2018 Speed of Light WorldTour: VST TT

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We had a simply stellar turnout, and an incredibly strong field, for the first-ever VST TT! Sunset takes the win and hallowed Golden Sombrero for 2018! 

Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association and Keen Technical Solutions know how to put on a party. It was all hands on deck to prepare the scene for the much-anticipated Vasa Singletrack Ribbon Cutting. After two years and countless hours in the woods, NMMBA’s effort to refresh, redesign, and reViSiT (see what they did there?) the famous Vasa Singletrack is finally complete. The Michigan DNR was also on hand to observe a ribbon cutting ceremony that kicked off the time trial and partake in the festivities as well. They were not, of course, surprised that the ribbon was a log and the scissors for the occasion was a chainsaw.

After lining up in WorldTour-order, points leader Cody Sovis had already put down a time of just over 55 minutes. He’s been floundering for the past two weeks, narrowly surviving with the Tour crown, and the VST TT was a golden opportunity for John O’Hearn and Sam Holmes to pick up some points. And it was O’Hearn looking focused and prepared who took to the course first, followed by over 60 other riders all looking to set a strong time.

The new course drew some new faces, and expectations were high for singletrack legend Dan Hofstra, as well as the on-form Austin Johnson, his brother from another brother Jason Johnson, plus Sunset Scott. On the women’s side, Chelsey Schlict and Beth Grassa were separated by just 10 seconds apart in the middle of the order, one of the more interesting battles of the day.

The revelation of the day, however, was Rob Frank, who finally got a chance to use his handling skills on a course that suits his style of riding. Frank was second to Sunset, and he picked up a big chunk of WorldTour points for his efforts. Kyle Macdermaid, too, moved up in the rankings with fourth place, though John O’Hearn’s third, plus 18 points, were probably the most important result of the day.

With Sovis’ pedestrian 12th place, O’Hearn moves to within 20 points of Sovis’ lead with the Vuelta and the World Championships still to go. Sam Holmes and Dan Ellis will be battling to find a spot on the podium, and Holmes could still move into second, or even the lead, with a strong Vuelta.

Next week, the Vuelta Competition kicks off at our normal place and time. Thanks to NMMBA and Keen for making Thursday such a fun night in the woods!

The full SOL results are right here.

The up-to-date WorldTour standings are right here.

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