SOLo Kolo 2020 Round Duh: Kind Of Italian Edition

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We’re rolling into May, a time we’d normally be gearing up for Mud, Sweat, and Beers before jumping immediately into the Giro Competition. Of course, nothing is normal these days, so we’re keeping SOLo Kolo going for another month and channeling the maglia rosa into a few tough segments chosen by a few kolo riders! 

Round Duh will keep the same format, with stage winners and an overall GC for both men and women. Riders can hit the segment as many times as they’d like between Monday and Saturday at 5pm, and a ton of you have been taking full advantage of that option.

Things kick off Monday, April 27 and will wrap up May 23. By that time, we may have a better idea of revised guidelines for group activities. Our plan right now is to transition in June to team time trials, with teams of 4 riders taking on segments. By July, we’re hoping we may have a chance to get back to normal SOL for the Tour Competition, but we aren’t going to push. Cyclists are incredibly visible on the roads and trails, and we want to set an example for being responsible now, in a month, and for as long as it takes to ensure we’re all safe. 

Now, to the fake racing. 

Stage One. The Fire Road Climb. Wes Sovis immediately made the pick to toss riders on a short, challenging prologue of sorts. Accessible and for a midweek ride, it’s .77 miles long and averages 7% grade, but that doesn’t quite do it justice. The first quarter of the climb immediately kicks up to 15-17% before a brief reprieve along the exposed and, at times, windy ridge run before ducking back into the woods. It’s a total elevation gain of 261 feet, and riders earn every inch of it. 

Used at the good ol’ Conquer the Village race back in the day, there are some flying fast times from Jorden Wakeley, Jeff Owens, Laura Webb, and others, but a slightly rejiggered entrance to climb means riders hit that opening slope with almost zero momentum; those KOM marks should be safe….or so you’d think. 

Stage Two. Vasa Power Section. As you’d expect from the ultimate in vanilla-and-pleated-pants, Cody Sovis, it’s the segment we all know and love. The Power Section gets the nod as an ode to the SOLs we’re missing out on and an homage to his beloved maglia ciclamino, the Points jersey at the Giro. 

It hardly needs introduction.  2.91 miles long and dotted with a few short, 5-10 second bumps and long, straight false flats, there’s a reason it’s called the ‘power’ section. Just six riders have hit eight minutes or less on the segment out of 880 riders giving it a go. 

Stage Three. Randolph St. to Hickory Hills. This is a bit like walking into a cave and trying to wrassle a bear on his home turf. Dan Ellis picked this gem so we can all tangle with the Ferocious Teddy Bear. Grady Ellis has been slamming miles on Randolph since he was six months old (probably) and now we’re bringing the battle to his backyard. 

Just shy of a mile long at .86, it’s 155 feet of elevation at 3%, but it hits 13%, 14%, and 18% along the way. 

Stage Four. Lincoln/Hoxie. It’s a finale fitting the Giro. A mountain time trial on the seldom-ridden, always-hard Crossover. Suggested by Drew Cummins, it’s a full-on CAT 4 climb with an elevation difference of 439 but because of a short dip, it’s closer to 500 feet of total gain. It’s a long grind, too, at 2.49 miles with an average grade of 3%. Like all TC climbs, that average is skewed, and the climb hits 7%, 10%, and 12% at a few different points. 

We’re almost sure to see some reshuffling on the leaderboard, with some of the top 20 times dating back four or five years, including the KOM held by Derek Graham and set way back in 2013. 

This month, we’re asking for donations to the newly-formed Buy Local Give Local Fund set-up by Downtown TC. The fund supports local non-profits Munson Foundation, Traverse City Area Public Schools, The Goodwill Inn, and Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center sourced from local businesses. It’s a way to ensure we’re supporting families in need right here in TC at a time when our neighbors need it most. 

As always, $25 donations are suggested, but by no means required. If you can, go for it. If you can’t, don’t sweat it.

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