The first themed ride of the WorldTour ushered in a new fat bike record, and some big moves in the WorldTour standings.
It was another big turnout for Speed of Light Thursday, with 50 riders on the line to contest the first of three themed rides to kick-start the WorldTour Series. After a thrilling Giro, Ty Schmidt sits in the driver’s seat, but with double points on offer for anyone in the top 20 on a fat bike. Einstein’s fat bikers were ready to rock, with Jason Lowetz and Jason Whittaker ready to seize their moment.
From the gun, it was Jason Lowetz pushing the envelope early, causing Eli Brown and Ryan Kennedy to jump up to the fore. Lowetz faded briefly, while Kennedy and Brown were joined by a surging Ty Schmidt, resplendent in his all-green Carter’s Compost strip. The trio pulled out a 28 second gap heading onto the Vasa Power Section. Behind, Cody Sovis barely survived the early rollers to crest Wood Chip Hill with teammates Lowetz, Whittaker and Ryan Kushman, with City Bike’s Josh Zelinski squarely in touch. Looking to get the fat bikers back in the thick of things, Sovis went to the front to chase down the lead trio.
With a great pull from Kushman halfway along and Zelinski closing the final 25 yards, it was a seven man lead group just past the halfway point of the course. Eli was the first to move, with Kennedy closing it down with Schmidt and the rest on his wheel. Sovis was the first to pop, with a fallen chain ending his chances on the day, but with Lowetz now looking comfortable and on course for a new fat bike record.
Behind, Susan Vigland set a 45:10 mark as she inches her way towards the fastest mark by a woman, currently held by Laura Webb. Trisha Manion and Heidi Jones are making progress as well, with Manion now consistently and comfortably under the hour mark.
On the line Kennedy was ahead of the rest, with Brown second best on the day. Lowetz set a new fat bike record, the first to go under 41 minutes. Zelinski and Schmidt were next through, with Whittaker coming in ahead of Sovis to nab two extra WorldTour points to open his account.
The new WorldTour picture will change entirely next week, with double points on offer for everyone on a cyclocross bike. Watch for big rides from Eric Pollard, Jake Ellis and Jason Lowetz, with Jason Whittaker also capable of a big ride on skinnier tires.
After CX Night, it’ll be double points for singlespeeders and all ladies in the top 20!
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