May 23, 2021 | Marshall

Montana gave us some of its infamous spring weather for this past Friday’s race. Week 3 of TGIF was a snow globe of weather, wrapped up with some slippery roots and cold descents. The weather proved to be challenging, yet the number of folks who put down a time in the unknown winter wonderland was surprising– nice work to all the riders who came out. Although, it was Dram Shop week, so of course we had good turn out. Dram is a great sponsor of the series, and a favorite spot for us all in town. Both locations have their perks, and there’s even a free drink in it for having a beer at one and riding to the other for a second round. The Dram Fam, the Millars, had three racers in the mix this TGIF, with HS Freshman Gilly taking 2nd in the Lady Mammoths category–nice work lady!

We had a few solo starts, which may have been the warmer choice, since there was a hint of sun at some point in the afternoon. 4:30 was the ZTD start, the long, looming climb not holding any of them back. D. Spoon held on to first, finishing the one-lap race in an impressive ~45 minutes. X. Wright & E. Wilcox placed 2nd and 3rd respectively– 4th crossing the line was the first female in the group, Willa Bookwalter, finishing strong in her yellow converse high tops. Style points for that one. The Sudbury boys finished next, followed by first-time racer Camren Wetzstein. C. Irons followed, followed by best friends Amelia L.  and Wren B. finishing off the ZTD category. Huge kudos to all ZTDers who 1. came out to the course, 2. decided to still ride in the cold, and 3. crossed that finish line, with cold hands and feet, maybe a tear or two– you all did it. The same course as the adults. Hopefully the ice cream cone coupon melted any frozen fingers.


6:00 PM was the mass start for all other categories. The flurry of riders took off strong, and all crossed the finish line in a flurry of snow. We had another strong week for Heidi Meierbachtol in the Women’s 1/2 category in just under 40 minutes, with Ellen Campbell closing the gap between the two to just over a minute. Ellen Davis won the Lady Mammoths category finishing only 3 minutes longer than Campbell, and Myla Spoon and A. Linton both finished in under 50 minutes. Shelton Fricke finished off the category, riding what I believe was her first bike race ever. This is a hard one to start off your MTB racing career with– not only is it a hard, long climb, but snow and wind makes for a more challenging course– nice work to all the Mammoths who came out to ride!


We still only have one single speed rider– Ryan M. will continue to hold on to his leader’s jersey for the category– but anyone who would want to challenge him should be up for a strong fight. He finished in 43 minutes last night.


The Masters category had some good turnout. Ruland, McAdams, and Wade finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd, respectively, with just over 2 minutes between the 3 of them. Sevilla finished first for the Masters Men, even after a crash, in just under 38 minutes, with White, Johnson, Wilcox, and Lurgio following, all finishing the course in under 40 minutes.  Our Party Riders had some podium flashbacks to last week. The men stayed the same, with Peanut 1st, Bonham 2nd, and Joe Petrilli 3rd. Westhoff held the #1 spot again in the Women’s Party group, followed by Plant, after she took a hiatus last week to celebrate her birthday. Forstag placed 3rd, also her first MTB race; all three women finished within 4 minutes of each other. Amazing work, ladies, and fierce competition. Grottz held on to the leader’s jersey for Cat 1/2 men this week– we’ll see what happens the next few races, since he won’t be attending.


We had some close times and had a LOT of sprint finishes this week, the excitement of those finishes made watching in the cold much more enjoyable for the spectators, and hopefully was a fun and hard sprint finish for the riders. Memorial day weekend for week 4, the course is Straight Up, Straight Down. Hopefully we’ll have some sunshine this time around!

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