Andy Weir surprised the world with a top time this week, earning his first World title.
Weir’s rainbow jersey effort capped off a busy Thursday on the Speed of Light course, and while his title deserves the accolades and attention of the globe, the real story may be the deafening ticking of the clock. With Weir first, Patrick Cotant second, and both Soviseses third and fourth, the bevy of Junior riders has to be of great alarm to an aging Elite group.
Drew Cummins leads the way, taking the U-18 World Championship, but it’s just how close he is to the top-level that’s more encouraging…and terrifying. He ended the day tied on 40:32 with third-placed Wes Sovis, just 44 seconds off the best time of the week. And it wasn’t just Cummins having a day to remember, on par with his idol, Wout van Aert. Half of the top ten saw U-18 riders on the board, including Grady “Ferocious Teddy Bear” Ellis, Mat Kushman, Brody Day, and a barnstorming Charlie Black. Some of those riders certainly benefitted from some real-world racing last weekend at Cannonsburg, but their overall improvement is a sign that the future is now…and it’s nipping at our heels.
While small at just 18 finishers, and with no women submitted times, it was also one of the most competitive World Championships yet, with every single rider comfortably under the hour mark, capped off by David Hilt at 55 minutes. That’s a much closer spread that usual, aided by the fact that the likes of Jeff Owens, Garrett Jenema, Max Meyer, and a slew of other fast riders couldn’t skew the top of the charts too close to 35 minutes.