Rolling Thunder PDF Print E-mail
Written by GAS Team   
Sunday, 19 October 2008 22:11

Saturday October 18th was the one and only Rolling Thunder.  THE cyclocross event of the year in Montana.  The crew did not disappoint with great prizes, enthusiastic play-by-play over the PA system, blasting music, a beer garden, lights, and a lot of fired up fans.  The GAS/Intrinsik team turned out in droves -- regular racers, two new beginner racers (Carrie Fauls and Tawnya Morgan), a racer getting back into the mix with a great showing (Tracy Thomas), the return of one of the team's founding members (Aaron Johnson), and two of the team's Ironwomen triathletes in attendance to cheer before participating in the next day's Hellgate Duathlon (Jennifer Fulton and Annie Schaub). 

In the night's main event, the pro/1/2/3 race, ringers Sam Kreig (pro 'cross racer from Utah) and local sensation Sam Schultz (pro XC mountain biker) made an appearance and stole first and second place, although they didn't exactly run away.  They got strong competition from Montana Velo's Frank "the Tank" Gonzalez, and GAS/Intrinsik riders John "Flurry" Curry and Brad "Nails" Morgan, who finished 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively.  GAS racer Alex Lussier battled it out all race with veteran 'cross maven Geoff Proctor from Montana Velo with Alex eeking out Geoff in an exciting sprint finish.  Tomas Dumbrovsky had a solid race; so did Brian Frykman, who was happy to finally ride his own bike after some mechanical carnage in previous events.  Sebastian White rounded out the GAS men's 1/2/3 contingent.

In the women's race, GAS/Intrinsik's Lisa Curry opened a commanding gap early but had a flat tire that cost her dearly.  After a wheel change she found herself trailing the leader by about as much as she had just been leading.  She immediately put the hammer down, steadily overtaking a handful of competitors to temporarily move into second place, but the effort was too much and she eventually settled for third.  Amy Frykman from Team Delphine took the top spot, and the Kona Major Jake frameset that came with it.  GAS/Intrinsik's Tracy Thomas jumped off the couch and almost onto the podium with excellent fitness and technique.  After a conservative start, Tracy picked off riders throughout the race and finished 6th.

The men's 4/Master's B race saw 40 riders toe the line, including the welcome return of GAS/Intrinsik team co-founder Aaron Johnson riding a mountain bike to a respectable finish in the top 1/2 of the field.  A budding rivalry between Helena's Karl Vanderwood and GAS/Intrinsik's Jason Delmue saw two other riders, Dustin Phillips of Hammer Nutrition and local Tyler Hurst, join the mix at the front of the race.  Vanderwood took the hole shot followed closely by Delmue, Phillips, and their 37 cohorts.  By the end of the first lap, Delmue, Vanderwood, and Phillips were in a lead pack with a small gap.  Hurst and Andrew Genco were chasing together close behind.  By about mid-race, Hurst joined the leaders, and Genco battled steadily on his own.  Delmue had a bad re-mount after the run-up with about 5 laps to go and lost contact with the leaders.  Vanderwood and Phillips had a gap on Hurst, so Delmue was chasing Hurst.  By the beginning of the last lap, Delmue was happy to see not only Hurst in his sights, but also that Hurst had almost reeled in the leaders.  While Hurst was able to join the leaders, Delmue imploded and was resigned to 4th.  On the final run-up, Vanderwood dropped his chain, dooming him to 3rd.  Hurst outsprinted Phillips for a great win.  

After the kids' race on the short course, in which Mariah and Trey Morgan rode their little tails off, the full-course action began with the combined Junior and co-ed beginner field.  In the adult beginner field, GAS/Intrinsik's Carrie Fauls finished 3rd behind a couple of fast men, and teammate Tawyna Morgan was just one place back, in 4th.  

On Sunday morning, a mere thirteen-and-a-half hours after the end of the men's 1/2/3 race, several GAS riders lined up for the 15th annual Hellgate Duathlon.  Alex Lussier, Sebastian White, and Tracy Thomas took on the double feature weekend with the Hellgate's 4 km run / 15 km mountain bike / 4 km run in the mountains northwest of Frenchtown.  Jennifer Fulton and Annie Schaub also represented GAS/Intrinsik well by taking first place in the women's team event.  Alex and Sebastian finished 9th and 11th respectively in the men's field.  Sebastian had good runs but hadn't recovered his cycling legs from Rolling Thunder.  Alex was reminded of how little he has run in the last few years when 5 runners passed him in the last 5 minutes of the second run but was nonetheless satisfied with a top 10 in a field stacked with strong triathletes and duathletes.  The event was won by Matt Seely, with Missoula Marathon winner Elliot Basset taking second.

Next week riders will head to the Kalispel/Whitefish area for a cyclocross double feature.  More news to come!...