Stage 7 marked the start of the back-end race for GC points and the end of year bragging rights. This week riders headed out of the mountains onto a rolling course for this week’s stage. Spanning 22.5km, the course was full of variation with moderate to steep climbs, combined with periods of relatively flat grades, topped off with some nice downhill speed-generating descents. This course favoured the all-round riders that can climb well and generate some big power on the flats and lower grade climbs.
Indeed it was the ‘big power’ riders who led the way, as the top three all averaged well over 340 watts – huge! Riding himself to a third place spot, and making a comeback to the podium in a very competitive field was SBR Coaching Wisconsin’s Kory Seder with a 35:24.5 averaging a massive 364W for the entire stage. The battle for the stage win was down to the wire. Both riders went sub-35mins and were only separated by 3.7 seconds. Finishing in a time of 34:44.9 and ending up second best was the Tri-Fitness Minnesota machine Sam Janicki. This marks Sam’s fourth consecutive podium so congratulations to you Sam. Edging Sam off the top was last weeks stage winner Dwayne Kress from Challenge By Choice Squamish. Dwayne’s time of 34:41.2 allowed him to take another 20 points into the GC standings, which boosts him to third overall. Alexandre Gagnon from the Peak Centre Ottawa remains at the top, but Sam is breathing down his neck after closing the gap to only seven points.
After weeks of back and forth wins for Peak Ottawa’s Kelly Knowles and Peak Vancouver’s Alison Wood, it was actually a surprise to see Alison take consecutive stage wins! The Vancouver superstar lady had a fantastic race which resulted in her finish time of 38:31.7 being over a minute faster than the rest of the competition. Kelly maintained the close points race between the two as she came in second place, after racing to a finish time of 39:49.8. Pushing Kelly all the way, and maintaining podium form was Challenge by Choice Squamish rider Rua Reid. Rua came within two seconds of Kelly’s time as she finished in 39:51.1.
Men’s B is potentially the category that undergoes the most change week by week – we can never guess who’s going to come out on top. Taking round 7 in championship fashion was Peak Vancouver’s British import Alex Willis, who had his best average watts of the season while coming off the back of a ‘rest week’ and powered through the rolling course in a time of 37:51.7. Close behind was Connor Byway from Peak Ottawa who raced to his first podium of the season finishing in 38:05.6. Connor has showed some real improvement in the last couple of weeks, which could see him battling for a GC podium spot come stage 12. Third place went to another rider earning their first podium ride of the season, Chad Olson from SBR Coaching Wisconsin. Chad’s finish time of 38:19.9 was enough for a spot on the podium and 15 points into the GC standings. With the top two guys in Men’s B not making the podium this week, it gave a chance for others to catch up. Alex Willis sure capitalized on this jumping back into the bronze spot, a mere nine points away from gold. Shawn McCleery from Peak Ottawa drops to second place, whilst Peak Vancouver’s John Forsyth is your current leader, with a 3 point lead over Shawn.
Michelle Newton from Peak Vancouver races sparingly throughout the season, but when she does she poses a real threat to the rest of the Women’s B field. She did just that in stage 7 as she went over 40 seconds faster than any other rider in this category! Michelle’s finish time was on the cusp of the Women’s A finest, as she rode to a time of 41:34.7. Coming in second place in her second appearance of the season was Peak Ottawa’s Wendy Blagdon with a finish time of 42:18.0. If these two ladies race this fast for the remaining five stages, we could see some disruption at the top of the GC! Rounding out the podium, Candace Anderson from Peak Ottawa once again came in third place, with a time of 43:16.0. The top riders in the GC remain unchanged, with Emily Flynn from Peak Ottawa sitting pretty in first, and Melanie Shields from Peak Burlington lying in second. Third place is as close as can be, with Jessica Ulrich from SBR Coaching Wisconsin sharing the podium with Peak Vancouver’s Grace Menning!
Here is the link with the full results of the stage and updated GC results: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AhXrz7isgo7NdDg2LWZrNS01dmlwMTZocE9vR3MxQXc&hl=en_US#gid=1
So there we have it for another week. Next we head back to the Original Time Trial Course in which riders will be batting not only each other, but themselves as there are bonus GC points available for personal best times for the season!
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All the best, and see you next week!