Just a day removed from his 29th birthday, Jeff Owens took the Giro Competition and set a new course record in the process.
While sitting just over a decades ahead on GC entering the final stage, Owens toed the start line Thursday night with an ace up his sleeve. His leading margin may have numbered just a handful of seconds, but everyone knows that was mostly down to being nice. Head and shoulders stronger than his fellows in the peloton, it was nice of him to keep it as close as he did for as long as he did.
The start line saw some additional fire power to weeks past, including the season debut of Chelsey Schlict and the return of multiple Grand Tour winner Ryan “Mr. President” Kennedy. With double points on the CC Climb, it was a ferocious start, with Cody Sovis just barely holding things under control until the flood gates opened. Owens, O’Hearn, and Macdermaid came flying by, with Sunsett Scott also in contention, with Tim Pulliam casting back a way eye over the crown of the climb.
It was Owens, Sunset, Pulliam, Sovis, O’Hearn, and Macdermaid through Special K and onto the Power Section. Sovis ensured himself the maglia ciclomino with a daring dangle from the middle of the group, and then strong attack that split the group in two. After a long pull, Owens took over, with just Sunset able to stay in touch. The trio was together until the Boonenberg where, for the third week in a row, Sovis survived Owen’s forcing on the climb and then prised open some daylight to move the GC 1-2 clear yet again, with Sunset battling home for third.
Behind, a huge chase group saw riders come home two and even three minutes faster than previous weeks, with Sam Holmes, Pulliam, Dan Ellis, Brad Pauly, Wes Sovis and others combining to slide well under the 38 minute mark. It’s a strong showing and bodes well for the rest of the season, especially as we head into the points-rich WorldTour portion of the calendar in June.
Owens takes home not only pick but the Mountains jersey, too. Cody Sovis claims second on GC and scored perfect Points in the sprint competition, his success down largely to 1. being able to work with Owens and 2. having a 3T Exploro with a 50t chainring.
Jeff Galsterer takes the Best Old Rider Competition and all five bonus points. Since no other team finished, kolo t.c. won’t pick up the Team Competition points, but do retain the title, and it’s one they’ll be targeting in July as well.
Next week, it’s Ladies’ Night! All women score double points (20-1 through the top 20), plus they’ll get a chance to represent TC at Skirts in the Dirt later this summer with a free entry. Post SOL, you can also stop by Red Mesa, with proceeds going to TART for the night. So, go get a marg.
FULL Giro standings and results are up here.
The WorldTour picture has been painted here.
The Speed of Light results page is also updated, with times from every week.