Another race, another second, another 1-2 for Jorden Wakeley and Alex Vanias. Wakeley takes the first pink jersey of the Giro after a massive turnout for the year’s SOL debut.
The pair made quick work of things, ripping clear with just a few riders able to keep pace over the opening salvo of hills. Luke Tjosvold offered the stiffest resistance, with Wakeley’s M22 teammates, Matt and Keegan Myers, but they ceded time after the first big target of the ride, the Trouee de Madeleine. The Trouee made its debut as the Points segment and did not disappoint, blowing up the field and giving reigning Speed of Light World Champion Luke Tjosvold the green jersey after Stage One.
The Power Section saw Myers sink back to the chase group, spearheaded by a flying Steve Andriese. Andriese was neck and neck with his main competitor in the Singlespeed category, Cody Sovis, and the paired worked well to ensure they were both well clear from the rest of the no-shifters after one. Eventually, it was Andriese and Keegan Myers who set off in pursuit of the leaders, dropping Sovis after the new addition of the course.
The only change to the SOL route is the inclusion of the Iceman Wall Bypass, which takes in some singletrack and a gradual climb to bring riders across the powerline and to the food of the Wall. The addition has drawn rave reviews, although some riders will miss the challenging “Into The Wild” segment. The Saarlock pit won’t be missed by anyone. That thing sucks.
Tjovold faded after the Boonenberg, eventually getting caught by the Myers/Andriese collaboration just before the line. Marc Brunette and Matt Myers rejoined Sovis, with the trio working to fend off a late charge from Eric Grassa, Jason Whittaker and a solid chase group that seemed to be getting quicker with every mile.
Kaitlyn Patterson saw some fierce resistance from Susan Vigland, but was in touch with the Whittaker group and took a solid win and a comfortable lead after Stage One. She also scored in the Mountains Classification, one of the fastest riders of the night up The Boonenberg.
And you know who looked good out there? Mike Coco. Nevermind that he ended up at Timber Ridge. He showed up, looked like a young Antonio Banderas, and then escorted Craig Fortuna to a bar, where they proudly wore spandex amongst the civilian customers in, you know, normal clothes.
Vanias will have the Mountains lead, with Andriese second fastest, even more impressive on his SS. Vanias will have to balance his pink ambitions with his blue, but will know which way to lean ahead of the KOM stage later on.
M22 looks ensconced as the Team Competition leader after one, with Team OAM Now sitting second on the strong performances of Vanias and Patterson. Einstein Racing-Short’s Brewing is third, and it looks like their perfect run of Team Competition titles is in jeopardy. Hagerty Cycling is sniffing a top three there as well, and it was 13 year old Braiden Voss who was their second fastest time to score. Look out, world.
Andriese holds over a minute on Sovis in the SS category, with John Fahey third.
Next week’s Sprint Stage will be worth double points in the red jersey competition, with Tjosvold looking to defend his 2 point lead.