GAS riders rock Missoula! PDF Print E-mail
Written by GAS Team   
Monday, 10 November 2008 18:38

Jason goes for the hole shot 

Last Sunday's race in Missoula brought some great results for the GAS/Intrinsik team.  Four racers, three wins, and everyone on the podium!

The race was held on the grounds of the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.  The course was fast and flat with very few places for recovery.  The surfaces were varied and included pavement, dirt, mud, grass, pine needles, wet leaves, and wood chips.  Aside from an awkward dismount/irrigation ditch crossing, it was a mostly non-technical affair; although, the wet, muddy conditions made for some slick cornering. 

Men B and Women

Jason Delmue, fresh off a win in Helena, represented GAS in the Men's B race.  Lisa Curry was the sole Cat 3 female and, like previous weeks, raced with the B men.  Tracy Tomas, a GAS racer who recently moved to Missoula, joined the fray in the Cat 4 Women's race.


Tracy blasts though the mud in first place 

Jason sprinted from the start to take an early lead, but not a lot of separation occurred until toward the end of the first lap.  By that point, Chad Duvall (Red Barn Bikes) and Jesse Doll (Northern Rockies) were neck-and-neck with Jason at the front.  Both took their turns attacking Jason for the lead in the turns through the trees near both the beginning and the end of the first two laps.  By lap 3, Jason's accellearations on the straightaways to and from the creek crossing left him with a slight lead.  Duvall faded a bit, and Doll was joined in the pursuit by his teammate, Dan Pierce.  Jason consistently powered through the mud field, straightaways along the creek, and asphalt finishing stretch, increasing his lead every lap.  He held on for the victory, followed by Doll and Pierce.  Jay Rutherford of MSU worked his way up throughout the race to a solid 4th place finish, just ahead of the aggressive Duvall. 

After a less-than-perfect start, Lisa jockeyed for position throughout the race and eventually finished somewhere in the middle of the B men.  Lisa rode strong and put many men to shame with her cornering prowess.  In the women's cat 4 race, Patricia Dowd of Team Delphine took the early lead.  Tracy got a poor start but quickly recovered to join Dowd at the front of the race.  Several laps in, Tracy dropped Patricia and rode to her first ever 'cross win with a big margin!  Tracy has shown excellent fitness and technical ability in her first few 'cross races this season.  


Lisa follows the Men out of the "ditch" on her way to Cat 3 Women's win

Men A

Montana series leader John Curry was the lone GAS rider in the Men's A race.  The field was a bit smaller than some of the races this season, but the competition was stiff with 6 of the top 8 riders in the standings present.  Additionally, a group of racers from the Spokane area made the trip, including elite-level riders Kris Holden and Mike Gaertner of the Vertical Earth team. 

The start was similar to last weekend, with the Montana Velo duo of Frank Gonzales and Geoff Proctor taking control.  After one lap the lead group had formed, containing Gonzales, Proctor, Curry, and Mike Gaertner.  Frank continued to push the pace, and Proctor lost contact with the group.  Curry then took the lead for a lap and kept the pressure high, hoping to distance the ever-strong Proctor and solidify the lead trio.  The race was becoming tactical, with Gaertner staying tucked in the draft and neither Curry nor Gonzales wanting to do too much work.  Curry slowed for a bit and then launched a series of attacks, none of which was able to split the group.  Frank followed with a vicious attack that was enough to jettison Gaertner.  With about 4 laps to go, Curry and Frank worked together to build a 20 second gap.  It looked to be yet another showdown between the two, with Frank riding exceptionally strong after an off-week last weekend in Helena.  With just over a lap to go, Curry made a critical error, crashing on a fast muddy corner.  Frank capitalized and dropped the hammer.  Curry was quickly moving again, but Frank had a gap and was giving it his all.  Curry chased desperately, but it was too late, and Frank held on to a well-deserved win. Following in third was Kris Holden, who overcame a poor start to move onto the podium.  Proctor and Gaertner rounded out the top five.


Curry follows Frank around the same corner that would eventually lead to his demise

Next week the action returns to Bozeman Saturday, and then Helena on Sunday.  Two more weekends of Montana Cyclocross and then it's time to strap on the skis, hit the powder, and celebrate a great season of cycling!