Friday, May 30, 2008

Cow Country Classic - A True Montana Race

Cow Country Classic is fast approaching. While Tour of the Bitterroot has more attention and fanfare, I think every hardcore Montana racer would love to win Cow Country. It's long, hilly, and doesn't forgive riders who don't have the legs. After last weekends performance, I look towards GAS in being the favorites. Strong riding out of Brad Morgan and John Curry at Bitterroot should carry over to Cow Country. There should be an early breakaway, and the composition of that will decide the outcome of the race. Usually, that favorites don't start ramping up until after the halfway mark, but we saw last year that it might be possible to stay away. Matt Butterfield almost stole the show with and all day breakaway. Getting caught in the last 5 miles didn't hurt too much for Butterfield considering his teammate Ben Parsons took the victory. Look for experience and miles in the legs to win this race. Guys like Herzig, Josh T., and Curry. Riders who can sustain multiple attacks and can climb well.

On a side note Rolling Thunder is starting to come together. No major changes this year, just everything on a bigger scale. Increased prize list, more racing, and more spectators.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tour of the Bitterroot - Race Report - Adam Jensen

Well, ole Adam Jensen took the overall victory in Men's 1,2,3 race and looked strong. He won the TT and RR. It was an impressive performance all around for the pro triathlete. I was surprised by is strong racing and improved tactics. Here's what Adam had to say about the weekend:

Ok, so I was hoping to get out of the rain by leaving Seattle to come
to Missoula, but no such luck as it started to sprinkle as we were
getting ready to start the road race on Saturday. The ironic thing is
that I didn't plan on racing this year, as school has sucked my life
away ride maybe 4 times a month, train under half of what I did last
year, and I mostly came back to Missoula to see all you kids for a
good mental break. But because you guys were all racing, I figured
the only way I'd really get to hang out is if I raced too. I had no
expectations going into the race, just pumped to finally have Halpin
and Elliot in the 1/2/3 race. And to race with you (Radley), Tack,
Keifer, Brad, Marshal, Alan, Bob, etc. Our plan was for John and Erik
to chase down any attacks to save Halp and my legs. That plan was
kind of put to a halt on the first loop. I'm not sure where John and
Erik popped, but I know it was just Halp, Elliot and I for a while.
Unfortunately, I didn't know that when the final attack that stayed
off went. I kept waiting for John or Erik to go, but no one went.
So, we were the only team unrepresented in the break, which was sweet.
I tried to go a few times, but the pack was not going to let that
happen, and my attack is more like a pathetically slow acceleration,
so I just pulled with Halp to try to keep them from gaining time.
After we heard it was a 3 min. gap, I pretty much gave up trying to
catch them and just sat in for a bit. Somehow during that time, Halp
popped as well. It was just Elliot and I, and Elliot told me he
was puking in his mouth he was going so hard just to not get dropped.
So, I was now on the defensive, alone. I thought, whatever, at least
I'm here in the pouring rain, riding my bike - a place I'd much rather
be than studying in Seattle, so I was content. The GAS team
apparently did not like who they had in the break and they started
doing work to catch the attack, which was nice of them. Then Bob
Presta fell off the lead group, so now NRO was not represented. I knew
exactly what that meant when I saw him, and I got a little excited,
especially since we were only 1 min. behind the lead group. Tack
finally came to the front and started working, so I took the
opportunity to have someone to work with and helped him finish the
job. We had probably 5 to 10 miles to go when we caught them, then
Montana Velo set tempo to the finish, setting up the sprint for some
of their guys. They probably played the race the smartest, but were
somehow not rewarded in the end. A GAS guy hit it up the final climb,
Tack was on his wheel, I was on Tack's. The GAS guy slowed a bit, I
surged, Tack hesitated, I had a gap, so I went. I half went as hard
as I could to try to win, and half went to get to the line as fast as
I could because I had to pee so bad I was about to explode. As I
finished and immediately pulled over to pee, I was joined by Tack and
a few others that were suffering from the same problem. Funny how
bike racing works, as I was certain that we would not catch the break
and was content with that for a while. Great course, not so good
weather, overall good time.

As for the crit, I just hoped it didn't rain, as a rainy crit scares
the crap out of me. It was dry, but windy, not a good solo break
situation. So the crit went by nice and safely, no crashes, which was
nice, probably because we kept things fast. The dozen or so primes
helped keep the pace high as well. Nothing like sprinting as hard as
you can for a six pack, when you don't even drink, but it was fun to
mess around a bit in the middle. Some how a GAS guy got off with
maybe 10 laps to go, and we dicked around enough in the pack that he
stayed off. I tried to bridge, but again, no one was going to let
that happen, punks. Then the last lap came around, I got near the
front, didn't see any other 5VV guys, so I came around the corner and
went for it. Bob got me at the line, but luckily he's a cat 3. Even
though it didn't really matter, just sucks to get nipped at the line.
But overall, fun safe crit.

TT is a TT. Go hard, no excuses. I always get intimidated by all
folks warming up on trainers all serious like, as I just like to
ride around a bit and make sure things shift right. I know Brad has a
killer TT in him, and he started 2 min. ahead of me. 1 min. would
have been nice as I could have possible spotted him a few times, but
with 2 min. only saw him at the turn around. I don't ride with a
watch, or a HRM, or a computer, so I really have no idea how fast, how
far, are how long it is, but I saw him, then counted in my head to the
turn around, 1:06, which meant he was maybe 2:12 head of me ish. I
knew I had to ride hard on the way back to make up that 12 seconds.
The corners were amazing to rail around, just calm enough to say in
the aerobars, just tight enough to almost crap your pants while
hugging the inside. Then 1K whizzed by, and I thought, man I only
have 1K left, I better go really hard now. Then it was over way too
quick. I wish those things were 30 or 40 miles. Anyway, I'm glad I
came to race, the courses were great, the organization was
outstanding, and the pizza was amazing at Red Barn Bikes. As always,
it was really hard to leave Missoula on Monday, but I'll be back for
good in 106 weeks.

Adam

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tour of the Bitterroot - Just the Beginning

First off, John Sieber once again has posted some sick photos, http://www.jpsphotos.net/gallery/bicycleracing.cfm?m=3

I picked the photo of Alex Gallegos for the home page because I was pumped he came out, raced, and raced well. He had the competive look. Check out Longmire's face in the background. It's almost like he's saying Gallego's still has it. Keeping it on the cat 4/Masters theme, two shout outs to local Missoulians in the crit. Doug "Dale" Shryock and Kyle Shannon were their team's top lieutenants. I was impressed with both riders. Kyle attacked again and again early on to soften the race for Ali G, and Dale went on a 6 lap solo breakaway that confused the peleton and set the stage for a two up sprint between Ali G and Longmire. Overall, FVV had the strongest team in the race but two riders stole the show; Brian Frykman, and Howard Williams. I picked Frykman heavily, and he did not disappoint. However, H Williams had the performance of the weekend. I'll be the first to admit I underestimated Howard. What a great weekend. 1st in the time trial with a 40.35. That's a great time that would have put him 2nd in the cat 3's. It was great to see someone challenge Frykman who has had a steady lock on this category. I think both riders (Frykman and Williams) are ready to cat up. Great battle! Props to my man Twohig for his good weekend. Good placement in the crit to take the cat 4 win, and great consistent riding. Also, Willy Z continues his consistent riding. Shout out to Team Multerro. These dudes have the best attitude in the bunch, and are great representatives for MT Cycling. Plus they have sick kits.

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