future competitors. He was pretty smooth in his transitions.

More to come from the World Cup in Zolder, and the night racing in Diegem. The race in Diegem under the lights was amazing. Think Rolling Thunder times 1,000....at least. The course completely lined with spectators, sometimes 6 and 7 deep. And the beer tent almost the size of a football field.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sunshine


Today was a "B" race in Beernem, Belgium. I don't know if the town has anything to do with beer, but they sure do like their cyclocross. A big crowd, and big field showed up on a sunny Christmas day to race and spectate. Yep...you heard me...it was sunny!!

Here's a link to some images. Also be sure to check Cyclocross Magazine later in the day for a unique gallery.

That's it for now. Tomorrow is World Cup action from Zolder. Wake up early, brew some coffee, and watch it on the internet.

Merry Christmas from the heartland



After morning training rides yesterday Geoff took myself and a handful of the campers to run up the Koppenberg, followed by a trip to the Tour of Flanders Museum. Pretty cool Christmas Eve for the cross racing enthusiast...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Classroom


One of the undocumented parts of the Euro Cross Camp from my perspective, is what goes on behind the scenes in getting the campers ready to race in Europe. While racing, training and preparation are part of most daily activities, there are daily seminars and discussions that take place in the House. I've been fortunate to be able to attend a couple, one by a sports psychologist who discussed the mental aspects of getting ready to race. The other was last night given by a Pro Tour soigneur, Chris De Vos, aka "Fox". Fox is a full-time sogineur with a pro team. A Belgium, he has served as a part-time sogineur with various teams over the past 15 years, including the US National Team and US Postal/Discovery.

Being full-time is a big deal. Fox just "retired" from his other job as a truck driver, just this week. You might think that's cool, now he only has one job. But during the course of what it takes to be a full-time sogineur, I have to wonder how the hell he had time to do anything else. He gave a brief outline of the duties of the job, including being on the road for 225+ days a year, and the working hours during a Grand Tour that start at 4:00 AM and go until midnight, for four weeks. It's jaw-dropping the time commitment that it takes to work with the biggest teams in professional cycling.

Fox shared obscure details of the operations of a pro tour team, one of which is how many bottles they prepare for a single day during a Grand Tour stage (300 to 350 for an 8-person team). Side note...not all of them are consumed during the stage. While some are used to cool riders off during the stage, others are used just for the "sling." Because riders can't hang on to cars, when the get a "bottle sling", the generally discard the bottle soon after. Another interesting fact about the bottles, none of them are ever re-used. The risk is too high for contamination.

One of the most unique aspects I found of the sogineur is that they are part-time tour guide, part-time masseuse, part-time driver and part-time therapist. While they might not be able to always give advice or insight like a therapist, they listen to it all...most of the time during while giving a post race massage.

And finally, the one eye opener for me of his talk was about the yellow bus in Belgium. I believe I will get this right. There is a little yellow bus that drives around Belgium that randomly stops riders to check their papers, and the occasional drug testing. It doesn't matter if you are a pro racer or amateur. If you are kitted out and spinning around on your bike, you better have ID and your biological passport. If not, they take you downtown.

Today we are taking a field trip to the Tour of Flanders Museum. On the way, I'm going to keep an eye out for the little yellow bus. I'll let you know if I find it.

---

Note: Here's a link to a group of images on Cyclocross Magazine

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Training Racing







The training races in Clinton, MT were always some of my favorite racing of the year. Low key, pretty flat, and everybody was raring to go early in the year. Yesterday at the Euro Cross Camp they had a team training race. Ryan Trebon, a staple of American cross racing the last few years (and multiple Euro Cross Camp participant) came over to join in the fun. And the racing seemed just as fun as those Clinton races...but a lot more muddy.

The racers pulled out from the house just before noon and headed to the course that Geoff had set up earlier in the day. In true Euro Director Sportif style, Geoff gunned the engine and passed the racers on the way to the course at Mach II. Great Fun. Also along for the ride was Lyne Lamoureax, a sportswriter from North America who covers cycling all over Europe. She also runs the website Podium Insight.

Geoff had ridden over and set up the course in the morning. It was going to be run down along the canal just on the edge of Izegem, and it was a classic Beligum day from my limited experience here. Wet...just a damp, wet, snowy and somewhat muddy track, with an ultra thick fog hanging in the air. I loved it. From a photographers point of view, it couldn't be much better. During the couple of warm-up laps, a couple of riders fell, and were instantly soaked. The whole ground was a puddle it seemed like.

The riders lined up for the start. It was the first cross race I had ever seen where all of the riders were starting on the front row. The race was to be 30 minutes. The winner of each division (elite, U23 and junior) would get excused from house chores for a day, with the overall winner getting a signed Sven Nys poster.

GO!

Ryan Trebon got the whole shot, with Zach McDonald on his wheel and Ryan Iddings close behind. The riders flew around in the mud, through the trees, up and down muddy hills and 30 minutes later, with a bike throw, Zach McDonald took the victory over Ryan Trebone. Though truth be told, in true training race spirit, it seemed though most riders were taking different routes throughout the whole course. I'm not sure any rider rode the same line for each route. The highlight of the race for me was when Bjorn Fox flew over his bars in a particularly muddy section and slid for what seemed like 20 feet. He bounced right back up (as juniors are apt to do) and said, "Wow...took a wrong line there."

The riders didn't hang around too long afterward, not wanting to cool down, and headed back to the house. About half the crew got their bikes power-washed by the mechanics and then headed out for a training ride. Todd Anderson (former Missoulian, and mechanic at Open Road in the early 90's) jumped in the Team USA wagon and drove while I hung out the passenger window shooting for the first 2k. Danny Summerhill spent half that time riding wheelies for me through the slush of the small Belgium backroads.

Back at the house I hung out for a while as riders washed clothes, watch videos on the internet, and ate food. When the first half of the training ride group got back, we headed into town for pizza, pastries and coffee...led by Ryan Trebon. Ryan is the best leader through crowded streets you could ever hope for. He's so damn tall, that he's easy to follow.

While gaining valuable racing experience in Belgium is the main goal for most of these riders, learning how to train and recover like a professional are also part of the program. The Euro Cross Camp has to be an amazing experience for these folks. I'm just a peripheral element to the camp, and it's an amazing experience for me.

For more photos from today, hit this word to jump to the site.

photos by: tomrobertsonphoto.com

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Downtown Joel Brown

UM Triathlon Legend and Rolling Thunder/Griz Tri Announcer Downtown Joel Brown is moving. He's asked that I don't make a big deal of it.......so obviously I'm going to make a big deal of it.

In honor of my good friend leaving. I'd like to share my favorite Joel Brown memory:

It was holiday time, and the Missoula student exodus had began. Ben Horan was back for the weekend and Matt and JB decided to throw a holiday showcase party. The party would include a gift exchange, and holiday showcase (talent show). I'd heard stories of JB being able to rip it up on the keyboard but I had yet to experience it. Matt welcomed us in an offered us a seat in the living room. I walked around the corner to see Downtown JB in dimly lit room working the keyboard. I noticed right away that he was focused and super into the jams.

JB: Want to hear something?
SR: Sure. (thinking it would be Mozart or something)
JB: Ok, it's Nelly - Hot in Here
SR: Yeah Right

JB proceeded to pump out the early 2000 Club Hit, Nelly - Hot in Here. I'll never forget it.


Photo by John Sieber.

Sorry for the interruption on Tom's Belgium Reports. Great work Tom!

World Cup






I drove an hour and a half north early Sunday morning to the town of Kalmthout, just south of the border with the Netherlands. Thank goodness for the GPS navigation system. I don't know how visitors navigate these roads around here without those. I had been in touch with the press officer for the race beforehand and pulled right into the parking lot, walked into the press room and got one of those PHOTO vest. Just like the photographers at all the big races. With this vest, I could go anywhere....and I did...just because I could. You know those guys that are always just past the finish line at the big Euro races, who seem like they are in the way. Well, I was one of those folks. That's the best spot in the house!

There were four races on Sunday and I was out there for all four. The Juniors started it off, and I couldn't believe how fast they were going. I talked to one of the USA Juniors afterwards, and he said that he's usually one of the fastest in the States, and it blew him away. That, and all of the flying elbows, made it tough. One of the campers is a German national, Yannick Eckmann, though he lives in Colorado. He was leading for much of the Junior race, and ended up 6th. It seems as though a lot of these races, there is a lead group of 5 or 6 that develops after a lap or two, and they just keep pulling away. The track was narrow for the most part, really single-tracky, and it made passing challenging. There was one pavement section where you had to make a go of it. So basically it seemed that if you weren't up front after the first half lap, you were resigned to finishing about where you were.

As fast as the Junior race was, the lead group of the U23 race was blazing. Danny Summerhill and Zach McDonald seem to finish 1 and 2 in most of the US races, and even crack the top 10 in the Elite at National races. They were going good, and finished in the low 20's. They both started on the third row, and it seemed as though they held their spots well, if not moving up a bit. I was at the finish line for the sprint, and it was an all-out sprint, with the leader actually getting a little gap, turning around and blowing a kiss to the two folks he just beat. The sprint at the finish is pretty heart stopping, especially in Belgium when their national racers are involved. The whole crowd starts banging on the barriers and it feels like it's actually shaking the ground. The top two were Belgiums and the third guy was Dutch. Those Belgiums do have a pretty good grasp on things. It's really cool to see the Juniors and U23's racing in their National kits. As a photographer, it's easy to pick them out.

I watched a lot of the women's race, but just shot a few images. There are no women campers, so there wasn't a need to shoot. But one thought from the women's race..... Katie Compton. She was the first one called up, but halfway through the first lap three other gals had a 10 second gap on her. She made that up by the end of the lap, and then for 3 laps, she just sat on. I could see that she wasn't really working that hard, but when she attacked on lap 4 she immediately got 30 seconds. It looked like she was just going so so so much faster than everybody else.

Between the women's and elite race I hung out in the press room. Wow...that's sweet. I mean, the accommodations are not that special, but to get inside with seats, wifi and free drinks is hard to beat. The drinks were all lined up on a table in the front of the room... Pepsi, coffee, OJ and whiskey (with little plastic shot glasses beside it).

The crowd for the elite race was out, as were the banners, supporter jackets, and a santa claus band. Like the other races, the fast guys moved to the front and just kept pulling away. You know at Rolling Thunder on the hill on the backside, where folks scream and yell? That's kind of how it was over the whole course there. You could always hear where the leaders where because the roar of the crowd just seemed to follow them wherever they went. During the elite race the snow started to lightly fall, and just got heavier as the race went on. It was somewhat surreal, being in a forest, with screaming fans and bike racers flying between them. While it was hard to tell how much faster the Elites were going than the other groups, I could really notice it on the technical sections....they just didn't slow down through there.

While the racing was the main attraction, there were all sorts of other pieces that I was enamored with. The food carts (I did get frites, though I opted for ketchup instead of mayo); the crowd (and so many people wanted to talk to me); the signs; the support jackets; those cameras on those moving cranes that can are up in the air; and did I mention the crowd. Everyone seemed just so happy and festive. I noted a few times how encouraging they were, even to the folks towards the back riding solo.

I was exhausted afterwards, and not looking forward to my hour and a half drive back. I learned though, that the Belgium people are used to driving in the dumping snow. The main highways were quickly accumulating snow and it was slow going for over three hours home. I think I did pass the one snowplow in the country....and it was just sitting on the side of the road.

For more photos from the World Cup in Kalmthout, go here. And for more photos from the small Saturday race in Lichtervelde, you can go here. Thanks for reading. More to follow.

photos by: tomrobertsonphoto.com

Monday, December 20, 2010

Frozen Ground




The first race of the Euro Cross Camp was a small local race, a “B” race in Belgium, in the town of Lichtervelde. A couple of exits up the road from the USA house in Izegem, the race was held on, by all accounts, a cow pasture. A few things stood out to me about the race, first off, there is an entry fee of 5 Euros for everyone but racers...even the mechanics. Looking at the course and surrounds, it didn’t seem like it was that much different than racing at Fort Missoula on Wednesday nights, but upon closer inspection, it had everything the big races had. A warm room to change in; a snack trailer that sold frites, brats and the such; an ambulance and emergency personnel on site; crowd control; a podium; two separate pits, and an announcer.

The level of support here for cross racing is really impressive. I expected it at the larger races, but it seems to be case at the smaller ones as well. There was a Masters races going when I pulled up, but I hung out with the USA juniors as they warmed up. The staff of the Camp certainly does provide pro-level support for the campers. A tent was set up to ride trainers to warm up in, bikes were being tuned, numbers were pinned onto the riders as they spun on the trainers, and finally the mechanics took spare bikes and wheels to the pit area.

While the care for the campers is somewhat expected, all of the Belgium racers had their own support, which looked to be made up mostly of family members. From gathering warm-up jackets at the start, to washing bikes in the pit, all of the racers at this local “B” racer were kitted out and fully supported.

I have heard Geoff talk about how Belgium cross courses were dangerous “back in the day”, but that things were a lot different now. This course was flat, with no barriers, and one run-up that could be ridden with some momentum, making it seem pretty boring. But it turned out to be one of the sketchiest courses that I had ever seen. What made it so sketchy to me was that it had ruts that were 3” to 4” deep, and completely frozen solid. I don’t know if it had been ridden during the week when it was damp and then frozen or what, but it was as hard as concrete. When riders crashed to the ground (and they did), it looked like it really hurt (it did). One Belgium Junior rider landed on his face, breaking his nose. By the end the last race of the day I saw racers shouldering their bikes and running through the worst part of the ruts. Seemed like the right thing to do.

Most of the racers from the camp pulled out at some point. This was part of the plan, as there was an early departure time the next day, and a World Cup race to be ridden. The day served as a nice little introduction to some of the campers (and the photographer) to racing in Belgium.

For additional photos, go to the EuroCrossCamp’s website here. Photos will also go up on the EuroCrossCamp Facebook site the day after races, feel free to follow that here.

photos by: tomrobertsonphoto.com

Friday, December 17, 2010

I'm learning fast


photos by: tomrobertsonphoto.com

Contrary to what Mr. MontanaCyclocross says, it's definitely not trainer season in Belgium. In fact, it feels like things are just heating up. I've been given the "keys to the blog" to share my thoughts as an embedded photographer in the EuroCrossCamp. The camp, the brainchild of Geoff Proctor, is in it's eighth year of taking up-and-coming U.S. cyclocross racers to Belgium to race against the fastest riders in the world. I've known about this camp since it has started, and have been secretly trying to figure out a way to come over here. Years ago Geoff even mentioned offhandedly that I could come over and hose bikes off in the pits. That sounded awesome to me...but I had an office job that I just couldn't get away from at the time. But getting to come over now as a photographer is pretty damn awesome.

I've been here for a couple of days now, resting, looking at maps, trying to figure out how to get food (as I write this, I'm plowing through a jar of Nutella), working on press credentials, and driving on these narrow roads. It's been pretty cool so far, but things are really about to get kicking. I'm headed to the USA House in Izegem, Belgium tomorrow to meet up with the racers and the support crew, then we are headed to Lichtervelde for a small race. It's a local race to get the legs (and in my case, the shutter finger) opened up, before heading up to Kalmthout for a World Cup race. A World Cup race is just over-the-top from what I hear. Here's a link from the first couple of laps from the 2009 race in Kalmthout. It seems to be snowing heavily, and it's supposed to snow Sunday as well. Can someone come over and hold an umbrella over my head as I shoot?

And speaking of snow...it's on the ground now. When I landed in Brussels on Thursday morning, it was heavy clouds and dry. By the time I got to my accommodations for the night, it was raining steadily. Late in the evening, the steady rain turned into a steady snow. Today it was sunny with hard-packed ice on the road. The one constant seems to be that conditions change constantly. Stay tuned to this site for updates. I'll also be posting on my blog, as well as the Hellgate Cyclery blog...with the occasional sightings of my photos appearing on VeloNews.com, cyclingnews.com, and cxmagazine.com.

I'm gonna go hydrate now....I hear the beer here is pretty good.

Thanks for reading.
tr

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cyclocross Season is Done and Trainer Season has Begun

Cyclocrosser's have been lighting up their Facebook accounts with "Season over!" and "Time to relax."

For Montana's finest cyclocross racers it's time for a well deserved break. Kick back and enjoy your favorite adult beverage.

For other Montana racers its trainer season. The buzz is everywhere.

Most of the Missoula triathletes never really quit training. The Big Kid's Swim Lounge is not only going strong, but its been taken to another level, with coach Payne at the helm. NRO and MBW both have weekly trainer nights. Upstart UM Cycling has been hosting their own trainer nights and been reporting 5-10 folks a time. President, Peter Young even asked me for some old Velonews Magazines for trainer material. Even Coach Brad has been on the bike (shout-out to Pure Coaching, if you need a cycling coach Brad is a good one). You know you got the fever when you attend one of Coach Besseti's spin classes...........I'm not saying I did that.......

With lots of fun spring events planned the early birds are already out. The Working Stiff Mountain Bike Series, Grizzly Triathlon, Re-vamped Training Races, American Prairie Classic, St. George Ironman, and The Rocky Mountain Roubaix.

Keep track of all the winter training on the mtcx blogroll. If you want to join the blog roll send me your link and I'll put it up.

On a side note; good luck to Bryce and Kipp on their adventure down the coast this winter. I will be thinking of you guys.

I wonder if the Williston Rec Center has spin bikes.....

Sunday, December 12, 2010

2 years, 2 podiums for Campbell

Lindsy Campbell placed 5th in the collegiate race this morning.

Great work from the Polson, MT native. Way to represent the Griz.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bang! John Curry on the podium

John Curry placed 5th in the masters 30-34 race. What an excellent result for John, GAS, and Cycling in Montana.

Congratulations!

Update on Frank from Scott

Frank had bad luck, but a nice race. Hit from behind first lap. Collected his bike. Fought back to 5th place. Rolled a tire. Ran to the pits. Spare bike. Finished 18th. Frank is tough.

Thanks Scott

Late Friday Update and live feed

MT state champ Frank G finished 19th behind a stacked 45-49 field.

John Curry was 16th in his time trial for the 30-34 group and will start in the second row.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Landen Becker finishes 17th in the 15-16s

I did not preview Landen in my initial write-up, but this up and comer deserves a huge shout out. Landen won the state championships in the cat 4's. He's an amazing athlete. He proved that today with a 17th in his first appearance at nationals. Landen is from Helena and also is an excellent nordic skier. He had 44 competitors in his field.

Updates

Women's 30-34
Lisa rides to 9th, Julie Z takes 21st (3rd cat 3)

Women's 35-39
Amy Frykman finishes 11th.

Mike Longmire 6th at Nats

Friday Update

Curry 7th in time trial before 12pm MST start. She will be on the front row.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Montanans at Nationals

This year's batch of cyclocrossers headed to Bend is the best of the best in Montana.

Race's to Watch:

LISA CURRY - Mstr 30-34 - 1pm Friday - You don't really think of Lisa as a master but she's going to lay it out for a title in the 30-34 category. Defending champ Barb Howe is not registered but but 3rd and 4th Smith and Studley are. Head to head Curry has only beat Studley once (Jingle Cross #1 6th and 7th). Smith rode well in New England last weekend and Studley finished 21st to Currys 24th in Portland #2. Still Lisa is a favorite for the podium and if the course is technical don't be surprised to see her up there. Also registered for this race is Julie Z. JZ has had a good 2nd half and could be in the top 15.

AMY FRYKMAN - Mstr 35-39 - 2:15pm Friday - Last year in this event Amy was 8th. This field is stacked. The top 7 return and Howe (mstr 30-34 champ) joins the category. Frykman has been gaining form in anticipation of this race. If the rumor is true about the addition of pavement to the course then Amy could be competing for a top 5. Also in this race is 15th from last year PATRICIA DOWD. PDowd has been racing a bunch in the 2nd half of the season and would love a top ten in this one. Also in this category is Thunder all star Gaertner (4th last year).

FRANK GONZALEZ - Mstr 45-49 - 9:30am Saturday - Frank has had his best season to date. Top mountain bike performances in his age group and then a state title in Montana on the cx bike. Last year he was 13th in this race. The top 5 are all returning, with strongmen Bold and Coats as the favorites. However, Franky was 13th last year during a down season for him and I think those fellas better make some room on the cx podium. Frank represents one of the best chances for Montana to podium.

JOHN CURRY - Mstr 30-34 - 3:30pm Saturday - Defending champ Berry is not registered, but 2nd place Pacocha is back and has been having a solid year. This category isn't as stacked as one might think. In my opinion John has the ability to ride into the top 5 on a good day. Looking at the start lists and other results my favorites are Schempf, Rasmussen, and Shriver (who could spoil the party for everyone if he rides to his ability). MTcx scoured the net for a Curry head to head against someone and found it. 2009 Moose Cross Day 2, John Curry 2nd, Eric Rasmussen 3rd. Double A, Alan Adams is also in this category and don't be surprised to see him sneak into the top 20.

LINDSY CAMPBELL - Collegiate D2 - 8am Sunday - Representing for the Grizzlies, Campbell comes back after a 2nd place performance last year. Defending champ Filiberti returns. Top starters include Antonneau, James, and Boursaw. LC will have her hands full to defend that 2nd place, but I would put nothing past her. She has confidence in this race venue, and has the right mindset headed to Bend

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lisa Curry makes the Cyclingdirt List


Colt from Cyclingdirt.org is changing the game of race media. I am a sucker for creative race coverage, rankings, and general fun media coverage. Every week I wait for Colt's weekly rankings to come out. For the most part I agree with his ranking system, but it's not about accuracy.....it's about consistency. I think many people would argue with me about this, but hear me out. Where else are you going to find a consistent ranking system that gets updated weekly and includes explanations? I would argue that Colt is translating mainstream sports coverage over to cycling. What's the difference between an ESPN analyst giving his top 5 NFL teams and Colt's cyclocross rankings? I think the stuff he's doing on his website is ground breaking for bicycle racing.

Congrats to Lisa for being the first Montanan to make the rankings. Also, late congrats to Canadian and Elliot coached Craig Richey for becoming a staple on the list.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

GAS starts the weekend off right

Curry takes 6th in her best ever UCI result.

Dingman continues her breakout campaign with a win in the cat 2/3 race!!!

J Curry 19th in the dark!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Good luck to Currys and Alan Adams at Jingle Cross.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Frankie G goes on a tear!

On a day where the thermometer didn't get above 20 degrees. Frank Gonzalez won the state champion over Jesse Doll and John Curry

The battle lines were drawn early with Doll, Frank, and John taking turns at the front. Frank got the gap and settled in for the solo effort.

Congratulations to Frank, I think the whole Montana cx community is happy for you!

Photo by John Sieber

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Brawl of the Wild - Cyclocross Style

In anticipation for the upcoming "Brawl of the Wild" I did some research on who's leading the Montanacyclocross.com "Town Standings." Through Great Divide CX.

1. Bozeman 27 wins - strong up and coming performances from Dingman and Mini Morgan have helped the already strong Currys, and JulieZ

2. Helena 17 wins - Herzig's resurgence mixed in with Frankie's consistency is leading the charge, but the Brooke family and Finley have helped increase the tally.

3. Missoula 16 wins - Mostly led by Bridger and Campbell, Missoula also scored big wins from Kindred, Fiore, and Scotty.

4. Flathead 9 wins - Chance and Chauner lead this bunch, but a Killien and a couple others chipped in as well.

5. Billings 1 win - Rob Newsome is the man in Billings.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Griz/Cat Cross & Z Cross

Griz/Cat Cross is Saturday and Z Cross is Sunday. This is the last race weekend of the Montana series. The battle for state glory doesn't get any better then this weekend. Snow, Fort Missoula, MSU vs UM, Velo, Flathead, GAS, and Cougs. Currys, Herzig, Frank, Chance, Doll, Campbell, Brooke, and Tomas all look primed for state titles, but anything can happen. Look out for local Mssla surprises. Sam is at La Ruta, but Missoula Bicycle Works could put together a surprise late season performance. Here's a video I've been watching to get pumped up for the action. It's a little older, but still top notch.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Curry takes 15th in Fort Collins

Lisa Curry took 15th on Sunday at the New Belgium Cup USGP. Curry excelled on the muddy Fort Collins course. With a 19th and 15th on the weekend LC takes a ton confidence into the latter half of the season. Thanks to Andrew Genco for the photo.

Cougars and MT Velo are friends. I liked this photo from Tyler Brandt. Herzig, Franky, and Jesse continued their strong riding in Helena. Congrats to Great Divide and MT Velo on a great weekend.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Herzig continues his late season tear

Photo by Jared Nelson
Lisa Curry 19th in Fort Collins.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Big Time Helena Cyclocross Tomorrow!!!

Mark Brooke and Rick Finley have done some great leg work to make this weekend's races top notch!

Also, keep your eye on Currys and the Mules down in Fort Collins.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Billings Cyclocross this Weekend


Rob Newsome has put together a killer weekend of cyclocross in Billings. Get out and support this first year stop on the calendar.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lisa riding the Run Up

Tomrob's photo of Jaxson killing the run up at Thunder was my favorite photo of the season.......until I saw this shot on Velonews.com.

Are you kidding me Lisa Curry?!

She was the only elite lady to remount after the barriers and ride the run-up. This skill got her into the below battle with Meredith Miller...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

MT Velo lights it up at Mulecross

The annual Halloween race Mulecross was another smashing success.

Farther south, GAS riders mixed it up with Colorado's best. Congratulations to Anna Dingman for her big win in the women's cat 3 race. Lisa Curry was around 20 both days and John Curry was in the low 30's today. Jared Nelson rode well in the masters 35+.

For photos of Mulecross, check out Frigid Light's album.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday Night Finale

Sam takes the race, Doll takes the series.

Photo by Tomrobertsonphoto.com

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Flathead Weekend

If you look close enough you can see the call of the Elk! Pipo and the Flathead are ready for you!


Woodland and Herron Park are back for another year!!

Matty B and Tim K have put together a great weekend of cx in the Flathead.

Click on the pics for more details.
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