GAS / Intrinsik wins at State - Cat.4 Report PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 27 July 2010 14:45

The 2010 Montana road race State Championships was held this past Sunday in Phillipsburg Montana.  The 77 mile course consisted of long flats, big climbs, wind, and 85 degree temps. The field consisted of Men's 4's and the super strong Master A's.  In the 4's, Michael Curtin, David Ellenberger, Alex Schoenfelder and Jesse Vernon showed up to play for the GAS / Intrinsik team.  With their Gallatin Alpine Sports / Intrinsik Architecture kits zipped up, Maxxis tires fully inflated, Smith Optics securely fastened, and their Hammer Fuel onboard, the team was ready to go.

The pace started out slow, no one wanted to work, and do you blame them? There was still another 76 hot windy miles to go.   At about mile two, Alex Gallego easily rode away from the field and no one chased.  After about 15 miles the field came across Gallego stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire. Gallego caught and one nature break later, the race was on again. On the climb back up Skalkaho Pass road Gallego again pushed the pace, not hard enough to drop anyone but hard enough to get their heart rates up and get a nice warm-up in for the big climb of the day.

At the Bottom of Flesher Pass everyone was together. The pace up the scenic three mile climb was fast with a stiff tailwind pushing the riders to the top. With about a mile to go, Eijai Oxford of Hammer Nutrition attacked the field and Michael Curtin of GAS / Intrinsik went with him. Knowing they would easily get caught on the six mile downhill, Curtin refused to work in the break and the duo backed off the pace. Eventually a group of about 8 riders caught on, including Alex Schoenfelder of GAS / Intrinsik.  At the first feed station on top of the climb everyone got their water handed to them. Curtin on the other hand, got off his bike so he could get his Hammer Heed and Perpetuem that was placed in the food car earlier in the day. This would prove crucial later on, there was still 40 miles to go, and water was not going to be enough. After a mile of chasing Curtin was back with the leaders no problem. At this time the 10 riders worked together pushing a solid pace on the flats around Georgetown Lake. The rest of the field was strong and had full intensions of catching back on though, and they did!

Just before the start of the downhill GAS / Intrinsik teammate Jesse Vernon rejoined the lead group.   Six miles later the group reached the turn to head back up the climb. At this point in time the group was together again and the GAS team was now 4 strong.  Headed back up the six mile dead straight climb to Georgetown Lake the wind was coming straight at the racers.  The pace was about 12 miles per hour, and no one wanted to work.  GAS / Intrinisik ended up riding at the front for a good portion of the climb (someone had to). Every once in a while one of the A's would push the pace for a bit then back off. At about 24 miles to go, David Ellenberger of GAS / Intrinsik attacked hard, uphill, and into the wind. No one went with him and NRO was forced to chase for the next three miles.  At this point Curtin moved into third position, ready and waiting to attack at a moment’s notice. When Ellenberger was caught Curtin attacked right away bringing Eijai Oxford along for the ride.

For the next mile or so Curtin rode hard to get away. He needed help though, the wind was too much, and Oxford took over the pace making for a bit. From this point on they worked 50/50 for the next 20 miles. Riding past Georgetown Lake the headwind was tough and someone in Green was trying to bridge up to the two brave leaders. With 10 miles to go the two leaders had a big gap on the group as they began the long steep descent down Flesher Pass to the valley below. At the bottom of the pass the road turned north for the final 7 miles. The change in direction was a huge help, the wind was now at their backs, and they were flying. With the gap of two minutes and the pace pushing 30 mph, no one was going to catch them today. The race was now down to two. With one mile to go Curtin attacked Oxford a few times but couldn't shake him. At the one kilometer sign Oxford took the front and Curtin sat in, he was done working for the day and the pace slowed big time. At 200 meters Oxford picked up the pace and went for it, Curtin was glued to his back wheel though and rode around Oxford with about 100 meters to go to take the win.  Michael Curtin ended up winning the state title by a wheel. 

Alex Schoenfelder rode strong the entire 77 miles to finish 5th overall.  David Ellenberger recovered after his big attack to take a strong 6th place and Jesse Vernon rode into a solid 7th place. In the end, all the team could think about was water and food! The men of GAS / Intrinsik rode as a team and came home with the watermelon and a new state title. Job Done.