Winter Is Coming 3: Stage 1-2 Recap

Winter is here and WIC is on the virtual road. It’s the third season of fake virtual bike racing with the DIRTy Mitten Racing League. Winter is Coming marks the first of three pretty-okay-but-Grand-is-a-stretch Tours on Zwift.

Stage 1 Recap

Things start off spicy with a opening stage on Watopia. Race director Brad Hochstetler dug deep into his route book and pulled out the 2022 Medio Fondo loop, chopping the route at 30 miles. That meant riders would do the Reverse KOM climb to the Jungle turn-off and that made for the first real split of the Tour.

Over the top of the climb, a small group of six eventually found itself growing back to over 20 riders. It was largely a waiting game, though Green Machine sent a flurry of riders off the front throughout the day, including a bold move from Collin Snyder on the Titans Grove Reverse Climb. The KOM points at the top meant it was full gas and while Snyder was gobbled up, more attacks went off the front.

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On the line, Team Gray put in a demonstrative 1-2 with Al McWiliams and Dan Yankus finished 1 second clear of the rest of the top ten, buoyed by teammate Ted Schneider in 8th. It was a strong start to the series, but the strongest team is looking like Orange.

The top 16 was separated by just 6 seconds, with Team Orange the overwhelmingly well-represented. Even without team captain Wes Sovis, Orange put two riders, Chris Ostberg and Josh Concannon, into 3rd and 4th, then a block of 4 riders between positions 13 and 17. Combined with their sprint and KOM tallies, Orange dominated the points total for the day, tallying 812 compared to Green’s 657.

Stage 2 Recap

It was TT week, which meant a non-stop flurry of messaging on Discord as riders from every team put times on the board. Ostberg’s 20:13 set an early standard, but the mark would eventually fall to a flying Jeb Stone. Gray’s McWilliams and Yankus slid under the 20 minute milestone, but it wasn’t enough to dethrone Stone. It wasn’t until Jon Roobal’s effort that the top ten took shape, with Roobal putting down a 19:44 and taking the yellow jersey.

The course, 2019 Yorkshire, was a rolling route and there was some speculation it would be too much for some of the bigger riders currently in the GC hunt. It was far from an issue for Ostberg or Josh Concannon, both of whom were comfortably in the top ten on the stage for Team Orange.

Team Green left the second stage wondering went wrong. Despite Stone’s second place and killer rides from Jeremy Karel (8th), Cody Sovis (10th) and Collin Snyder (11th), they didn’t pocket enough points on the Sprint or KOM and finished third on a stage they might have considered a lock even a few days ago.

Instead, Team Blue’s Roobal and Nate Williams-powered points tallies, as well as strong rides from Carl Copenhaver, Ryan Maguire and Jason Johnson, Blue has hopped in to second place behind Team Orange after 2 stages.

Check out Roobal’s stage-winning TT effort.

Team Grey sits in last after two, but that may make them even more dangerous on GC. The 1-2 punch of McWilliams and Yankus means other squads will have to pay close attention to every move. They also have Spencer Mendel for sprint points and who could throw a wrench in the plans of other squads desperate to make up points wherever they can.

Team Orange looks like a veritable Jumbo Visma, with Ostberg nabbing sprint points by the dozen and buoyed by Ben Shields and Lucas van Drunen not far behind on GC. Orange will be buoyed by the return of Wes Sovis on Stage Three, who should be in a position to help Jesse Noble and Brad Pauly on the flats or give Doug Millson a wheel.

GC Top Ten After Two Stages

Jon Roobol (Mitten)1:31:51
Jeb Stone [Green Machine]DIRT1:31:53
Al McWilliams3TQM1:31:59
Daniel Yankus (AM) (AF) (Mitten)Absque Fines pb Wolfe1:32:01
Josh Concannonkolo t.c.1:32:05
Chris Ostberg 🐴 [Mitten]DIRT1:32:18
Kevin Tarraskolo t.c.1:32:18
Jeremy Karel (Dirty Mitten)1:32:28

Check out all the points standings and race info at DirtyMittenRacing.com or bookmark the WIC3 page for the latest results.

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