TGIF week 4

May 31, 2021 | Marshall

Week 4 of the TGIF series had riders showing up with their stoke as high as their sock game. Riders flew from the start up the road (some flew so hard that their saddles fell off! Get that new rig dialed in for the next race, Sean!) and down Hello Kitty for one or two laps, depending on their category; we had mass starts at 4:30 and 6, but had many independent show-and-go groups mixed in. The day off school plus the sunny weather made it a great day for racing for all ages.

ZTD saw a win again from Danny Spoon and Willa Bookwalter from Missoula. Danny started out with the same look of determination he has had every week, which proves to be a winning energy for him time and time again. Willa and Hazel had a close race, riding together for the course and finishing within 20 seconds of each other, riding as friends and possibly some slight competition thrown in there as well. Even though she wasn’t sporting her yellow high-tops, Willa raced strong and hard, and breezed through the finish wit Hazel right behind. Heidi Meierbactol and Michela Westhoff hold on to their leader’s jerseys, and Emily Linton finished first for Women’s Masters. Her daughter, Aida, placed 3rd in the Lady Mammoths cat., finishing 7 minutes quicker than her mom. Ellen and Elsa had times within a minute of each other in the same category, even starting at different times, with Elsa taking the win for this race. They each have 2 wins under their belts in the series. Another close competition is between Michela W and Emily P in the party category– although they have yet to start together, their total time difference for all the races they’ve competed in together in this series is under 3 minutes, with just 27 seconds separating the two this week. Keller Mitchell from Kalispell takes the W for the Mammoth Gent’s, beating Missoula’s Elliott Hayhurst’s time by just over a minute. The Kalispell/Missoula competition in this category is great to watch– Keller is our only rider from Kalispell, and when he makes it down to Missoula for these races, his Missoula competitors should make it a point to be on their A-game– Tranel, Musco, and Hayhurst all finished under 6 minutes of Mitchell’s time, for a 4th, 3rd, and 2nd spot.

Ryan M. had competition for the first time in the single speed category,  with Tim Marshall finishing just over 3 minutes longer, which may lead to some tight competition for the rest of the series now that “Dirty Tim” knows what he’s up against. Phil Higuera placed first in Men’s Masters, with Cameron J and Andrew W finishing 2nd and 3rd, all averaging aroung 10 mph for the course. Vanilla Thunder had an underdog victory for Clydesdale, finishing first this week, and seeing a 1/2/3 win for R1K in the Clydesdale Category. We’ll see what next week brings for these two categories as riders seem to be finding their flow throughout this spring series.

The competition between Mazza and Gallego was fierce, both trying for the #1 spot. Mazza was chasing close behind Gallego at the bottom of the hill, working hard to try to pass him for the top of the podium spot. Gallego didn’t give up, and stayed strong for his team– the bike shop competition for these two helps fuel the fire– Gallego riding for his dad’s shop Missoula Bicycle Works, and Mazza riding for his shop and workplace, Big Sky Bikes. Gallego wound up finishing just under 30 seconds before Dan, and Toby and Max finished 3 minutes later, racing it out to finish within 2 seconds of each other for 3rd and 4th respectively.

Gear swap went well, burritos were tasty, and Burns St, the sponsor of the week,  also handed out bags to the finishers. The nice weather and vaccinated safety made for a great evening of community and camaraderie alongside competition. Week 5 looks like it’ll be a scorcher!