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Team Fitzy: Rolling Thunder Race Report



Teton Valley Vikings Plunder and Pillage Rolling Thunder Races!  A Rolling Thunder Race report from Fitzy Team Rider Dan Abraham.

Dave's Butt

Dave's Butt

 

What a weekend put together by the folks at Montana Cyclocross; Rolling Thunder lived up to the hype! Was it the Olympic mountain biker almost taking pro/1/2 race on a singlespeed, all while sporting a long ginger wig (temporary gingervitis) and managing to grab a dollar hand-up on the run up? Or maybe the two fun, fast, and technically challenging courses that were put together by a dedicated team of course tape ninjas? What about the passenger van mounted observation/beer/heckling deck full of rowdy fans all screaming, spraying beer, and causing mayhem during the night races? The list could go on (and could include a pro racer taking a two-dollar butt crack hand-up from the author), but the real highlight for Team Fitzy was the strong representation by Teton Valley folks on the podium all weekend long!

Kyly Burrello, an up and coming Fitzy rider (currently sponsored by Wes Hamilton), set the tone for the weekend by climbing to the top step of the very first podium presentation in the junior women’s race. Kyly just started racing cross (and bikes) this year but has racked up wins, and an envious pile of prizes, all over Idaho and Montana. On Sunday she stepped up to the women’s 1/2/3/4 race and could be seen smiling and pedaling her way to a strong finish in front of many of the Cat 4 women. I think watching Kyly race (and all acting as her cheering squad) is a good reminder why we all started wearing spandex and riding around in circles in abandoned parks and cornfields; Cross is fun!

Fitzy Jr Team Member Kyly beat them all

Fitzy Jr Team Member Kyly beat them all

Wes and I raced next in a competitive cat 4 field of over 50 racers. Following Dave Iceberg’s advice I snuck into the front row for the start and managed to get the hole shot despite a bad clip-in (chasing Amanda during Wednesday night start practices is paying off). I hammered at the front for the first couple laps, shed a few riders that were hanging on around lap four, and then held the front position for the rest of the race and took home a CASH prize! The second place rider was definitely closing in the last few laps and I felt a battle coming for Sunday, especially after catching him talking a bit of trash about the winner, me, to me at the posted results! Wes had a great race, weaving his way through the field after getting caught in a pile up at the first major downhill turn in the course. He put his best legs of the season to work and finished 22nd on the day! U.Wes.A! U.Wes.A!

When Bergie says put your head down and run, you run. -Katie photo

When Bergie says put your head down and run, you run. -Katie photo

 

Classic sandbagger smile. -Rachel Stevens photo
Classic sandbagger smile. -Rachel Stevens photo

On to the Iceberg’s race! Following a less than stellar start (and a new nickname from Katie, Bad-start-Bergart) Dave and two riders broke away and put a sizeable gap on the rest of the field. Dave and the two Montana riders traded leads for several laps in one of the best races to watch all weekend. One moment Dave would be just barely yo-yoing off the back in a tech section, the next he would lay down the watts and surge ahead on a straightaway or through the sand pit. With about 4 laps to go it was clear that Dave was done messing around. Bring-the-Pain-Bergelman cocked his head to the side (in a move we all know means things are about to get a lot less fun), poured on the power and quickly let the other two riders know the true depths of a pain cave. It was great win for Dave and whole lot of fun to watch for the sizable Teton Valley cheering squad. And he took home a sweet set of $600 Easton tubular wheels for the effort!

 

It was a tight race early on in the Cat 3 field.  They didn't know about Dave's Kung-fu.

It was a tight race early on in the Cat 3 field. They didn't know about Dave's Kung-fu.

Dave's Kung-fu is strong.

Dave's Kung-fu is strong.

The ladies raced next in the combined pro/1/2/3 race under the quickly fading daylight. Following a registration snafu Katie ended up in the pro/1/2/3 race lining up alongside the formidable Amanda Carey, MooseCross powerhouse Lisa Curry, and a whole field of serious women. In classic Katie fashion she opted to forgo changing her category and saddled up for a strong top ten finish in a fast and furious race in the dark! If Katie can fight fires, stab folks with needles in a swerving ambulance, look good in navy cargo pants and black boots AND save lives, stepping into a pro field just isn’t that big a deal.

It was a crowded start line for the ladies on Saturday

It was a crowded start line for the ladies on Saturday.

Anna started 20 seconds after Katie in the cat 4 race and quickly established a spot at the front with a beastly mountain biker and a rider wearing leg warmers the color of traffic cones (Attention Idaho: Neon is cool again, even Montana is rocking it). She fought hard for the hour-long race and jumped up to a great second place podium spot and MORE CASH.

Anna is all smiles despite lacking cutting edge cycling fashion leggings

Anna is all smiles despite lacking cutting edge cycling fashion leggings

To finish off the Saturday slaughter, Amanda Carey put on a clinic in the women’s pro/1/2/3. Against two former Rolling Thunder champions, a border-line hostile hometown cheering section, and a strong challenge from Lisa Curry in the early laps, Amanda eventually blew apart the race and opened a gap as wide as the Broulim’s parking lot is empty on a Sunday. She finished under the lights with her arms in the air and big smile on her face.

I’ll spare you the Sunday report except to say that I doubled up for the weekend and won the Men’s 4 race; Katie took 6th in the 1/2/3 race, missing the podium by only handful seconds and beating all the Cat3s and some Cat2s; Anna reeled in the hard-charging neon leg warmers rider to eventually win by over a minute, lapping the rest of the Cat4 field and beating a couple Cat2 and 3 riders; Dave just missed a podium spot in the combined 1/2/3 race after clawing his way back following a tire mechanical (Broken-Bike-Bergart?); and, to the surprise of no one, Amanda crushed it. Anna and I drove home very happy with the results of the weekend, but a little sad in knowing that was probably our last Cross podiums for a long time.  It is time for an upgrade lest we be deemed true sandbaggers; those Cat 3’s sure do look fast.

People will do almost anything for a couple bucks

People will do almost anything for a couple bucks



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