It’s almost here. The biggest fake bike race in Traverse City (we think) starts with the Giro Competition on Thursday, May 9.
It’s back. Speed of Light returns for yet another season on its traditional start, the first Thursday after Mud, Sweat and Beers. As is also the tradition, now hitting its sixth year, the Giro Competition awaits Grand Tour contenders with a sprint-centric opening stage.
This year, Speed of Light will start at the Split Rail fence at 5:30 pm. With so many Norte kids making the start, we wanted to get them on the line, around the Vasa, and home earlier than 8:30. That comes with a very important caveat; new for this year, we’ll be recording any times recorded on-course throughout the day. Note, that’s only on Thursday, and all times need to be uploaded by 10pm Thursday evening. Can’t make it at 5:30? Go at 6:30 as always. Or 5am. Whatever works for you.
Classifications – For the Giro, we’ll be using the Vasa CC Climb for the Mountains Classification and the Power Section for the Sprint Classification, stacking a lot of the competition right in the opening half of the route. Stage One and Stage Three will be double points for the Sprint Classification, with Stages Two and Four double points for the climbers. We’ll also score Best Old Rider (45+), Women’s GC, and Team Competition.
WorldTour Points – This year, points are going to be a little easier. We’re going to take points for every single stage that will be added to the WorldTour total, then add GC points and other classification points to the total at the end. The reason? Miss a stage, you can still pick up points for the month, even if you don’t finish the full four weeks. We’ll also stick with points for the Sprint and Mountain classifications, so even if you miss a stage, you’re still eligible to win those. The idea is to encourage people to show up each week, even if life is annoying and causes you to miss one. Winning or scoring high on GC will still be a huge boost for your year-long run.
The Route – We’re going back to one of the most well-received SOL routes, the 2017 edition. In short, Madeleine’s Trail is BACK, Wood Chip is OUT, and we’ll be using the same Bypass as last year. You can see the full segment here.
The Favorites – Sam Holmes dominated Speed of Light last season, although it was Kyle Macdermaid who capped off the season by taking the World Championship in September. For Holmes, a multiple Grand Tour winner, will look to start his campaign with a win. He’ll be up against Dan Ellis, John O’Hearn, Jeff Owens, and a slew of other challenges. On the women’s side, Susan Vigland, Emma Schwab, and Bridgit Widrig are all consistent skull crushers and will be looking to claim the opening winning of the season. MSB is usually our first look at who is fit, flying, and ready for SOL, and we’ll know where everyone is at before race day.
The Vibe – Keep it fun. Keep it fast. Keep it hot.