It was a good weekend to burn some turkey. Winter Is Coming 3 rolled into its final phases with races Saturday and Sunday. Any eyes cast to the Queen Stage in New York next Sunday were quickly refocused with the three-event Omnium on Saturday and a dash up the Volcano on Sunday.
Stage 4 – The Omnium
One race, three stages, one day. The Omnium pushed the technical abilities of the races (and Zwift HQ) with back-to-back-to-back stages over the course of an hour.
This was the first time the race put different rider categories on different bikes to level the playing field. As rode MTBs, Bs gravel bikes, and C and D riders road bikes for a 10km bare-knuckle brawl. With points on the laps and on the line, it was essentially the world’s cruelest interval workout and the intense pace immediately caught out some riders.
With no GC time up for grabs all of Saturday, many of those off the back chose to sit up and rest for the next two stages. Dan Yankus, Jeb Stone and Wes Sovis pulled in the most points in the first of three events, with Wes’ Orange team buoyed by Brad Pauly and Chris Ostberg in the top ten as well.
See the full points all from Crit City THUNDERDOME.
Choose Your Adventure
For the second session, team chose to send up to three riders to one of four maps. In a classic example of Prisoner’s Dilemma, team captains put their cards on the table and lived with the fields. It was immediately clear that Orange had the depth to find points across the board, with Ostberg taking the most points and 7 riders scoring 30 points or more.
For Grey, the final race of the day proved pivotal. Rebounding from a rough start in the Crit, the squad saw killer riders from Dan Yankus, Al McWilliams, Matt LeVasseur, Ted Schneider and Spencer Mendel. It was enough to sneak past Blue and pick up 8 valuable team points, with Green finishing last.
Stage 5 – Volcano Flat and Volcano After Party
Also a first, Stage 5 offered up the first split finish. C and D riders would ride 25 miles and finish on the Volcano Flat, with an expected bunch gallop divving up equal points to the A and B race. The A and B race would tackle the first hilltop finish of Winter Is Coming, sprinting up the Volcano Climb after 25 miles.
After a 2km neutral rollout, it was largely a conversational pace for the first lap of the race. Early in the second lap, Grey’s Yankus, Orange’s Lucas van Drunen and Green’s Cody Sovis went up the road and, at one point, found a 15 second lead. Moves from Grey’s Al McWilliams and a few forced efforts from Blue eventually saw the group reeled in, though it did cause a minor exodus of riders from the main pack.
Behind, the C/D riders were in a drag race, with Blue’s Carl Copenhaver solo off the front. Sam Wittbrodt had his best day of the tour, slowly clawing back time on Carl and deftly holding off a charging bunch behind. Crucially, Wittbrodt’s teammate, Joel Smith, won the bunch sprint and nabbed podium points for Grey. For Green, it wasn’t a win, but having all but one of the team’s riders start paid off, with Stocker, Ben Price, Shannon McLouth and Rick Bielewicz scoring valuable points with other squads had 2 or more DNS.
As the C/D race finished in a sprint, the A/B race got elevated. Dan Yankus had gone clear yet again, this time in pursuit of Mercenary Chris Uberti. With too much on the line in GC and team points, Uberti was let loose, and Yankus found plenty of leash as well. He hit the lower slopes f the climb with a 26 second lead over a chasing bunch that was looking to Orange to set the pace.
Orange delivered the peloton to the climb, with Wes Sovis putting in a 4.5 w/kg effort to set up GC hopeful Josh Concannon for the win. Concannon moved clear early with Green’s Jeb Stone, Grey’s Al McWilliams, Merc. Kevin Tarras, and Drew Cummins, and Blue’s Jon Roobal; Concannon never looked in trouble.
Just behind, yellow jersey Jon Roobal did the lion’s share of work to catch back on, pulling along Brad Pauly and Lucas van Drunen from Orange, plus Green’s Cody Sovis. They got close, but not close enough; near the top, Stone and Concannon went clear, catching and passing Yankus and shoveling 2 seconds into the day’s most aggressive rider. Tarras was next across the line, ceding 1 second, with Cummins (+2), McWilliams 6 seconds down on Stone and Concannon. Roobal battled and he’s got to be proud of 8th on the day and only losing 10 seconds on a day he was completely isolated.
Team Points Get Tight
Green, led by the stellar Jeb Stone and their committed C/D squad, take their first stage win of the tour on 275 points. Grey comes home second thanks to Wittbrodt, Mendel and Smith, though their 1-2 of Yankus and McWilliams continues to pile on points. Orange certainly missed their 3 DNS riders, giving the squad third place on the day. They are comfortably ahead in the team competition, however, and they’ll hit the final stage intent on taking the GC win.
Blue fielded just six riders and the math, as you’d expect, didn’t add up. Carl’s 50 point win counted for pride but little else, with the team finishing 63 points behind Orange.
Orange is now 10 points clear of second place, making it mathematically impossible for them to lose. That makes the team even more dangerous, as they’ll be able to turn their many, many guns onto the GC fight. Concannon can expect exceptional support from the likes of Jesse Noble, Ben Shields, Brad Pauly, Lucas van Drunen, Wes Sovis and Chris Ostberg throughout the finale in New York.
Green and Blue are locked at 34 points and their fight for second will come down to the returns of Jeremy Karel for Green and Nate Williams for Blue. Where those two riders finish could decide the final points standings. And neither is completely clear of last; if Grey gets second, they’ll tie the lower finishing team between Green and Blue.
GC Standings with 1 Stage Remaining
|Jeb Stone [Green Machine]DIRT||3:43:39|
|Jon Roobol (Mitten)||3:43:47|
|Josh Concannonkolo t.c.||3:43:51|
|Kevin Tarraskolo t.c.||3:44:44|
|Daniel Yankus (AM) (AF) (Mitten)Absque Fines pb Wolfe||3:44:26|
|ben shields (mitten)||3:45:23|
|Cody Sovis (Mitten)kolo t.c.||3:45:58|
|Drew Cumminskolo t.c.||3:47:07|
|Brad Pauly (orang)||3:46:58|
|Chris Ostberg 🐴 [Mitten]DIRT||3:47:43|
|Lucas Van Drunen (Mitten)||3:48:24|
|Matt LeVasseur (DIRT)DIRT||3:50:55|
|Collin SnyderTeam AM||3:51:27|
|Jim Jackovatz (Mitten)kolo t.c.||3:54:20|
|Eric Langley (Mitten)||2:54:06|
|Ryan Maguire (Mitten)||3:51:58|
|Ted Schneider [Mitten]Velo City||3:51:05|
|brad hochstetler (DIRTy Mitten)DIRT||4:05:54|
|Carl Copenhaver [DIRTy Mitten]DIRT||4:06:03|
|Doug Millson (Mitten)kolo t.c.||4:06:41|
|Spencer Mendel [DirtyMitten]DIRT||3:02:03|
|Ben Pricekolo t.c.||4:07:36|
|Andy Richardsonkolo t.c.||4:08:22|
|Phil Schiller [Mitten Team AM DIRT]||3:02:55|
|Sam Wittbrodt (grey)||4:18:32|
|Wesley Stocker 595434 (Mitten)DIRT||4:27:17|
|Jim Kindle TeamClarkLogic 7727||4:28:40|
|Rick B ~ Green||4:30:07|
|Shannon McLouth TeamZFTeamZF||4:34:45|