2019 Speed of Light Tour Competition Finale: Owens Owns Yellow, Erica O'Hearn Makes History
The final stage of the 2019 Speed of Light Competition didn’t have much left to fight for, but the folks who show up week in and week out will battle tooth and nail for the scraps.
With a comfortable lead, Jeff Owens was always in the driver’s seat, and with the top five all rather widely separated, the only real prize left on the day was a shuffle up the Mountains Classification...and the stage win, of course.
Wes Sovis was the early aggressor, leading the group from the fun until Ross Williams, Jeff Owens, and a particularly spritely John O’Hearn bounced to the front. O’Hearn, sat in third place, was looking to prove a point, if not take time, and lurked in the wheels, waiting to make a move. It was O’Hearn, Owens, Cody Sovis, and Garrett Jenema who broke clear from Dan Ellis and a flying Kyan Olshove, with Olshove’s Norte squad mate, Drew Cummins, just meters behind the split as well.
Owen and Sovis did the bulk of the work with a few prods from Jenema, and only a dropped chain saw O’Hean unhitched at the Wall Bypass. Owens has been the big yellow jersey leader since Stage Two, but he put in a sadistic climb up the Boonberg to remind his rivals that he’s the King of the Mountains, too. He takes home that prize ahead of the same final GC podium of Sovis and O’Hearn, and picks up the WorldTour points that go with it.
Earlier, O’Hearn took top points on the Power Section, but Sovis did enough to take yet another Points classification and his third green jersey at the Tour.
At Anita Hill, Owens trounced Jenema and Sovis, and the chasing duo eventually ceded second to a flying O’Hearn. John needed nearly five minutes to move into second place after the Queen Stage and managed to take back an interesting six seconds; that’s the amount he trailed Cody before the Queen Stage, meaning that, aside from Stage Three, they’d be dead even on time.
The two coolest titles have to go to Women’s GC winner Erica O’Hearn, who becomes the first woman to win a Grand Tour in just shy of three years! We want more women out riding SOL, and Erica has found time to toe the line, even when it means dragging the whole brood into the woods! She also more than doubles her current WorldTour tally and may make a run to set a new record for her overall finish by September 12.
Additionally, Tom Jewell gives kolo t.c. its first-ever Best Old Rider win by showing up and having fun! Tom’s consistency gives the squad the green jersey, the white jersey, and the Team Competition at the Tour, the best team-haul of the season.
Next week, it’s the Random Relay. The fastest time of the night will be paired with the slowest, then the second fastest with the second slowest, and so on until we’ve got everyone on a ‘relay team’. Tactics, math, and an intimate knowledge of how fast everyone who shows up is is key! After that, it’s the VST TT, the only time of the year we do a lap of the Vasa Singletrack from Supply Road. The start order will be based on WorldTour standings, then on self-seeding for everyone else. Stick around for beer, food, and NMMBA fun after!