DIRTy Mitten Racing League is paying homage to the dirtiest, dopest period in the history of cycling to wrap up the 2023 DMRL season. The four-week, six-stage tour wraps up winter with an EPO-fueled run of races through the first weekend of March.
To get in the spirit, the three squads adopted the monikers of some of the craziest DOPESTRONG teams of the 90s:
- Mercatone Uno
That’s right. Heavy doping.
Dope AF Tour Stage 1
Things kicked off with 6 laps of London Classique, a pan-flat, a sprint-heavy circuit with a twist: forced bikes. Picking up where the Need For Speed Tour left off, forced bikes level the playing field a bit, putting As on mountain bikes, Bs on gravel bikes and Cs on road bikes.
And just like at NFT, it worked.
The Bs and Cs Have Their Day
The bike advantage was even more pronounced in London, with speeds over 23 miles per hour pert near the whole darn time. That meant strong Bs like Wes Sovis, Sam Wittbrodt, Chris Lamont and Nate Benke cracked the top ten on the day and hauled in plenty of points along the way.
In fact, Blake MacGregor, a C pushing 3.4 wkg for the day, took the win and a handy haul of 191 points. It was enough to break up what was otherwise a Mapei party, with Marc Walters (A) and Wes Sovis (B) filled out the overall podium.
Mercotone’s Al McWilliams and Erik Godzilla rounded out the top 5, giving the shorthanded squad matching 187 points tallies.
Telekom slipped 3 riders in to the top 10 overall as well, scoring the bulk of their points thanks to Wittbrodt, Lamont, and Wes Stocker. Lamont took the most points of the day, 231, with Mapei’s Yankus (206) and Mike Reeves (203) the only other riders to break the 200 points barrier.
A Very General Classification
19 riders sit within 10 seconds of MacGregor’s yellow jersey, including favorites McWilliams and Mapei’s 1-2 of Yankus and Walters. Telekom will likely ride without a GC focus after their two As, Chris Ostberg and Collin Snyder, rode home nearly 5 minutes down. Hey, everyone gets a bad bag every once in a while.
Full race results on Zwiftpower.
PROVISIONAL TEAM STANDINGS
- Mapei: 1334
- Telekom: 1274
- Mercatone Uno: 1140
Stage 2 is a 42km custom course on Island Hopper, which will include 3 trips up the dirt climb on top of a series of sprints. It’s hilly, if you’re generous, at just over 400’ of elevation gain per lap, but tactics and repeated cranium-smashing into that climb will definitely take a toll.
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