Our boy is going west, and we’re sending him off in style. One of the original gangsters of Speed of Light will take his last official lap tonight. With Einstein Cycles for years and a TC fixture since before Dennis Rodman, he’s going to be missed.
Thursday night’s ride will be a hot and fast affair, and Whittaker himself should feature prominently. Like Fabian Cancellara’s golden swangsong at the Olympic Time Trial, Whittaker will be looking to take the win on a night where WorldTour points take a backseat to sending of our most dedicated and committed cycling community riders off in a cloud of dust and thanks.
JW has been a consistent top ten rider at SOL for the past four years, finishing in the top ten of the WorldTour since its inception. He’s also one of just a handful of rider who has completed laps on the various categorizes bikes, included fat, MTB SS, and, once and only once, cyclocross. Tonight, he’ll take on his final circuit aboard his trusty Salsa El Mariachi Ti.
Over 100 riders are expected for the event, with the WorldTour points on offer for the Random Relay. The first place time is paired with last, second place to second to last, and so forth, making two person relay teams and a combined time that will place you. We’ve seen unique pairings in the past, like Ryan Kennedy and Heidi Jones, a unique chance to partner with someone totally new, without ever actually knowing how until it’s over.
Cody Sovis still sits atop the overall, proving his complete lack of a life outside of fake bike racing, with John O’Hearn sitting in second place. Ryan Kennedy looks to the be rider on the move, and with wins at the Vuelta and World Championships, he could close the gap between the podium riders.
miniSOL moves into the first and prestigious Rio Games, complete with gold, silver and bronze medals. Just like the pro level, our miniSOLers will be moving directly to La Vuelta, were they’ll have another GC showdown before miniSOL stops with the finale on September 1.
There is no SOL next week ahead of the X10, and so the opportunities for WorldTour points start to tick by rather quickly now. After tonight and the break, it’s the Vuelta Competition, a three week Grand Tour, before SOL wraps up for the year on September 15 with the Speed of Light World Championships. The Vuelta will be worth 30 points for a GC win. It’ll be 25 for second, 22 for third and -1 through the top 20. There’s more to score, however, with each classification worth 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 to the top five. It’s the jerseys that often make the difference, and Jorden Wakeley’s Mountains/Points double at the Tour moved him well up the spreadsheet.