Tour of the Bitterroot PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Curry   
Saturday, 31 May 2008 11:48

by John Sieber

The GAS/Intrinsik team had an outstanding weekend of racing at the Tour of the Bitteroot.

Some top results:

Brad Morgan, 2nd overall omnuim, Cat 1/2
John Curry, 3rd overall omnium, Cat 1/2
Alex Lussier, 2nd overall omnium, Cat 3
Brian Frykman, 2nd overall omnium, Cat 4

Road Race

Powerhouse Frykman sprints to vicotry in the Cat 4 race (photo: Natasha Westphal)
Powerhouse Frykman sprints to victory in the Cat 4 men's race (photo: Natasha Westphal)

The Saturday road race in the scenic foothills of the Bitterroot Valley covered between 27 and 75 miles depending on category. The big news of the day was the weather. The conditions slowly deteriorated from a light drizzle to a full on downpour by the conclusion of the Men's 1/2/3 race.

Brian Frykman once again asserted his dominance in Montana Cat 4 racing winning the sprint out of a select group of racers that crested the final Airport Rd. climb together.

The Men's 1/2/3 race was marked by an early breakaway of 6 riders, including GAS rider Sebastian White. Five Valley Velo was the only major team not represented in the breakaway. But the five members of FVV were unable or unwilling to chase, so the gap ballooned to 4 minutes by lap number two. Sebastian was outnumbered in the break by two Montana Velo riders, including the alway dangerous climber Scott Herzig. So Sebastian sat on the break while Alex Lussier and I dual-handedly worked to bring the gap down to one minute while the 12 or so remaining racers in the group sat on. Brad sat in as well, saving his legs for the finale. With about 12 miles to go, the chase group caught Northern Rockies rider Bob Presta who had fallen back from the break. Now, his teammate Josh Tack began to contribute to the chase and the breakaway was caught with 6 miles to go. I entered the final steep half mile climb second wheel. On the steepest pitch of the climb I attacked with what little legs I had left. After a few pedal strokes out of the saddle I was toast. Adam Jensen of 5VV and Josh Tack blew past me, with Brad right on their wheel. I cheered Brad on as the victory would be decided between the three of them. Brad ended up finishing 3rd while I hung on for 4th. Despite doing a huge amount of work during the chase, Alex hung on impressivley to finish 4th out of the cat 3 racers.

Other GAS/Intrinsik results:

Cat 3 men: Sebastian White 5th
Cat 2/3 women: Lisa Curry 4th
Cat 4 men: Chris Lapp 14th, Josh Crutcher 15th, Jason Armstrong 16th
Cat 5 men: Jeff Lutzenberger 6th, Mike Curtain 16th
Cat 4 women: Amy Chiuchiolo 8th


Alex Lussier attacks for one of his three primes (photo: John Sieber)

The criterium in downtown Hamilton was a blast this year with big crowds, lots of primes (prizes), and a dry, fast course. One unfortunate event for the team was a crash in the Cat 4 race that sent Josh Crutcher to the hostpital with a seperated shoulder. Get well soon Josh!

Brian Frykman was a marked man in the Men's cat 4 race. The Northern Rockies and FVV teams were on the attack and Brian rode agressivley and did a lot of work to keep dangerous moves in check. Confusion due to lapped riders and lap count found Brian in the middle of the group with a couple matches left to burn at the finish thinking there was still one more lap. New GAS rider Danny Bessinger had a good race and finished 3rd. In the end it was the Master A riders who stole the show, with crafty veterans Alex Gallegos and Mike Longmire finishing 1st and 2nd. Doug Shryock of Northern Rockies made the gutsiest move of the day, riding off the front solo for a good part of the race before being reeled in just before the finale.

In the Women's 2/3 race, Lisa Curry was under the gun from the start by the Northern Rockies women, who with help from Kenda rider Zephanie Blasi, controlled the race. Mid race, Northern Rockies rider Danyel Lonmire escaped with Seattle rider Zana Faulkner. Lisa attempted to bridge and chased hard for many laps, but the Northern Rockies/Kenda trio of Tamara Bessette, Geraldine Carter, and Blasi covered her every move. Eventually Lisa gave up the chase and instead won a few primes. With no one left chasing, the leaders eventual lapped and finished with the second group.

The Men's 1/2/3 race was fast and exciting from the gun. Our strategy was for me and Brad to stay near the front and mark the omnium leaders: Adam Jensen and Josh Tack. The race unfolded beautifully. Brad and I stayed near the front and covered the dangerous moves. Jason Delmue, Alan Adams, and Sebastian White rode aggressivley with numerous attacks and effectively softened the field. Alex Lussier used his sprinting prowess to win 3 primes. About 45 minutes into the hour long race, Brad unleashed a powerful solo move and was way off the front. I figured he had the race won, so I moved to the front and followed wheels while Jensen, Tack, and the Montana Velo boys did a bunch of chasing. With 5 laps to go Brad began to fade a bit and it looked like he might get caught. When he was about to be caught with 3 and a half laps to go I counter-attacked on the backside of the course with everything I had left. Coming throught the finish area I had built a decent gap, so I put my head down and went for it. With 2 to go I was starting to suffer, but with one lap to go I still had a gap and was determined to keep it. I held on for the win and Brad finished 3rd in the cat 2s, with Alex getting 2nd in the cat 3s. I was proud of how the team raced and credit the win fully to good team tactics. Way to go guys!

Other GAS/Intrinsik results:

Cat 1/2 men: Alan Adams 10th
Cat 3 men: Sebastian White 10th, Jason Delmue 11th
Cat 2/3 women: Lisa Curry 5th
Cat 4 men: Brian Frykman 4th, Chris Lapp 12th
Cat 5 men: Jeff Lutzenberger 5th, Mike Curtain 6th
Cat 4 women: Amy Chiuchiolo 9th

Time Trial

Brad Morgan gives it all he has at the finish of the time trial (photo: Natasha Westphal)

The final test for racers was the unforgiving test against the clock: the time trial. The 17 mile out and back course started flat but gradually climbed into a narrow twisting canyon which would have surely have been a scenic enjoyable ride had the racers not been so busy suffering. The results of the TT would decide the overall omnium standings so the stakes were high.

Sebastian White did what he does best: ride his time trial bike really fast. He took the win in the competitive cat 3 field and was the only cat 3 to break the 40 minute mark. Alex rode well to finish 4th, giving him 2nd overall for the weekend. In the cat 4 competition, Brian Frykman rode a strong race but was edged out barely by Howard Williams, who also took the overall title. Brad Morgan had a characteristicly strong TT performance, taking 3rd in the cat 1/2 field. His consistency was good for a 2nd place overall omnium result.

Other GAS/Intrinsik results:

Cat 1/2 men: John Curry 5th, Alan Adams 8th
Cat 3 men: Alex Lussier 4th
Cat 2/3 women: Lisa Curry 6th
Cat 4 men: Danny Bessinger 10th, Chris Lapp 12th, Jason Armstrong 17th
Cat 5 men: Mike Curtain 7th
Cat 4 women: Amy Chiuchiolo 12th