Yep, it’s back. The 2017 Speed of Light season starts on Thursday, May 11 with the first Stage of the Giro Competition. As is the tradition now, Speed of Light gets right back into the thick of it with a Grand Tour. There’s no easing into things, with the four-stage Giro kicking off a full calendar of racing. It’s just a part of what we’re calling the May’s Murderer’s Row, with non-stop action the whole month through.
The Giro will start with a sprinter’s stage, with double points on offer for the fastest times on the GO! segment, with the Power Section being reserved in 2017 for the Tour and the Vuelta. Stage Two will be straight points, with no doubles on offer again until Stage Three’s Mountain stage, with double points for the fastest times over the harsh and early Vasa CC Climb.
May 11 Stage One Sprint
May 18 Stage Two Straight Points
May 25 Stage Three Mountains
June 3 Stage Four Mountains
The second week of June brings us the specialty races, with double WorldTour points for riders scoring on the selected weapon of choice.
June 8 Fat Bike Night
June 15 Singlespeed Night
June 22 Ladies Night
June 29 Cyclocross Night
With the WorldTour events in the bank, all eyes turn into the biggest fake mountain bike stage race in the world (probably), the Tour Competition. Mirroring the events in France, the best and strongest riders are always on the line for four weeks in July, including the infamous Queen Stage. Once a year, we do it twice, and for 2017, the Queen stage falls on the final stage, July 27.
The Tour will feature the Power Section for the sprint points, and that’ll take center stage on Stage Two on July 13. Stage One is straight points, with time bonuses for the first three finishers of 5 seconds, 3 seconds and 1 second. Stage Three will be a second chance for the sprinters, with double points on the Power Section again, before straight time and straight points on the Queen Stage finale. The Boonenberg makes its debut for 2017 as the KOM points climb, and always plays a role as a launch pad before Anita’s.
July 6 Stage One Time Bonus
July 13 Sprint Stage
July 20 KOM Stage
July 27 Queen Stage Double
The ever-popular Team Time Trial is back on August 3, with Einstein Racing-Short’s Brewing looking to stay perfect in the discipline for the fourth year in a row.
On August 10th, it’s the Random Relay, with the fastest time paired with the slowest time, second fastest with the second slowest, and so on, with 20 WorldTour points on offer through the best 20 teams. It’s a rare week to see unusual pairings, and some interesting tactics for the riders looking to move up the WorldTour standings.
The final Grand Tour kicks off on August 17, and this year, it will be a full four stages. It’s the Vuelta, and the climbers will have their day on Stage One with double points on the Boonenberg, which happens again on Stage Three. Stage Two sees double points for the sprinters, with the finale offering up some big time bonuses on the final day. There will be 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 points for the top five riders, enough to possibly shake up the final standings.
August 17 Stage One KOM
August 24 Stage Two Sprint
August 31 Stage Three KOM
September 7 Stage Four Time Bonus
After the Vuelta, there are two stages left to enjoy. On September 14, it’s the SOL TT World Championship. That’s right, we’ll go in 30 second intervals for a true TT of the SOL course.
Finally, the last SOL of 2017 is the World Championships on September 21. Reigning champ John O’Hearn will have to fight to hold off former winners Luke Tjosvold and Ryan Kennedy. It’ll also be the last chance to nab any WorldTour points, with the year-long champions confirmed by the day’s end.
A few notes:
-We’ll track the following categories at all Grand Tours: Men’s Open, Women’s Open, Master’s 45+, Team Competition (top two riders each week) and Singlespeed. You must ride all stages on
Men’s Open, Women’s Open, Master’s 45+, Team Competition (top two riders each week) and Singlespeed. You must ride all stages on a SS to count in the category. You don’t need to be at every stage to count in the KOM or Spring competitions, so if you miss a day, go for those.
-SOL leaves Ec at 630 and the Bunker Hill Lot at 645.
-ALL SOLs AFTER Labor Day will leave Ec at 615 and Bunker at 630 due to less daylight.
-Master’s category is based on your age as of the day of the start of the Grand Tour.
-Points will be 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 in the Grand Tours, with double points 20, 16, 12, 8, 4, and 2.
Stay tuned for the Junior SOL and miniSOL calendar, as well as a finalized GPX file of the 2017 route.