John Curry, Ben Parsons, Bill Martin and this Tinker guy are for sure going to be up there. Last time Curry and Tinker mixed at Butte, the Montanan was able to ride with the legend. Eventually Johnny stopped for a bit and Tinker pulled away. The year before it was Parsons v Tinker. Tinker got lost, Parsons did his thing and took the win. Of course Mr. Martin has been with the race from the beginning....a godfather of sorts. His riding and determination can never be underestimated. However, there are some other folks to keep your eye on as well:
Matt Butterfield (Great Northern Cycles) - Matty B doesn't have a huge resume for the long stuff, but has been the best cross country rider in Montana this season. Out of 6 MT races this year he's entered 4......won 2 and finished 2nd another time. He has the physical tools, but 100 miles is longer then 25.
Brian Frykman (Gallatin Alpine Sports) - Frykman perhaps more known for his road skills in Montana is an emerging mountain biker. He was riding super well at Bohart and he's on my favorites list for two reasons; 1. He picked this event to train for, and when he's done that in the past he usually comes good and 2. Fitness and mental toughness really play out over 11 hours of racing BFryk has both
Troy Barry - He has the best race resume outside of Tinker. He's the race director for the Pierre's Hole 100 mile race. He's won the Cascade Creampuff 100 mile race and finished in the top 5 twice at High Cascades 100. Don't forget he's a Rolling Thunder vet as well....
Peter Lambros (Missoula Bicycle Works) - 6th overall at 24hrs round the clock in Spokane. Lambros was 11th last year at the 100 and has probably done the most amount of improvement out of the top 15 from last year. Look for him to be scratching the top 5 if he's on a good day.
Alex Hassman (Gallatin Alpine Sports) - Hassman better known for his skiing is one heck of a trail rider. 7th at this race last year. A 3rd place in the cat 1/pro race at Bohart shows he has the speed and form to be up in the top 7 again for 2012.
Blake Votilla (FYBT) - Perhaps a bit young to be in top contention this year....keep an eye on this youngster. If all goes well he could have a top 7 ride. He's probably put in the most miles out of the contenders. This has been is focus throughout the season.
Julie Kubik (MT Alpha) - Julie had an impressive ride at the 12hrs of Salmon earlier in the year. She's fit and fast and gives Alpha a legit shot at the Butte Title.
Lisa Curry (Gallatin Alpine Sports) - Always a threat in pretty much any race she enters. Lisa will pace it right and has the technical ability to put time in on the descents. She'll tell you that she wants to just finish, but a victory is within reach.
Amy Frykman (Gallatin Alpine Sports) - Always up for a hard day in the saddle. Her pacing experience could really help in this event. She's been sharpening her mtb skillz and her time trial background with suite the 100 mile format.
Megan Lawson (Gallatin Alpine Sports) - The single speeder has the pro mtb background and has some nasty handles. She also has experience and could pass riders as they fade later on.
Amy Chiuchiolo (Gallatin Alpine Sports) - A bit of a specialist in the endurance stuff Chiuchiolo will not slow down as the race goes on.
Sarah Halvorson (Missoula Bicycle Works) - Putting some time in for this event, she will be ready. Here riding has been fantastic this season and she will excel on the climbs.