The second stage of the Giro saw even faster times and more aggressive racing as the overall picture solidifies, but the speciality classifications remain tight.
With plenty of parents paying the price for raising smart and athletic children, it was a smaller field on the line for the second of four Giro stages last night. While race favorites like Jeff Owens flooded to auditoriums and gymnasiums around the city to applaud their offspring, a hearty few kept the level of competition at Speed of Light very high.
Justin “Mad Dog” Morris made a return to action, with everyone’s favorite diabetic Aussie ‘fresh’ off the 200 mile Coast 2 Coast Gravel race this weekend. Other first-time appearances for the year included Wes Sovis of Melrose Place fame, as well as Sara “Sub-50 First Try” Nestor.
With double Mountains points on offer, it was an dramatically fast start, with Jorden Wakeley setting a firm tempo on the CC Climb before Dan Ellis darted past. The pair opened a gap, and Dan stayed committed to the move. Behind, teammate Cody Sovis saw that he and John O’Hearn, both with teammates ahead, also had a gap, and brought the pair up to form a foursome in the lead.
It was non-commital upfront, and as they topped Wood Chip, first Sam Holmes and then Josh Zelinski made contact. With no one willing to work, it was Sovis tacked onto the front. Ellis nearly crashed just before the Power Section and scrambled to get back on. At nearly the same time that he was about to rejoin, Wakeley moved off the front, causing a reaction from Sovis. Like a cat playing with a mouse whose ears, limbs, and three-quarters of his tail have already been nibbled away but still clings to life, Wakeley repeated the gesture a few times; force Sovis to chase, then sit.
A few rolls from Josh Zelinski went nowhere, and the group went over the Boonenberg together. Sovis tried again over the top there, and put in another dig before the descent to the foot on Anita’s, but everyone batted away the attempts like gorillas slapping at flies.
Sam Holmes put down the fastest time on GO!, with Sovis picking up 8 points, moving clear in the sprint classification by 2 over Wakeley. As the lead group hit the final descent, Sovis’ lack of any punch cost him a good dozen seconds, with Sam Holmes flying to the line. The night’s efforts were especially big for Holmes and O’Hearn, who clawed back time on GC, and there’s no reason to think that replacing Sovis in second is out of the question. Wakeley expanded his lead over to just under one minute, with a rather substantial shuffling of the top ten.
Emma Schwab just needs to keep showing up to win the women’s GC, with none of the other ladies from Stage One returning. It’s a similar story for Jeff G in the Best Old Rider category, and you know he’s going to make all of these.
Wakeley holds both the pink jersey and the mountains jersey after two stages, and with another chance at double points on the Vasa CC Climb next week, he could put away both of those competitions with a strong ride next Thursday night.
Wakeley and O’Hearn also put the Team Competition on ice, now over three minutes clear of kolo t.c.. Hagerty lacked much of its Stage One firepower, but they had Josh Zelinski and Yensen Schwab step up to keep them on the board. ERSB missed Luke Tjosvold and Jaden Drews, but were represented on the board this week by long-time team veteran Jason Walter and Craig Fortuna. It really is so great to see Tuna back on a bike, especially his beloved steel singlespeed. #RAD
It’s another Mountain stage next week, so stop eating now and we’ll see you at 6:30 next Thursday!
Full Giro Competition standings right here.
All the 2018 SOL times will be here. Maybe bookmark it.