Hello racers and welcome to another stage of the Peak Indoor Racing Series. After another tough course in stage 7’s Climbs and Plateaus, this week’s rather deceptively gentle sounding ‘Rolling’ stage proved another challenging test for riders across the continent. So here is your summary of all the ups and downs, starting with the Men’s Category A.
There was a big shock at the top of the podium as reigning champion and Indoor Racing series legend Dwayne Kress (Challenge by Choice, Squamish) was beaten to the line by this season’s surprise package, Conner Byway (Peak Centre, Ottawa). Tipped as a future champion, 16 year old Byway followed his second place last week to finish well ahead of his nearest competitors in 37:06.0 with Kress over twenty seconds behind, finishing in 37:28.3. Despite a Kress’ superior power output, the featherweight Byway was able utilise this advantage to maintain a greater average watts/kg. However, Challenge by Choice still dominated the podium as Martin Caron claimed third with a strong time of 37:47.0 meaining little has changed at the top of the GC standings with Kress streaks ahead of Caron with Felix Young (University of Bath, UK) still in third. However, if Byway can continue this good form, Young may have a fight on his hands to hold on to that spot on the podium in the coming weeks. Further down the field there was stiff competition as 9th to 21st were separated by just 90 seconds! This group included a tense battle between Ryan Krauss (Natural High Fitness, Otokoks) and Colin Kelly (Peak Centre, Ottawa) who battled right to the line to finish in 40:43.6 and 40:46.4 respectively.
Meanwhile, in the Women’s A Category Grace Menning (Peak Centre, Vancouver) dominated the stage again to take victory in a time of 42:38.0. However, GC leader Sara Greenwood (Leadout Coaching, Squamish) remained in control of the overall standings with a time of 43:31.7 to place her in second. This was ahead of Indoor Racing Series debutant George Schwiening (University of Bath) who took third in an impressive time of 43:39.4. A few minutes behind the podium finishers, a group all with similar watts/kg fought right to the line. This included Challenge by Choice Rider Jenni Chancey and Richelle Frank (Peak Centre, Vancouver) who finished in 45:11.1 and 45:18.8 respectively. This result took Chancey up to third in the overall standings but it looks a too horse race for the title with Menning needing to gain 28 points from the four remaining stages. This one looks set to go right down to the wire folks!
Finally, in the Men’s B Category Grant Willburn (Challenge by Choice, Squamish) clocked to only sub 40 minute time, finishing in 39:38.9. Bobby Howell (Challenge by Choice, Squamish) comfortably took second in a time of 40:03.1while University of Bath’s Chris Molloy just managed to outsprint Calum Davidson (Challenge by Choice, Squamish) to take third. Molloy and Davidson headed a group of 10 riders who all finished within a minute of each other. This group included Jeff Desroche who lost the top position in the overall standings to Willburn and now stands 11 points behind! Does this mark a drop in form for Desroche as we get towards the business end of the series? Or will the Squamish return to form in the next stage?
There is your round up of this week’s stage. Stage 9 sees riders take on a Net Downhill course, giving the power riders a chance to get one over on the climbers. Thanks for racing and good luck next week!