CHALLENGE BY CHOICE CHARGE AHEAD – Stage 3!

This week saw Dwayne Kress win the stage well clear of the rest in 31:58.4! Team mate Martin Caron came in second place, in a time of 33:26.1, just over a minute behind Kress. However with Roger Lee out of the mix it meant that University of Bath (UK) rider Jake Hollins managed to find himself on the podium, in just his second week of racing, to claim 3rd place! The University of Bath were riding strong this week, as Hollins was closely followed by team mate’s James Whateley (34:27.1) and Felix Young (34:30.3). Stage 3 also saw the beginning of the Best Climber classification, with points on offer for the highest average Watts/kg on the stage. Again, Team Bath (UK) put in a great performance in the mountains competition with debutant rider James Whateley finishing in second place with 4.15 Watts/Kg. However, just like he did in the over all stage, it was Kress that claimed maximum points in this classification achieving 4.53 Watts/Kg.

In the Women’s classification it was a different name at the top this week! With Grace Menning unable to compete it was Leadout Coaching rider, Sarah Greenwood who claimed the top spot on the podium, finishing in a time of 38:24.7 and well ahead of her competitors. This fantastic performance also means that Greenwood now leads the GC standings too. For this stage, Jenni Chancey (Challenge by Choice, Squamish), and Maria Hodges (Velocity, Grass Valley), took the remaining spots on the podium, finishing in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Other notable performances in this category came from Carolyn Waldo (Peak Centre, Ottawa), Vivian Lee (Peak Centre, Vancouver) and Sheena Harris (Challenge by Choice, Squamish) – all 3 women finished within 12 seconds of each other, to take positions 9-11 respectively! The mountains competition saw the same 3 leading riders on the podium, however this time Maria Hodges stormed to victory achieving 3.70 Watts/Kg!

In a similar trend to last week, this stage saw Challenge by Choice Squamish pair Jeff Desroches and Grant Wilburn battle it out for first place, and it was Desroches that just beat Wilburn to the line, finishing in 35:30.5 – just 7 seconds ahead of his team mate. However, these riders were well ahead of the rest, as Felix Chan (University of Bath, UK) came in almost a minute and a half after them to claim his first podium finish! Narrowly missing out on a podium spot and 7 seconds behind Chan was Peak Centre Ottawa’s rider Joe Haimowitz (37:05.9). This race has changed everything at the top in the GC standings, as although Desroches beat Wilburn in this stage, it is Wilburn that now leads the General Classification. Chan’s (University of Bath, UK), 3rd place finish has also moved him up to 6th place overall and Joe Haimowitz (Peak Centre, Ottawa) has been pushed down to 3rd. However, as mentioned previously this is a very competitive category so anything could happen as we move into Stage 4! For the mountains competition, it was the Squamish riders that continued to dominate at the top, with Tyler Jordan receiving maximum points, achieving 3.62 Watts/Kg. He was closely followed by fellow team mate Jeff Desroches who finished with average watts per kg of 3.55.

Are Squamish riders actually unstoppable? Next week we’ll see the riders fly downhill so it will be interesting to see how fast their times are and whether they’ll be any changes at the top of each classification….

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