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The second stage of the 2017 Vuelta Competiton is on deck this Thursday, with Ryan Kennedy charged with defending the leader’s jersey. 

If the opening stage was any indication, Kennedy’s best defense may be offense. After a hard pull over the opening few miles from Cody Sovis, Kennedy was imperious over the Power Section, setting down a smooth but intolerable pace that popped every rider but one to the line. Kennedy’s style is that of a steam roller; smooth, firm, and unstoppable. He may lack some of the pop other riders possess, but he’s never really needed it.

With Sovis sitting ten seconds back, it may be in their mutual interest to keep the pace high and keep the John O’Hearn, 46″ back, at bay. Dan Ellis sits fourth at 1’15”, the last of the contenders still in with a shout.

It’s also the sole chance for double points for the green jersey. For any rider capable of conserving energy, punching it over the Go! section could be enough to take that competition by default, using the final two weeks to simply collect points and hold the lead there.

Rob Frank is safely in the Best Old Rider lead after two, but Jeff Galsterer is looking to keep the gap close and sweep up the best result he can overall and in the category. He is inching his way up the WorldTour standings, and he needs a big Vuelta to stay safely in the top ten.

kolo t.c. has a lead in the Team Competition, but they’ll need better performances to keep it safe. With Hagerty expected to field a stronger squad the rest of the Vuelta, including Braiden Voss and Garrett Jenema, the darlings of the Tour, Dan Ellis and Wes Sovis might actually decide who wins the WorldTour; Cody Sovis and John O’Hearn are tied at 196 points, and any gains or losses in the Team Competition or classifications will decide who wins.

Also featured this week is a pretty cool cameo from the Cannondale Demo Truck. They’ll be there all afternoon, so you have time to test out a Cannondale before SOL, and even stick with it for the ride! First come, first serve, bring your own pedals and a photo ID.

There are just four more SOLs in 2017! After the Vuelta, we are skipping the TT Championship and just getting down to business for the SOL World Championship on September 14. We’ll use September 21 as a rain date.

Kids are always welcome at SOL, although they should know the full SOL course and have a parent with them. Gracias!

You can see all of the weekly SOL times here. 

The Vuelta Competition standings are right hurr.