2018 Speed of Light Tour Competition Stage Two: O’Hearn Takes Time Back On Dusty Night

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We’re all sand people, now. 

Weeks of dry weather wouldn’t be thoroughly doused until well after the dust had settled on the Tour Competition’s second stage. The split-double points night for the climber’s which was always going to ensure a fast, frenetic start to the day’s proceedings. A few riders were notably absent, including second placed overall rider Josh Zelinski, who is headed to Las Vegas for a poker tournament. While he isn’t actually playing, we assume he looks something like this.

Jeff Owens was present after his two week sabbatical to trace the makings and beginnings of Harry Potter. He certainly show no signs of slowing down despite some substantial time off the bike destroying Horcruxes. Jason Johnson, too, returned and provided some important support for his teammate, John O’Hearn.

After a Sovis holeshot, it was a big group over the Vasa CC Climb with riders like Kyle Macdermaid looking to pick up points. Instead, it was Dan Ellis with the fastest time and the full 10 points, a feat he would repeat on the Power Section to pick up some Sprint points as well. Macdermaid would have to wait for the Boonenberg to pick up his 10 points, which was enough to keep him safely in the polka dot jersey, now 8 seconds clear of O’Hearn.

Sovis put in a big dig over the top of Woodchip, and while he prised out a gap, Jason Johnson was quick to the front for his teammate. Sovis and Owens split duties on the Power Section, with Dan Ellis putting in two moves, one of which brought the group into the woods again. The reaction saw Ellis gapped, with an elite group of Owens, O’Hearn, Sam Holmes, Johnson, and Jeff Koch all spilling into the Saarlock pit.

Over the top of the Boonenberg the group paused, with Sovis going to the front to try and control things and keep his yellow jersey safe. The entire group exploded on Anita’s after Sam Holmes lit up the ascent and carried on over the top. Sovis dangled, ultimately losing ground even with the help of Koch. Sovis’ climbing has been suspect all year, but it proved his Achilles heel on Stage Two, and O’Hearn made an appearance on the front to cut a little deeper.

O’Hearn moves ever closer, now just 45 seconds back with two stages and a full 34 miles of racing left to go. Dan Ellis made up some ground on Yensen Schwab, who sits third, with Schwab on four minutes back, and Ellis a further 20 seconds.

Emma Schwab is comfortably in the lead in the Women’s race ahead of Brigit Widrig, with Schwab battling it out with a large group last night and proving herself as truly capable as an all-rounder. She nearly was Hagerty’s second rider to score for the team competition, a feat only two women have accomplished before. Without Garrett Jenema and Josh Zelinski, Hagerty lost the team lead, with kolo t.c. sliding into first place.

Rob Frank and Hunter Frank sit third in the Team Competition, while Papa Frank currently holds the white jersey for Best Old Rider. Jeff Galsterer has been as steady as clockwork and should finish up the Tour in second place in that competition.

Stage Three is the more tradition double points on the Power Section, so expect the green jersey to take up the attention of Cody Sovis and John O’Hearn, who sit first in second after two stages. It’ll also be a big night for on GC and the Team Competition, with every rider trying to shave a few seconds before the Queen Stage on July 26.

The current Tour Competition standings are right here.

All the SOL results for the year are right here.

Wunger will have your miniSOL and Junior SOL recaps up quickly!

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