2018 Speed of Light: Singlespeed Night


One gear, no fear. A fast night sees the return of Cam Owens, singlespeeds, and a big night in the woods. There’s nothing quite like the blind luck of a Summer Solstice Speed of Light, and this year, we lucked out with perfect weather on the longest day of the year. That meant there was plenty of daylight for riders to limp home, though none needed it on an ideal course softly kissed with a few nights’ soft rain.

All of the usual WorldTour nerds were astride their singlespeed (or bikes that had singlespeedness forced upon them), with last year’s SS winner John O’Hearn as a big favorite alongside Sam Holmes and Cody Sovis. David Bucholtz was in his element (you know, one without shifting) as were a few other riders on the line. The night also saw the second appearance of Jason Whittaker, an RBS showing from Rob Selle, and the triumphant return of Cam Owens who, as you probably guessed, didn’t disappoint.

At the start, it was the singlespeeds showing signs of aggression, with Sovis’ traditional leadout tersely cut short with a move from O’Hearn early on the CC Climb. Owens, Owens, Jeff Koch and a slew of others came by as well, and it was a seven man group until Sovis’ chain dropped. On a singlespeed. Of course, the spacing was tight enough that the chain wouldn’t go back on, so it was a full dropped wheel, loosened and tighten tensioners, and back on the go alongside the Very Very Significant Other, Sara Nestor, for the rest of the night.

Meanwhile, the leaders tore along the Power Section, with Owens putting in a brutal pace that saw the other half dozen riders suffer. Jon Zelinski, O’Hearn, Holmes and the others ceded to the imperious Owens, with Cam and Koch the only riders surviving to the end, with Jeff taking the full 20 points for the night.

At the same time, Emma “Schwables” Schwab was announcing that her time may have finally arrived. She’s been putting in a ton of work this spring and summer, and the Era of the Emma may have begun, with the Hagerty Junior rider finishing as first woman and setting a new course record in the process ahead of Lauri Brockmiller and Susan Vigland. Next week is Ladies’ Night, which should see the full complement of TC talent on the line going for that very crown.

O’Hearn’s SS win vaulted him well up the WorldTour after missing a stage, and with Sovis failing to take any points (he was dead last on the night), the top three riders are now separated by, well, wait, let me do the math again…..three points. It’s going to be a nail-biter of a summer, with Sovis at 105, Sam Holmes at 103, and O’Hearn on 102. Dan Ellis sits fourth at 77 points, with Yensen Schwab the last rider in the hunt at 74.

Will Unger will have the miniSOL and Junior SOL recap up later today, but until then, can you guess who puked?

All of the SOL results are available right here.

The WorldTour standings have been updated and are here.

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