And now, an inside look at the first ever miniVuelta from this past Thursday from Peter Worden….
While the big people tapered, rested, and contemplated the irony of racing in rain at the x100 on Saturday after an entire summer of virtually no rain, miniSOL went ahead with the first stage of the inaugural miniVuelta. The stage took place in the heart of Basque country, which so happens to look just like the Vasa.
The stage awarded Green Jersey points five deep based on the order the racers reached the top of Icebreaker. The format was intended to encourage early attacks and did not disappoint; while it was being explained to the racers Hunter Frank had a look in his eye like a cat that’s just been told how to open the canary cage. Three riders quickly separated themselves from the group and reached the base of the climb. Arielle Jean, taking advantage of her vastly superior power to weight ratio, reached the top first to take the lead in the points competition, followed quickly by Hunter, and then not so quickly by Ashton Edson.
Hunter slowly reeled Arielle in, and appeared poised to take the lead, when Ashton Edson blew up on them from behind as if from out of nowhere and passed them both. Ashton had clearly decided to conserve his energy on Icebreaker, ceding points there with an eye on another stage victory in yet another Grand Tour.
The three finished the stage in that order, Ashton taking the win with a time of 0:21:43 and Hunter coming in at 0:22:01 and Arielle right behind with 0:22:07.
Norte’s Carter Bebruyn came in 4th with a time of 0:31:14, an improvement of seven minutes over his previous time on this course; rounding out the top five, MBS22’s Maximus Jordan came in at 0:37:36, earning points for the first time.
Sander Stuart put in a solid ride at his third miniSOL, continuing his pattern of improving his time each ride. An entire army of kids named Ellis showed up to race, with Grady and Huck putting in solid rides and Sylvia winning the brand new single speed competition.
Hagerty now sits in first place on the team competition, followed by MBS22 and then Norte. Hunter and Arielle are within thirty seconds of Ashton on GC, and uneasy is the head that wears the crown. The trio is also within four points of one another on the points competition. The table is set for some really exciting racing in stage 2, if all three decide to show up.
The second and final stage of the miniVuelta is next week, followed in two weeks by the final miniSOL of the year: the World Championships. Who will wear the rainbow jersey next year?