The WorldTour heats up in August, with Einstein Racing putting on a clinic in the first of three WorldTour stops before the all-important Vuelta. Two surprise non-starters, Alex Vanias and Kyle Macdermaid, missed the chance to see a well-drilled and nearly perfectly run team time trial over the SOL course Thursday. A chance for team bragging rights and a decent haul of WorldTour points was on the line, and the biggest beneficiary nearly wasn’t.
En route to the start, Cody Sovis’ penchant for churning out 10,000 Watts all the damn time resulted in an explosion of very light and very pink aluminum crank bolts. As more popped out, it looked like he wouldn’t be able to start the TTT. But team runs deep at ER, and the Boss Man hisself, Jason Lowetz, not only handed over his top secret Bearclaw Bicycle Co. Romantik, but also his shoes.
It was black and pink from the gun, with Sovis pairing with Ryan “Mr. President” Kennedy to pull clear, followed up by Jason Whittaker. The trio pried open time in bunches with Kennedy pulling over the Vasa CC Climb, and by the time Sovis went to the front over Madeleine’s Trail, the night was decided.
While the trio poured it on, Josh Zelinski put in a brave chase, riding almost the entire route solo but never giving up. Behind, Hagerty’s contingent of Rob Goepfrich, Austin Johnson and Susan Vigland rode tough but had their rhythm disturbed with Johnson crashing twice and their support of Andy Battegeir and Todd Vigland noticing a loose QR and having to stop.
By the time the dust settled, and there was plenty, Einstein Racing had put in a demonstrative effort, with both Sovis and Whittaker setting their fastest times of the season in large part to Kennedy’s big pull in the final half of the lap. With the team time trial getting scored by the third rider across, with all three riders coming in at the 37:32, with Whittaker posting the team’s official time of 37:34.
Hagerty mustered a 41:14 on the hard efforts of Susan Vigland, just under four minutes down. City Bike Shop, McLain Racing, KEEN and M-22 failed to start and finish 3 riders.
The WorldTour is looking more black and more pink, with Sovis moving back into the lead with Vanias’ non-start. “It’s an Einstein tradition to win our own competitions, and I want to keep that going,” he said after taking off Lowetz’ shoes. What’s the key to WorldTour glory? “It’s important not to have a life. Friends, family, social commitments…that shit will torpedo anybody…”
Vanias sits second, with Ryan Kennedy the biggest mover again in the standings. Kaitlyn Patterson is still third, but Kennedy’s big haul has him sitting third now, vaulting over Macdermaid.
Next week is the Eric Pollard Memorial Ride, with double points for riders who complete the circuit in normal, baggy clothes. Note: Eric is not dead, he’s in Utah.