The final WorldTour stop of June is this Thursday, with riders casting a careful eye forward to the Tour Competition on July 2.
Riders uninterested in the Cyclocross option will already be looking ahead to July 2’s first Tour stage, but for a select few, Cyclocross and Ladies Night offers a chance to shine on the brightest of amateur, free, weekly group ride stages.
The Ladies will have double points on their finish order, with Kaitlyn Patterson expected to battle it out with Susan Vigland, Lauri Brockmiller, Beth Craven and, possibly, Trisha Manion. The young Schwabs, Heidi and Emma, should also feature. Their battle last week was exciting enough, finishing just seconds apart after mixing it up in a fast group.
For Patterson, it’s also a big chance to move up on the WorldTour standings as she looks for a podium place by season’s end. Heidi Jones, the most consistent rider of the women’s field, is also perched high up after missing nary a stage and she’s a lock for a top 15 come September.
The Cyclocross event looks to be low-key compared to last year, where Eric Pollard came out to take the fastest CX time, and the second in CX history on the old course. With Pollard off in the mountains of Utah, CX regular Cody Sovis will keep it business as usual on his Focus Mares. High finishes from last year, Jason Whittaker and Rob Goepfrich are rumored to be skipping the CX edition, with Sean Kickbush and Jason Lowetz the best bets to hop onto drop bars for the evening.
With the Tour just a week away, many riders are using this Thursday as a final test of equipment before the biggest Grand Tour of the season. With Ryan Kennedy’s participation still very much in the air, there could be no defending champion on the start list July 2, leaving the door open for Alex Vanias, who is still perfect in 2015. Vanias has not participated in any double points nights, but still holds a 3 point lead. The Lion of Leroy holds the trump card with two Grand Tours left on the calendar, plus a points-heavy World Championship in September. If he takes the Tour, he should be in the clear provided he stays on the circuit.
SOL leaves Ec at 6.30pm, or you can join at the Bunker Hill Parking Lot at 6.45pm.