The penultimate week of the Peak Centre Winter Racing Series took to the mountains for the 22.10km ‘Hilly’ course. This was the finial stage for King of the Mountain points and one of the last opportunities for a big performance to gain points in the General Classification standings. The course consisted of an initial big climb, a bit of a run out for some recovery and two smaller climbs taking riders to the finish line. With gradients reaching greater than 7%, this was a stage for the climbers.
The hot time this week was anything below 40mins. Four riders managed this and the gap between first and fourth was only 22 seconds! On top of the podium this week was the King of the Mountain specialist, Mr. Alex Gagnon from Ottawa. Alex once again showed his dominance on the climbing stages, finishing in the fastest time of the week, a 39:08.3. Vancouver’s Dale Ewanchook found himself only 4 seconds off the win this week, finishing in 39:12.5 and taking the second spot. Rounding off the podium was Roger Lee from Vancouver, who just won’t leave the podium! Roger once more put in a solid performance and only trailed Dale by a mere 6 seconds. Such close riding! The overall standings for Men’s A remains unchanged, with Roger still occupying the top spot, 13 points ahead of Dale, who is 33 points ahead of Vancouver’s Andy Handford.
The women’s podium was an exact mirror of last week’s race. Vancouver’s Alison Wood was once more the rider leading the way, taking the stage win and a full 20 points to the overall standings. Alison’s time of 42:57.6 was over 30 seconds ahead of second place rider Kelly Knowles from Ottawa who clocked a time of 43:29.5. Another half minute behind Kelly was fellow Ottawa rider Wendy Blagdon who rounded off the top three with a great time of 43:59.5. Alison seems to have the overall title sealed going into the next week’s Time Trial stage, with the rest of the podium looking equally safe. Melanie Shields from Burlington still occupies the silver position, and Kelly Knowles of Ottawa, the bronze.
Some of the Men’s B riders showed that they can hang with the big guns this week. In my favorite race of the week, two hot shots in Men’s B, Alex Willis and Ted Russo faced up against well established Men’s A rider Jay Menning. The race was incredible with the lead changing between these guys regularly. In the final phase of the race Jay and Alex pulled away a little from Ted and began their own epic battle. I have never seen the lead change so much in the last 500m of a race, but eventually Alex beat Jay by two hundredths of a second! This big ride from the Peak intern gave him the Men’s B win, and Ted the second spot. They finished in 40:45.9 and 40:55.6 respectively. Vancouver’s Brendan Naef impressed and finished less than two seconds behind Ted to take the final podium spot, finishing in 40:57.4.
As usual, the results link has everything you need to know! https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AhXrz7isgo7NdDlwUkRiT1ZwNzNZVUVadFRsWFk4Vmc
The KOM titles have now been decided after this week’s stage. For this week, the woman with the highest average watts/kg was Kelly Knowles from Ottawa (3.83 W/kg), followed by Wendy Blagdon from Ottawa (3.47 W/kg) and Melanie Shields from Burlington (3.46 W/kg). The third place was enough to crown Melanie the KOM champion with a total of 66 points, while Alison Wood from Vancouver took the silver with 47 points, and Kelly Knowles from Ottawa took the bronze with 40 points! In the men’s contest, this week was owned by Ottawa’s climbing god Alex Gagnon who powered a huge average of 4.36 W/kg. Second and third place was settled in Vancouver with Andy Handford averaging 4.09 W/kg and Dale Ewanchook 4.03 W/kg. Alex Gagnon thus locks in the KOM championship win with a total of 77 points, with a comfortable 18 point margin in front of Dale Ewanchook who takes second place with 59 points. Third place goes to Vancouver’s Andy Handford who’s second place finish this week helped him nudge out Roger Lee by just 1 point!
Just to clear up any potential questions; in the GC standings, the blue results indicate that score has been dropped from the point total, as it is only the best nine results that count to the total.
Next week is the final stage of the series, and we head back to the legendary ‘Original Time Trial’ course. Not only is this the last chance for points, but bonus points are also available for a PB, so give it everything you have people!
Up Coming Events:
January 2012: New in 2012 the Winter Racing Series is going international! We will be welcoming 5 other multi-rider centres from all over North America to race with us making the series the only international time trial series of it’s kind. It is going to be awesome! Welcome to:
Revolutionary Velo-Watts – Clifton Park, NY
Infinity MultiSport – Chicago, IL
SBR Coaching – Verona, WI
VR Cycling Centre – Magnolia TX
Challenge By Choice – Squamish, BC