There are time bonuses of 10, 6 and 2 seconds on offer for the first 3 riders across the line Thursday in the final Grand Tour stage of 2017.
There are just two SOLs left this season, with the finale coming up this week. With race leader Cody Sovis and runner-up John O’Hearn separated by just 34 seconds. O’Hearn prised back a few on Stage Three, but he’s saved his big effort for this week. A stage win adds 10 seconds to any time he’ll recoup, and he’ll hope a rider like Jeff Owens or Kyle Macdermaid can sweep up the other bonuses.
Every rider enters with their own goals. Sam Holmes will try to hold his Mountains jersey win, while Rob Frank looks set to take a Best Old Rider win to match his white jersey from the Tour. Even riders that aren’t in the running for a GC win or competition have motivation; Wes Sovis is looking to crank the top five on WorldTour with a strong Vuelta finish and top five at the World Championships. That’s the same goal for Jeff Galsterer, who sits just inside the top ten on the WorldTour after a hard-fought summer, where he’s been racking up points at a faster rate than last year.
For the women, it’s a chance to fine-tune their form ahead of the World Championships. Susan Vigland is expected to make a run at a second consecutive rainbow jersey, and unless Lauri Brockmiller, Laura Webb or Bridgit Widrig show up, it’s hard to picture anyone else nabbing it.
The final two SOLs with start at the split rail fence at 6.30 PROMPTLY! Also of note, there is construction planned to start on US 31 near Three Mile Road, so Hammond may be your best bet. Consider riding from Timber to the start. The TART is also closed from Five Mile to Bunker, with no alternative route offered. If you’re riding up, taking the Northwest Passage to Land’s End might be the easiest way.
Use lights on the way home. Don’t be a dummy.