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With the second stage in the books, the competitions and the GC are shaping up.

It took a week’s hiatus to get riders back to race mode, and they certainly were up for things at Stage Two of the SOL Tour Competition. With race leader Ty Schmidt resplendent in his yellow jersey, the Einstein Racing phenom took the reins and rode as the patron as the sprinter’s took center stage.

The VASA Power Section was the focus of the evening, serving not only as a chance at double points for the green jersey competition, but also offering up 20, 15 and 10 second time bonuses for the GC contenders. The leaders were almost assured to sweep them up, but riders further down on the general classification were able to make a play at it as well, and did so with vigor.

The much heralded return of Ryan Kennedy did affect the outcome of the day, but after a rest and recover in Paris, marked by a strict wine and cheese diet, he was not his usual dominant self. Instead, Ty Schmidt took care of business himself as he dueled with second place challenger Craig Webb. Webb, wearing the Best Old Rider’s white jersey, was up the task and with total focus as he pulled up to the start line.

Also turning things up a notch was Jason Whittaker. For the first time in over a year, he took on the SOL on a mountain bike, leaving his trademark Beargrease in the garage. Bennett Paul, however, made his fat bike debut on a freshly built Salsa Mukluk, a decision for the long run as the Giro winner builds for a run at the Vuelta later this season. Stage Two also saw the retirement of Giro second place finisher Scott Luca. He’ll also have an eye on the Vuelta, which begins August 22.

From the gun, the GC men took control, with Schmidt, Webb, Chris Kushman, Spencer Payne, Nate St. Onge and others pulling away over the crest of the VASA CC Climb. In a big move, Pete Skellenger made the elite selection, confirming his solid form and making him dangerous as the race goes on. His great ride put pressure on third place rider Nate St. Onge, who was distanced over the Power Section. St. Onge recovered and hopped on with the third chase group on the road, the cyclocrossin’ duo of Cody Sovis and Ryan Bolin. With Sovis on the front, St. Onge eased his way back up to Jason Whittaker and Spencer Payne, and put in a blistering injection of pace heading into the Wall bypass.

Ahead on the road, Ty Schmidt snatched up a bonus ten points on the VASA with the full bonus of 20 seconds going to Pete Skellenger, who now moves into sole ownership of the green jersey. The bump also helped him vault up the overall into a solid fourth place behind new podium contender Chris Kushman. Nate St. Onge slips back to fifth, a minute behind Skellenger. The green jersey itself is tight after the battle for the green jersey went for double points on the day. Skellenger will have to defend for two more stages.

The polka dot jersey takes center stage next week, with Ty Schmidt looking to balance between keeping his ten second lead for yellow and taking more points for the KOM. He’ll have to be very smart to defend against Webb in both competitions, and he may rely on Chris Kushman and Ryan Kennedy to try and take points off the board, as well as the time bonuses.

Hagerty will need a return from Steve Andriese next week to stay a respectable distance behind Einstein in the Team Competition, with Cody Sovis suffering a flat tire in the final three kilometers of Stage Two. They’ve come to rely on Dave Bucholtz as a solid third option, and the mustacheod one is hanging tough on the GC as well.

GC Top Five

Ty Schmidt 1:20:03
Craig Webb 1:20:13
Chris Kushman 1:21:45
Pete Skellenger 1:22:16
Nate St. Onge 1:23:15

Points Competition

Pete Skellenger 23
Craig Webb 22
Ty Schmidt 21
Chris Kushman 18
Cody Sovis 12
Ryan Bolin 8
Jason Whittaker 6
Spencer Payne 4
Ben Paul 3
Jeff Galsterer 1
John Fahey 1

KOM

Ty Schmidt 20
Chris Kushman 12
Craig Webb 10
Jason Whittaker 5
Pete Skellenger 1
Ryan Kushman .5
Pete Warden .5

Best Old Rider

Craig Webb
Rob Goepfrich
Lars Welton
Dave Bucholtz

Team Competition

Einstein 4:03:53
Hagerty 4:11:23
McLain 4:40:35