The Rolling Thunder Women's Race always has the best groups. From masters champions, to mid level pros, we've witnessed some great rides. The level of women's cross in Montana has grown exponentially. It started with Lisa Curry putting a focus on cross 5 years ago. She attended national races and started achieving top 20 results. She lit the fire to Lindsy Campbell who was a top 5 collegiate nationals rider. During the same time Amy Frykman and Patricia Dowd began to show on the regional/national stage. This led to the emergence of defending RT Champ Anna Dingman putting a focus on cyclocross. Anna will be fresh off a muddy USGP (biggest series in the US) last weekend. In Missoula we've seen the growth of Ingrid Lovitt. 8th place at Star Crossed this year, her cyclocross focus has changed the game for Missoula ladies. Expect a few more cross ladies next year. There is still a place for the all around Montana Athlete to have fun and get a good workout, but the top end Montana Ladies are some of the finest crossers in the region. I've been reading Geoff Proctor's, Behind the Stare. I just read a section where Geoff has a conversation with Mark Legg (Katie Compton's husband/mechanic). They talk about the state of ladies racing in Europe. The book goes on to say at that time (2007) the womens racing in the US is more fun. The fans are great at the races, the fields are deep, and the sport is growing. I don't know if that is still the case, and I know we have a long way to go, but you can see it even at Thunder. The women's field is deep and the fans will be out in force. I guess the point of bringing this up is that I think the ladies race at Thunder is a treat for us spectators. One of these gals isn't far from a taking that next level....masters nat champ, worlds team members, UCI podium. So, when your watching the ladies go round and round on Saturday, give them a hollar, they deserve it.
|Nylene Wicks wins the inaugural Thunder for UM Cycling. Photo by John Sieber|
|2007 Curry rides the "Pit of Dispair" to victory and starts to think big. Photo by John Sieber|
|2008 Amy Frykman makes the road to cross transition look easy on a techy course. Photo by John Sieber|
|2009 The "Tire Trap" leads to Curry taking her 2nd Win.|
|2010 Curry text book form over the barriers, flies high for her 3rd Thunder win. Photo by John Sieber|
|2011 Anna Dingman rides away from the field and launches her elite cx career. Photo by John Sieber|