The courses certainly aren’t getting easier as we race towards the season finale’s Original Time Trial Course. Stage 10 offered riders a chance to hit some high speeds with the predominantly downhill course, however there were some serious climbs to negotiate between the sections of downhill gradient, making for some jelly legs and great racing! The advantage should have shifted slightly toward the high power riders, but the steep grades kept the climbers in the game. This week marked the first stage where riders who have raced all 10 stages start to drop their worst result. This is highlighted in red in the GC standings. The series points are decided on rider’s best 9 of 12, so in the next couple of weeks this will start to play a role in the standings.
Onto the results, and it appears that Tri-Fitness Minnesota’s Sam Janicki is prepared to battle to the very end to take that number one spot! Sam clocked the fastest time for Stage 10 and was the only rider to go faster than 35 minutes. His finish time of 34:30.5 was not only 30s faster than his nearest contender, but secured a second consecutive stage win and his fifth overall, overtaking Peak Ottawa’s Alexandre Gagnon for total number of stage wins! The two riders in second and third were alone in the 35 minute range, and it was Alexandre who came in second place, as he keeps a firm grasp on the overall lead. Alexandre finished in 35:07.9 and was pushed by third place rider Kory Seder from SBR Coaching Wisconsin who rode to a time of 35:31.5. With the GC points drop having its first action, Dwayne Kress from Challenge by Choice Squamish jumps above Glen Budgell from Peak Ottawa in the GC standings to take third, whilst Sam Janicki’s stage win helps him to close the gap between himself and Alexandre to only nine points.
Peak Vancouver’s Alison Wood took advantage of Peak Ottawa’s Kelly Knowles absence to extend her points lead in what has been an exceptional battle for top woman! Alison capitalized on the opportunity by taking the win in fine fashion, as she was the only female to go sub 40 minutes, clocking a winning time of 39:04.9. In second place this week, finishing in 40:41.8 was Summer Ohlendorf from SBR Coaching Wisconsin. Summer has now earned herself three consecutive podium finishes with her recent form, with Stage 10 being her highest finish of the series – congrats Summer! Just over half a minute behind was your third place finisher Rua Reid from Challenge by Choice Squamish. Rua found her way back to the podium after a couple of week’s absence with an impressive 41:16.2 finish time. The points drop prevents women’s GC leader Alison from gaining too many points over second placed rider Kelly Knowles, but does extend her lead to eight. Maintaining third place is Carol Deavy from Peak Ottawa, but finds herself under some pressure from Rua Reid and Summer Ohlendorf; and with these ladies racing well the next two stages could change everything!
In Men’s B, it was Bill Martin from SBR Coaching Wisconsin who took the all important stage win. Bill returned to the top claiming his first win since Stage 6 with a Men’s A worthy finish time of 37:02.2. Expect Bill to be mixing it up in Men’s A next season along with the other top dogs in this category. Taking second place, and blasting onto the series with an excellent debut ride Peak Montreal rider Frederic Matheiu. I’m not quite sure where Frederic has been hiding but it is great to see yet another top rider mixing it up with the rest of Men’s B. Frederic represented Peak Montreal well with a finish time of 37:51.3. Rounding off the Men’s B podium was your current GC leader John Forsyth from Peak Vancouver who finished only a few seconds behind Frederic with a finish time of 37:55.9! John has the scent of GC victory but there are still two stages where he needs to put in solid rides, as there is still only six points that separate himself from second placed Alex Willis also from Peak Vancouver. The bronze is an even closer contest; Shawn McCleery from Peak Ottawa currently occupies the space, but Bill Martin is only one point behind – this is going to be down to the wire!
Women’s B showed us what great racing this series can produce, as the time difference between second and third place was only 1.4 seconds! Just missing out on stage silver was Peak Montreal rider Peggy Labonte who finished in a time of 43:35.4, showing us that Montreal has some serious cycling talent! Only just getting the better of Peggy was Peak Burlington rider Melanie Shields who finished in 43:34.0. This result was just what Melanie needed after a few weeks off the podium. Taking the stage win was Michelle Newton from Peak Vancouver. Michelle earned herself promotion to the A category for next season with a stellar time of 41:21.0, and took 20 points into the GC standings for the third time this year! In the GC standings it is Jessica Yurchich from SBR Coaching Wisconsin who maintains third place with an eight point cushion and it is the same margin that separates Peak Burlington’s Melanie Shields in second from first place rider Peak Ottawa’s Emily Flynn!
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
Next week it is all about climbing as we head toward the second Uphill Mountain course of the series. Expect little recovery, some steep grades, and of course lots of fun!