Hofspeed

It was a golden send off for Ec’s Jason Whittaker, with his best performance ever on his final appearance. Things looked good from the go; Whittaker’s curtain call at Speed of Light started with a cheeky head start as he gave the ceremonial countdown to go. In spite of the threat of rain, a promise ultimately delivered as the riders headed for home, a hearty group of 50 were on hand to send off one of TC’s most valuable and helpful cyclists.

Whittaker took the hole shot and, even after teammate Cody Sovis pulled through, was right back to the front to stamp some authority on his final ride. A lead group of around ten survived the opening salvos of hills, with Jason Johnson, Mark Brunette, John O’Hearn, Luke Tjosvold and more tucked in. After a Sovis attack at the end of Madeleine’s went no where, it was all riders present and correct to the Power Section.

Steve Andriese and Sovis split the Power Section, with Andriese popping a few riders from the tail with a massive turn just past halfway. Johnson scurried back on after a crash, and Brunette also found himself back in touch before the Wall Bypass.

Dan Hofstra took the reigns going into the foot of the Boonenberg, putting on a masterclass in descending. On the climb, everyone choose to look each other over, a tentative sort of cease fire before the top. Over Anita’s, the line in sand (and that was a really deep line because of the dry summer) was drawn, with Hofstra, O’Hearn, Sovis and a flying Whittaker surviving over the top. Whittaker looked like he was in with a chance for the win, and Sovis led out as far as he could. Hofstra and O’Hearn were aggressive and crested the final descent bar-to-bar.

Whittaker rolled to the line third, a proud podium finish to end his SOL career. Andriese, Brunette, Tjosvold and others trickled in, but word quickly spread that it would be another costly day for Einstein Racing-Short’s Brewing. After a bad crash that knocked him out of the Tour, Steve “Love Is A” Lagerquist was down again with a concussion, escorted out of the woods by teammate and just swell guy John Edingfield.

There were no big changes on the WorldTour standings, with Sovis and O’Hearn essentially matching each other in the Random Relay. The winning combination turned out to be Kasey Wierzba and Dan Ellis, 8 seconds ahead of Chris Garrock and Steve Andriese in second.

You can see the SOL results week-by-week here.

You can see the up to date WorldTour standings here.

And now, the miniSOL Report, brought to you by Norte! and Peter Worden’s bow tie.

IMG_5868

Twelve athletes from as many countries competed in the miniSOL Rio Olympics, braving the challenging South American course in an oppressively muggy equatorial heat — many out on on the course for the very first time.  Emma Schwab of the Netherlands won gold with a blistering time of 19 minutes even, the first under-20 minute miniSOL time ever and a World Record.  France’s cycling honor was restored as its Ashton Edson won the Silver medal with a time of 21:21, Griffin Schwab of Canada clinging to his wheel to earn the Bronze.
Hunter Frank and Peter B Worden III dug deep for Albania and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, respectively, but in the end fell just short of the podium, rounding out the top five.
Also competing were Gabe Howard (Australia, g’day), Brady Day (Nepal), Sage Day (Germany), Liam Wierzba (Tanzania), Maximus Jordan (Thailand), Sam McDonogh (American Samoa), and Seamus Dye (the Phillipines).  Special props to Sam for riding the course in a traditional lava lava.  Everyone rode with tiny little flags of their country hand knit under microscope by Michele Howard, and each racer is to turn in a 500 word minimum report about his or her country to Michele by Monday.  Be sure you do that, kids, she’s a librarian, and you don’t want to mess with a librarian.
Next week for miniSOL is Stage One of the miniSOL Vuelta!  (A few kids asked what “vuelta” stood for — it’s Spanish for “return,” something we all strive to do at miniSOL each and every week).
Full miniSOL results are available here.
See below for Random Relay teams and combined times.
88:26:00 Wierzba/Ellis
88:34:00 Garrock/Andriese
88:52:00 Gaffner/McNeil
89:11:00 Galsterer/Frank
89:15:00 Porter/ Johnson
89:26:00 Gallagher/Tjosvold
89:38:00 Boyce/Sovis
89:50:00 Okma/Brunnette
89:59:00 Throop/McLain
90:34:00 Baklarz/Drews
91:17:00 Throop/Jordan
92:50:00 Reid/Whittaker
93:43:00 Campbell/Hofstra
95:00:00 Conway/O’Hearn