Stage four of the Winter Racing Series took us to the first ‘Net Downhill’ course. Although the finish was indeed lower than the start and there were long portions of downhill gradient, this stage was a tough one to keep up the high watts, bringing out the best in riders’ physical and mental ability. To cap off this stage, it was round two of the sprint points, where riders show us who has the most power with points awarded for the highest power to weight sprint (Watts/Kg).
The overall winner of the week was Tri Fitness Minnesota’s finest, and Stage 1 winner, Sam Janicki. After two stages without a win, Sam came back strong this week, laying down some huge watts and achieving the only sub-39 minute time with a zippy 38:35.2. Sam’s time was almost 40 seconds faster than SBR Coaching Wisconsin’s big gun, Kory Seder who was the second fastest rider this week. Kory used his tree trunk legs to secure the silver finishing in 39:13.4. Rounding off the podium, making it four in a row, was Peak Centre Ottawa’s superstar Alexandre Gagnon. Alexandre showed he has more than just climbing strings to his bow, taking 15 points to the overall standings after finishing in 39:16.2, a mere three seconds behind Kory. Alexandre remains the leader of the overall standings, whilst Sam’s stage win takes him back above Roger Lee from Peak Vancouver who occupy the second and third spots.
The Women’s podium was a mix of familiar and new faces this week. Usual suspect Kelly Knowles from Peak Ottawa placed third this week, maintaining her 100% podium record for the season. Kelly once again showed her strengths with a finish time of 44:02.4. After coming in fifth last week, Challenge by Choice Squamish rider Rua Reid stamped her mark on the competition with a second place finish this week, coming in 13 seconds in front of Kelly, finishing in 43:49.3. Taking the illusive Women’s A win this week was Peak Vancouver’s superstar lady, Alison Wood, securing her second consecutive win. Alison went over a minute faster than her competition, finishing in a time of 42:34.8. This win for Alison gives her the lead in the overall standings by two points over Kelly Knowles, while Carol Deavy from Peak Ottawa still hangs on to the third spot.
The top dog in Men’s B this week was Shawn McCleery from Peak Ottawa for the third time this season. The only time Shawn has not won a stage was when he didn’t race, so come on Men’s B lets step it up! Shawn finished in a respectable time of 41:28.7 which was only five seconds quicker than his Ottawa teammate Mark Parsons who finished in 41:33.2. Rounding off the Men’s B podium and maintaining the tight racing was Ben Eksteen from Challenge by Choice Squamish. Ben came in another four seconds back from Mark, finishing in 41:37.6. The overall podium for Men’s B could not be much tighter as the top three are all separated by four points. Shawn’s win puts him at the top, but Peak Vancouver’s Alex Willis is hot on his tail only one point behind, followed by Peak Vancouver’s John Forsyth a futher three behind!
In the second week of Women’s B racing, we have a completely different look to the podium. Coming in third place for stage four was Tri Fitness Minnesota rider Jane Deppert, who had the ride of her life this week to finish in a time of 47:03.8. Just over 20 seconds ahead was Renee Brickner from Challenge by Choice Squamish. Renee finished in a time of 46:41.5 which was only 16 seconds off of the top spot, which went to Emily Flynn from Peak Ottawa this week. Emily did Ottawa proud with a time of 46:25.8 and took the full 20 points into the overall standings. This result actually boosts Emily to second place in the GC standings, but it is still Melanie Shields from Peak Burlington who keeps the top spot by a margin of three points. Occupying the final place on the Women’s B overall podium is Jessica Yurchich from SBR Coaching Wisconsin.
Stage four also provided riders with their second chance at sprint points for this seasons racing. The lady with the most power this week was Summer Ohlendorf from SBR Coaching Wisconsin with a huge 7.99 Watts/Kg sprint. Second place was Carol Deavy from Peak Ottawa who managed to max out at 7.70 Watts/Kg, and Carena Dean from Challenge by Choice Squamish came in third with a max sprint of 7.46 Watts/Kg. The men’s contest was as close as can be, as we had two Peak Centre riders sharing the exact same power legs this week. Alex Willis from Vancouver and Alexandre Gagnon from Ottawa both hit a gigantic 12.53 Watts/Kg sprint and took 20 points a piece into the overall standings. Taking the third spot was Warren Sheridan from Peak Burlington who maxed out at 11.70 Watts/Kg, another impressive sprint!
Here is the link with the full results of the stage
Next week we race a challenging set of plateaus that have to be earned. The first Plateaus and Climbs course of the Winter season will challenge riders to sustain power. It’s anyone’s game so we could be in store for some new faces at the top!