The opening salvos have been fired on the 2017 Speed of Light season.
There’s no short-stepping at Speed of Light, with 50+ riders on hand to dive straight into the Giro Competition, four weeks of GC racing with sprints, KOMs, and even a Best Old Rider to battle for.
It was a smaller field than last year, no doubt as a result of a busy May calendar. Some riders were keeping their powder dry for Saturday’s The Barrel Roll at 45 North Vineyard. There was still plenty of speed on the line, including Jorden Wakeley, Ryan “Mr. President” Kennedy, and reigning SOL World Champions John O’Hearn and Susan Vigland.
It was the young and indomitable Tim Coffey who took the holeshot, leading the field into the mess that is the base of the Vasa CC Climb, the KOM ascent for the Giro. Coffey ceded the lead over the top of the first incline, with Wakeley, Kennedy and John O’Hearn safely in touch, with Cody Sovis casting a few glances over the shoulder to see the gap. It was Coffey and Jason Johnson losing the wheel, eventually heading up a strong chase group.
Wakeley pulled off the front at the top of Madeleine’s, with Sovis taking the first half of the Power Section before handing over the reigns to Kennedy. That cemented a comfortable lead, and a chance for Wakeley to try his luck on his fat bike just after the new Wall Bypass. O’Hearn, heretofore safely tucked in like a swaddling babe, quickly made it across, while Kennedy wound up the engine to get back in touch on the Boonenberg. Sovis floundered in the sand, but with the lead trio uncooperative, was able to claw back into touch and immediately back to the front heading to Anita’s.
Wakeley punched it on Anita’s, with O’Hearn and Kennedy making it and Sovis left to pedal it in alone, eventually losing nearly a half a minute. Wakeley takes the maglia rosa on the same time as Kennedy, with O’Hearn just a second back. Sovis sits fourth, with a sizable gap back to Johnson, Coffey, and a big chase group that sits between two and three minutes back after the first stage.
On the women’s side, it’s a full Hagerty affair, with Susan Vigland, Marie Voss and Laura Webb on the podium, with Morgan Siemer also putting in a strong ride. For Vigland, it’s a chance at the historic Giro-Tour double, and she’s laid the groundwork to make it happen on Stage One. Webb, too, is showing a return to form after illness, and watch to see her on the same time as her top two teammates in the coming weeks.
Todd Vigland leads the Best Old Rider category over Steve “Love Is A” Lagerquist and Ed Johnson. Todd will be an exceptionally important rider for Hagerty as they look to move up the team competition over the course of the Giro, and with a decent lead early, may be called on to pull teammates a tad over the next few stages.
M22 leads the Team Competition ahead of Einstein Racing-Short’s Brewing, with kolo t.c. looking incredibly handsome in third place and looking to make up nearly a minute and a half. Hagerty, Norte, and McLain’s also scored riders, making it one of the deepest Team Competitions in four years.
Kennedy took double points in the Sprint Competition, giving him a four point lead over Jorden Wakeley. Those two, along with O’Hearn and Sovis, make up the top spots in both Sprint and Mountains classifications, with Kennedy holding both jerseys. The true test comes with two Mountain stages to close out the Giro, where Kennedy will have to be at his very best to fend off challengers.
You can see the full Giro standings here.
You can see week-by-week SOL times here.
Don’t forget to join SOL on Strava to make scoring easier.