Call it something like redemption. After underperforming on Stage One, Trek-Segafredo began the interweek individual time trial in disarray. Half the squad was misrouted in their first attempt on course, but the whole team stormed back stronger.
While it was nothing like the horsepower necessary to challenge for the individual stage win, Trek’s resurgence helps keep the Tour-long team competition tight and has given the riders and sponsors a huge sigh of relief, even if Mr. Burke has no idea of Trek’s involvement. (Come on, man, send us some stickers)
Overall stage honors go to a flying youngster, Kyan Olshove. He’s becoming a serious contender for yellow after just two stages, and the youth and inexperience that dampened expectations have only made him more dangerous. There has been some discussion about his trainer settings, with his average power over 30 minutes bordering on professional level. Still, those who know him understand even if off by a few watts, these performances are certainly in the realm of what’s possible for this rider in coming years. If anything, it makes the GC picture quite spicy indeed.
Behind on the stage were Braiden Voss and Al McWilliams on the podium. It was McWilliams with a work-stopping time earlier in the week which was expected to hold up for the win, but even in third, it’s a strong showing that makes his inevitable romp up Mount Ventoux even more irresistible. Behind, Drew Martin confirmed himself one of the dark horses of the Tour in fourth, leading home teammates Mike Anderson and John Burmeister of Ineos. The squad have a sort of Froome-Thomas-Bernal vibe to them and should be a serious threat on Stage Three and a heavy favorite for the all-important team time trial.
Andy Weir continued his strong Tour for Trek-Segafredo in 7th ahead of yet another Ineos rider, Brad Pauly, while Trek slotted Ted Schneider and Wes Sovis in 9th and 11th, respectively. Both of those riders were on the failed first odyssey on the time trial course, and both found the courage (or self-loathing) to give it another go; it paid off to give the team top points for stage two…albeit it by a single, lonesome point.
On GC, Olshove leads by over thirty seconds with Voss and McWilliams on his heels, but nearly every rider throughout the standings has a rather crowded rear-view mirror. Time gaps are minuscule, with the top ten tightly packed within two and a half minutes and other riders separated by a dozen or so seconds throughout the general classification. The battle to sneak into the top ten could be extremely exciting, with no fewer than five riders separated by a minute and a half starting at seventh place. Between tenth and twentieth, seven riders are separated by a minute, including half the Trek-Segafredo team.
Today’s stage on the London Pretzel offers an even tougher, more decisive pair of climbs than Stage One. Fox Hill and Box Hill come tightly packed liked an order of fish and chips, and definitively in the finale of affairs. Each will count for KOM points, a competition currently led by Braiden Voss with 60 points, tailed by McWilliams with 57. There are also two Sprint points, with Ryan Zamzow-Masters in the driver’s seat. With some strong riders down on GC and shifting their attention to the climbs and sprints today, those will be interesting races to watch.
Stage Three starts at 845am for 56km in London.
Check out the latest standings here.