With only five riders in the top ten taking points at the Vuelta, it’s a battle for the bubble at the World Championships. The Vuelta points are tallied up, but not much has changed on the board. Even without scoring points, John O’Hearn, Jason Whittaker and Ryan Kennedy all remained at the head of things, with JW tucked in Tucson, O’Hearn missing his first SOL of the year, and Kennedy on the comeback trail from injury.
Cam and Jeff Owens stamped their authority on the Vuelta, and it’s fitting they took the most points of the Vuelta, with both netting 43 points. Rumors are that it will be their last appearance of the year, and they’ve certainly left their mark on the race, for Cam especially, in the record books.
The second biggest haul of the Vuelta goes to Susan Vigland, who scored points in every category she was eligible in, plus picked up the full 10 from the women’s GC. Her 37 points sees her bound up the standings into the top 30.
Kyle Macdermaid, Jorden Wakeley and Braiden Voss all pocketed a few points to stay in the top ten, while WorldTour leader Cody Sovis proves that showing up mercilessly is the best way to win a year-long title. He’s now almost 100 points head of second place by sheer volume of attendance and making the most of June’s Classics events, where he was fastest on the cyclocross and fat bikes, and second to Macdermaid on Singlespeed Night.
With the top five essentially tucked away safely, the battle to get into the top ten should come down to the World Championships this week. Macdermaid, sitting 20 points out of seventh, is one end of the fight, with no fewer than 9 riders within 15 points of him, including the on-form Kent McNeil, ageless Rob Goepfrich, Jon Zelinski and Dan Ellis.
So far this season, an incredible 78 different riders have registered at least a single WorldTour point, already up from 2015’s 50 scoring riders. The restructured scoring hasn’t stopped Sovis from winning, but it’s made the race much, much closer. 26 riders will score over 50 points, compared to last year’s 21, and there’s still an opportunity for more to break the 50 barrier.
The World Championships will be worth 25 points to the winner, -1 through the rest of the field, so the amount on offer is more than enough to shake up that group. On recent form, Macdermaid should do enough to hold them off, but Jeff Galsterer has vowed to battle for his spot, currently 9th. Jeff G has made almost every SOL in 2016, and he’s done every week on his Salsa Mukluk, the infamous “Burt Reynolds” build from Einstein Cycles.
The final Speed of Light of 2016, the World Championships, leaves Ec one final time this Thursday at 6.15, or be at the Bunker Hill Lot at 6.30. If you’re riding home after, please bring a light.
You can see the up to date WorldTour standings here.