After four weeks and one Grand Tour, the tally favors Alex Vanias in a big way with a full summer schedule left to play for.
It’s Fat Bike Week at Speed of Light, and riders will be looking to find speed and points on the 12 mile loop Thursday night. It will be a decided change of pace; no KOM or Sprint points, no GC in the back of anyone’s minds. It’s also the first of four such nights, with Singlespeeders, Cyclocrossers and Ladies taking double points over the remainder of June.
Vanias’ GC, KOM and Sprint win have given him a big head start after the Giro, sitting somewhat comfortable clear ahead of last year’s WorldTour winner Cody Sovis, who was second on GC. But it’s a head start and nothing more; last year, riders even in the top five overall never won a Grand Tour, and one, Jason Whittaker, didn’t score his first WorldTour point until Fat Bike Night in 2014.
The one day Classics are worth a lot, 20 points and -1 through the top ten. However, any rider scoring in the top twenty astride the themed bike of the night doubles their tally. For riders on the verge, it’s a gamble. For riders consistently in the top ten, it’s a risk. For riders sitting outside the top fifteen on WorldTour, it’s the best option to hop aboard whatever bike they can to make a run.
And it is Jason Whittaker who, on the surface, should make up the most ground. He’s consistently put in top tens on a fat bike and singlespeed, and is certainly capable of the same on a CX bike. Vanias, Ryan Kennedy and most others will have to win to make sure they are taking as many points as possible. Vanias will be looking to do his own Giro-Tour double, a la Alberto Contador, and essentially wrap up the WorldTour and focus on the World Championships in September.
To see the Giro points breakdown, head here.