Well, there’s as little to separate the top two as there seems to have been all season. Jorden Wakeley sits just out of reach of Alex Vanias after one stage, and he enjoys the strongest team’s support as the race hits the Sprinter’s Delight. M22 is looking well positioned for the GC and Team Competition, and it’s Stage Two where the gaps could open. Buoyed by strong riders from Sean Kickbush and Keegan Myers, Wakeley’s 1 second lead is really bigger than that; Vanias will have to chase any and all moves from the entire top five on GC.
One of those riders really looking for time is current red jersey leader Luke Tjosvold, Einstein Racing-Short’s Brewing’s top positioned rider. He’ll be under pressure on the Trouee de Arenberg, where the fastest time of the day will be worth 20 points and a valuable 4 point buffer over second place on the segment. It’s Vanias himself in second, with Sean Kickbush in third. It’s a massive chance to move up, and considering Vanias loves to make his move on Madeleine’s, it’ll be hotly contested. He’ll have to balance those efforts against those much-needed reserves to take on the on-form Wakeley.
Susan Vigland is also looking for time, although she has to be contented with keeping women’s GC leader Kaitlyn Patterson on a short leash. Vigland is the only rider in a position to offer any resistance, and she may end up relying on help from her Hagerty teammates to help her set the pace and react.
Vanias leads the Mountains Classification, with SS category leader Steve Andriese second. They’ll offer some jabs Thursday, but the climber’s competition won’t be truly decided until they get their own double points day at race’s end, on the very final day of the Giro.
The real highlight is, of course, Mike Coco. Have you seen him out there? Wow.
The new course for 2016 got rave reviews but apparently terrible GPS reception. A new segment has been made, and all officials times will come from this segment. If your time doesn’t work, submit a time by email no later than 10pm. Any times submitted after that will require a $1 donation to Norte! Youth Cycling. By you, not me.
Speaking of Norte!, you can still grab yourself the new Bike TC shirt at Ec, with 100% of the proceeds going to kids on bike and supporting programs like the Bike Mas Project, where you supply Yours Truly and a bunch of kids with enough animal crackers to feel like kings.
You can check out the segment and times here.