All of the gnar was left bloodied and shredded Thursday night. Shifting was at a minimum, with John O’Hearn continuing his dominant 2017 with a SS title to boot.
It was over pretty early, really. After Cody Sovis led onto the Vasa CC Climb, O’Hearn put the stage and, possibly, the WorldTour out of reach with a scintillating attack to the bench that only the geared Ryan “Mr. President” Kennedy could go with. O’Hearn, riding a 3D printed spacer kit on his normally geared bike, may have put the year-long points title away, with both Sovis and an exceptionally strong Kyle Macdermaid left floundering behind.
With Sovis left spun out on his 42×18 CX bike and O’Hearn holding the geared wheel of Kennedy, the gap was always going out on the Power Section. In fact, the chase group steadily grew to include the likes of Dan Ellis, Todd Vigland, Brad Pauly, Lauri Brockmiller, Wes Sovis, and eventually winner on the night Luke Tjosvold. Chess-fold bridged solo at the end of the Power Section, making his way to nip the win on the last corner.
It was a bit like hyenas starting to nibble on a zebra still in its death throes; Macdermaid attacked, then Ellis, leaving Sovis, Vigland and Pauly to plow along behind, with much of the rest of the chase distanced on the Boonenberg. Vigland and Pauly mercifully allowed Sovis to be first across the line, just over a minute behind the leaders.
For the second week in a row, it was a youngster that was really the revelation of the day. Norte’s Kyan Olshove jumped straight into action against the adults and didn’t miss a beat. After a cautious start, he jumped after a group up the trail and began passing riders left and right. He nearly caught Wes Sovis to the line, posting a sub 41 minute SOL. It was a huge night for Norte, as you’ll see in Pietro’s notes below.
O’Hearn is now a full 13 points ahead of Sovis, with Wes Sovis now third. If O’Hearn makes every SOL, the WorldTour title should be his. Perhaps his biggest test is now the completing the Giro-Tour double. The Tour usually sees the biggest, strongest fields of the season, and with the infamous Double, anything can happen and so often does.
Next week is Ladies’ Night, with double points for all women in the top 20. Lauri Brockmiller and Kasey Wierzba were the markers, with the expected return of Susan Vigland and Marie Voss making it a solid showdown.
You can see the weekly SOL results here.
The full WorldTour standings have been updated here.
One year ago — that’s right folks, just one year ago — Max Jordan came out for his very first miniSOL ever, and had to walk every single hill including the one to the start line. He got steadily stronger with each week but the podium remained elusive. Well tonight he returned wearing Hagerty blue and announced he still had some unsettled business with the miniSOL course left over from 2016, which he proceeded to turn into settled business by smashing his 2016 personal course record with a blistering 0:28:10, passing the lead out rider and dropping everyone else in the process to claim his first ever miniSOL win. And not one hill was walked!
The Sutton’s Bay Bikes squad also continues to impress, last year Liam Wierzba was a tad bit tentative on course after an early unintended detour to Timber Ridge early last season but this year he is really cooking and his teammate Hayden Murray is not far behind, rounding out the podium at 0:33:56 and 0:34:10 respectively. Liam and Hayden are also now leading in the WorldTour points, at 36 and 34 respectively. It’s all about showing up every week, boys.
Another contender for Most Improved miniSOL Rider over 2016: Brick Wheels’ Sander Stuart! Sander found the course a bit daunting at times last year but this year he’s come back leaner and meaner and ready to race! His enthusiasm and energy are almost boundless. He claimed 4th place at 0:34:26. (Unfortunately things did not go so well for his teammate and brother Caden “it’s Stuart not Stewart”, who had to withdraw from the race due to illness. Which was a shame, because Caden was the only youth rider in either mini or juniorSOL who showed up ready to claim double points with his single speed. Get well soon, Caden).
Making their miniSOL debut were the four O’Hearn brothers: Max, Calvin, Jack, and Sam. We’re not sure but we think they might be Irish, but what we know is all four of them can ride a bike. Max rolled up to the start line and promptly asked me to tie his shoe, then he hopped back on his bike and rode to a 5th place finish. (Check him out at the far right in that podium pic above — and notice his shoelaces are still tied. Yeah, that’s right, I double knotted). Calvin set miniSOL history as the youngest rider ever: he’s 3. He’s three years old and he’s racing his bike!!! Think about it, what were you doing at 3? Sam is 5, Max is 7, and Jack must feel like a positively old man at 9. Well done, boys! Looking forward to seeing some more of these guys at miniSOL this year.
Norte’s Grady Ellis also returned, missing a little pep after last week but still sitting in third in the overall WorldTour points competition; hang in there, Grady, those legs will come back. Cullen Chick and Hagerty’s Riley Jenema
(yup, another Jenema, the Pere Marquette forest just keeps cranking them out) also turned in solid rides.
Here are the full miniSOL results and present standings in the points:
|June 15, 2017 miniSOL results — Single Speed Night|
|2||Liam Wierzba||Sutton’s Bay Bikes||8||0:33:56|
|3||Hayden Murray||Sutton’s Bay Bikes||9||0:34:10|
|4||Sander Stuart||Brick Wheels||10||0:34:26|
|11||Caden Stuart||Brick Wheels||12||DNF|
And now on to juniorSOL:
A NEVER ENDING SEA OF ORANGE
Team Norte came out in force, fielding a total of 9 riders to Hagerty’s 2, with no other teams participating because, well, there are no other teams. Where’s M22RBSstein when you need them? Julian Hilt of Norte claimed the honor of the first juniorSOL win in history, with an impressive time of 0:48:27 which is a very good time even by “adult” SOL standards. He’s now in the history books! Norte’s Nate Madion was not far behind in second place at 0:49:51. Hagerty did manage to get on the podium thanks to Griffin Schwab’s effort, at 0:51:18
Despite a wrong turn and some extra miles, for which we understand Dan Madion was to blame (look he said it first), Carter Schmidt still rode like a demon to claim fourth at 0:52:07. Will Unger rounded out the top five at 0:52:56, followed by William Haapala, Peter “P3” Worden III (who also got lost), Fisher Bogard, Drew Cummins, and Jonah Hochstetler.
The juniorSOL times were all impressive and I suspect they will drop quite a bit over the course of the summer as these kids dial in the course and get stronger. This is going to be fun to watch!
Sorry no juniorSOL podium pics, those kids didn’t stay still long enough for me to grab a picture!
Many thanks to Bill Unger and the many Norte dads who rode the juniorSOL course with the kids, and to the volunteers who helped on the miniSOL course:
Laura Webb, course marshals Jesi Schwab and Erin Ferguson, and sweep Heather Jordan.
Here are the full juniorSOL results and points:
|June 15, 2017 JuniorSOL results — Single Speed Night|
|7||Peter B. Worden, III||Hagerty||14||0:58:16||14|
See you next week!