Keegen Myers headlines as the top candidate to wear the inaugural rainbow stripes.
With Vuelta winner Jason Lowetz somewhere in upstate New York, the mantle of favorite falls to Vuelta runner-up and the phenom of 2013, Keegan Myers. Perhaps no rider has improved as quickly on the weekly, 12.5 mile test as Myers, and he is the heavy favorite to win the SOL’s first ever World Championship title.
It’ll be interesting to see how Myers handles the pressure, and how much other riders mark him. From the gun, Myers has great acceleration and snap, but it’s a rare rider that can simply ride away with a bunch chasing behind. While this SOL is all about the individual, don’t be surprised to see the ‘trade teams’ working together once the elite selection has been made. Einstein will again bring both Kushman Brothers, Ty Schmidt, Sean Kickbush and a host of other candidates, though they will be without the aforementioned Lowetz and Ryan Kennedy.
Chris Kushman may be the biggest threat to Myers, as he’ll not only have his own massive motor to call on, but the support of his brother and other Einstein racers to pop off the front and force Myers to chase. Eli Brown, Steve Andriese, Craig Webb and other possible starters should also be in the hunt, and have the wiles to take advantage of the chess match as it unfolds over the course.
Jake Ellis is an outside shot, and could make the elite selection if he can put together a better start. Hagerty has to take some heart from an improved Vuelta this past week, with Brian Beauchamp emerging as a solid top ten threat long with Brian Klym, Pete Worden, Wes Sovis and Cody Sovis. Hagerty’s goal is to put three riders into the top ten, and it won’t be an easy task with so many fast racers on the line.
The Women’s title is on the table as well, and it may come down to simply showing up. Katie Tomczyk made an appearance last week, and she’ll rely on Keith Conway as her pilot fish at the World Championships. Race organization is hoping to see Rachel Decker, Lauri Brockmiller, Bridgit Widrig, Michelle Howard and the other top TC mountain bikers make an appearance, especially in the last Speed of Light for 2013.
The World Championships start at 6.15 from Einstein Cycles or 6.30 from the VASA 25km Parking Lot. It will be broadcast live on British Eurosport, unless it gets blacked out and they play snooker instead. It’s a toss-up.