It’s a curveball for the WorldTour hunters on Thursday, with one gear and more than a few contenders for a new World Record.
While the bulk of the turn out at SOL will be off their fat bikes and back on their normal 29ers, but the SS diehards will take their turn in the spotlight as they make a run for double points. With M-22 on Saturday and Michigan Mountain Mayhem also on deck, it’ll be an interesting start list and a big chance for anyone willing to gamble on a single gear.
Kyle Macdermaid is in prime position to bring in well over 30 points, and he’s the most dangerous rider of the night. Already the holder of the 29er SS WR, he’ll be looking to go under 40 minutes and perhaps move up on the WorldTour overall, where he’s already looking like a serious podium contender after taking 4th on GC and 1st in SS at the Giro this past May.
His rival at the Giro until he missed a stage, Jason Whittaker is the next rider with a shot Thursday. JW is sticking to the same game plan as 2014, which saw him go top five in the WorldTour. A solid Fat Bike Night, SS Night and Tour should see him vault up after he took his first points last week. He has been consistently within sight of Macdermaid this year and has one or two riders recruited to help with the ride on Thursday. It’s one he certainly needs to make some big moves before July, and he’ll likely have the wheel of the SS legend himself, Dave Walston. Walston took to SS like most foals take to walking, that is to say, quickly and with tremendous vigor. He and JW give Einstein Racing a series SS Squadron.
Dave Bucholtz and Steve Andriese lead the Hagerty charge, though Andriese is a long shot to start with M-22 on the docket, but Bucholtz should be able to hold his own. The dark horse of the night, he’s a seasoned vet who has a tendency to rise to the occasion.
Cody Sovis will be going for the SSCX World Record, in spite of early testing that shows breaking into a light jog might be faster on the climbs.