This week we were back on the Original Time Trial course for Stage 8 for a chance to benchmark how fitness has been coming along against the same course in Stage 3.  Of the 79 riders who competed in both stages 3 and 8, over 70% of them went faster this time and gained an extra 3 points for the GC in the process – nice work guys!  There is a second chance for bonus points in the last stage of the series  where we return to this course one last time.  The Original Time Trial course is tough.  This course is all about sustained power output and suffering for 22.53km. The course consists of a series of moderate grades, with only a few places to find a little bit of recovery.  

Earning back the stage win after a few weeks was Alexandre Gagnon from Peak Ottawa. On his second attempt after a mechanical, Alexandre was the only rider to go faster than 37minutes and sealed the Stage 8 victory with a superb time of 36:49.8. Coming in second and third were SBR Coaching Wisconsin teammates Kory Seder and Curtis Bice. The race between friends was fierce as Kory only managed to edge Curtis out by 3.3 seconds!  Kory took second in a time of 37:07.9, whilst Curtis stamped a huge ‘welcome to the series’ ride with a finish time of 37:11.2. Dwayne Kress from Challenge by Choice Squamish was a further four seconds behind, showing the competitiveness at the top of Men’s A. This weeks results has not changed the shape of the GC podium, as it is still Peak Ottawa’s Alexandre Gagnon that reigns supreme, followed by Tri-Fitness Minnesota rider Sam Janicki, and Challenge by Choice Squamish rider Dwayne Kress.

A big well done is sent out to all the riders in Women’s A. Every one of them that raced in stage 3 went faster this week, so well done to all. Coming in third place in and taking her first podium finish of the series was Summer Ohlendorf from SBR Coaching Wisconsin. Summer has been on the brink of the podium for a while now, but she must have strapped her shoes tight this week  and managed to race to a finish time of 41:17.6. Second on the podium was Kelly Knowles from Peak Ottawa, finishing 19 seconds ahead of Summer in 40:58.6.   The win this week went to Peak Vancouver’s Alison Wood who rode strong to a time of 39:38.4 (averaging 280W!!!) and breaking the previous women’s course record here in Vancouver.  Like the Men’s podium, Women’s A maintains it’s look with Alison staying on top, Kelly keeping second, and Peak Ottawa’s Carol Deavy lying in third.

The winner of Men’s B only seems to come out to play when the Time Trial course is involved!  Kurt Becker from SBR Coaching Wisconsin took the stage win in fairly convincing fashion as he was the only Men’s B rider to go sub-40minutes, and was a whole minute ahead of the competition with his finish time of 39:26.9. The next two podium places were brought back to Vancouver, as Peak Centre riders Chuck Fortier and Alex Willis took the second and third spots respectively. Chuck finished 16 seconds ahead of Alex with a finish time of 40:26.5, and this marked a second podium out of three races for the powerhouse!  Alex continued his great form and finished in a respectable 40:42.3, and boosted himself to joint second in the GC standings – level on points with Peak Ottawa’s Shawn McCleery! John Forsyth from Peak Vancouver still tops the charts, but it really is all up for grabs as only two points separate these three guys!

Continuing her great recent form since joining the winter season was Wendy Blagdon from Peak Ottawa, bettering her second place last week to take the Stage 8 win!  Wendy showed her strengths as her 43:26.6 finish time was over a minute faster than her fellow Women’s B contingent. Coming in second place and making it three podiums in a row was Candace Anderson from Peak Ottawa, who again is showing some excellent form recently. Candace claimed her highest points finish of the season with a finish time of 44:52.8. Ensuring Peak Ottawa did not sweep the entire Women’s B podium was SBR Coaching Wisconsin rider Jen Schweigart. It appears Jen has been putting in some secret training since her first race (stage 1), and it’s paid off as she took 15 points into the GC with a finish time of 45:11.1. The only change to the GC podium is that Jessica Yurchich from SBR Coaching Wisconsin leaps above Peak Vancouver’s Grace Menning to secure third place, while Melanie Shields from Peak Burlington occupies second place, and Emily Flynn from Peak Ottawa is sitting in the number one position.

Here is the link with the full results of the stage and updated GC results:

Two riders deserve a special shout out this week for improving the OTT time by a seriously huge margin! Big congrats to Sue Weiskopf-Larson from Tri-Fitness Minnesota who improved over her Stage 3 time by six and a half minutes, and Bruce Thoms from SBR Coaching Wisconsin who improved by almost four and a half minutes – gigantic gains guys!

Next week it’s back to a Rolling course, and as we’re at the tail end of the series expect a couple of steep grades. The course is really anyone’s game, and to add to the fun next week marks round two of the Sprint Competition – Let’s see some big maximum watts per kilo guys!

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