Stage One is a Sprinter’s Delight on a new new course at a new new time.
The fight for pink starts May 9, with four stages of fast, sandy action on a revamped Speed of Light course. Yep, that’s revamped from, like, two weeks ago. We’re going with a route we originally planned to use in 2017, but didn’t. We’ll be taking a left onto the 10km to Special K, taking that all the way around to the Sneaky Singletrack and onto the Power Section. It’s basically EXACTLY what you’re doing at MSB, so take note.
Also, after some feed back on the time change, we’re going to move all SOL starts to 6pm. Forever. That’s when TNR starts and 60+ people can make it. Remember, you can post a time by riding at any point in the day, and while we want as many people to show up as possible, it’s tough to keep everyone happy in this free, fake bicycle race that takes time to organize. As always, dissatisfied riders will get a full refund of their $0 entry fee.
And we do hope you make it Thursday, as we’ll all be treated to the first sighting of newly crowned SOL World Champ Kyle Macdermaid in his rainbow jersey. We’re hoping to see Emma Schwab also toe the line, and there should be a big showing of riders fresh from battle at Mud, Sweat and Beers.
The new route offers up a second long drag almost immediately after the Vasa CC Climb, bringing SOL to its highest point ever…a whopping 955 feet above sea level. It’s a long, wide drag race on the 10km, though a few sand traps could make positioning early very important. The turn onto Special K brings riders back to the Sneaky Singletrack we’ve always used to get to the Power Section. From there, everything is the same as 2018.
We’ll be using the Vasa CC Climb for our Mountains Classification, but it’s going to the Power Section that’s worth double points on May 9.
kolo t.c. is sending a killer line-up that includes GC leader Dan Ellis, supported by Wes Sovis, Andy Weir, Jaden Drews, and a slew of others. They’re targeting the GC with Ellis and the Team Competition, which takes the two best times of each stage toward an aggregate total. It’s an event they’ve excelled at for two years, although Garrett Jenema and Max Meyer from Hagerty Cycling are going to be very, very tough to deal with this spring.
The real question mark is whether or not Jeff Owens can make all four weeks. If not, the GC picture is wide open, and riders may have to balance their overall ambitions with their interests in the other Sprint and Mountains categories. With the WorldTour points rejiggered to make each stage more valuable, things are about to get really, really interesting.
Also new this spring, up.bike is offering a coupon code all Giro long. You’ll have to swing by for the Stage One recap for the code!
To see the new SOL segment, get over here.