Yep, Jorden Wakeley and Susan stayed perfect on the SBFBS circuit with wins between the vines at Forty Five North Vineyard’s third edition of The Vineyard Race. The much-feared warm-up in Northern Michigan played a much smaller role in the day’s affairs than anticipated, and the opening lap under a bright sun saw high speeds and a solid selection of favorites.
The assembled riders took a moment to acknowledge the passing of local legend Ron Sanborn just before the race start. Sanborn was involved very early on at the vineyard, and the vines, as well as that course, will always bear the mark of his passion for the sport and the region he treasured.
Like the Vasa, the opening salvos had a predictable outcome. Cody Sovis gamely took the hole shot before Jorden Wakeley put in a massive move to get clear of field that was immediately strung out over the opening rolling hills. Velo City’s Brad White moved to head the chase, and his efforts held Wakeley’s effort at about 15 seconds over the field lap. White’s tempo saw some serious damage behind, however, with only Sovis and the Hagerty duo of Paul Olsen and Nick Wierzba in touch.
After the first circuit, Wakeley edged out his lead by a few more seconds, with White towing Sovis in pursuit. Olsen settled in with Wierzba, which was a smart and beneficial move for both. A top five for Wierzba all but secures him second in the overall points, and Chef Paul was able to prise out even more of a gap en route to a convincing Master’s win.
On the women’s side, Susan Vigland rode much of the day with her faithful lieutenant, Rob Goeprich, offering support. Vigland saw her two minute lead after one lap only go out on the next two circuits, with Erin Reicha doggedly chasing and making sure she’ll enter the final race of the Series comfortably in second on points. Vigland and Wakeley have been dominate since the Series began at Fat Chance!, and both will be looking to make a clean sweep of things at Beard of Zeus.
Cindy Duby showed off some impressive handling skills as the course finally loosened up under a 45 degree sun. She was firmly in control after a lap, but in soft and rutted conditions, no lead is truly safe. She finished clear of a battling Kami Wade and Bonny Hall, with Birgit Yetter wrapping up yet another great race. There’s still a lot to race for in the Women’s master’s, but Duby is looking to have the best chance.
In fact, it’s the Men’s master’s that saw the biggest shake up. Hal BeVier’s fourth place finish will move him to just a single point behind Series leader Dave Hoyt heading into Beard of Zeus. Hal will be calling in a lot of favors that Saturday, where he’ll need his Hagerty teammates to put aside their own ambitions and help him find some space and finish at least two spots clear of Hoyt to take the title. Olsen was first ahead of Craig Webb, with Steve Andriese rounding out an all-Hagerty podium. They’ll need to shuffle positions if they’d like to take the two categories they’re in position to hold.
One of those is the Men’s master’s, while Vigland is hoping to have teammate Velvet Batteiger slide in for third overall in the Women’s Open at the Series end.
Unless something craaaZZZzzyyYY happens it will be Wakeley, Wierzba and super-stud Kyler Bradley on the Men’s Open podium for the Series, although Jon Throop has vowed to fight for the final podium spot at the last race of the season.
Full results are available from Endurance Evolution here.
Want to win the Women’s Open? This is how Susan Vigland did it.
We’ll have a few #CHOICECUTS from Brian Beckwith for you quite soon.