Stage 9 – Menning on top again, but is it too little too late?

Hello riders and welcome to another round up of the ups and downs of the Peak Indoor Racing Series. Stage 9 saw the return of a Net Downhill stage, with net being the crucial word as Felix kept up his reputation as the toughest course builder! So let’s begin this week’s summary, starting with the Men’s Cat A.

Last week the battle between Peak Centre Ottawa’s Connor Byway and Dwayne Kress (Challenge by Choice, Squamish) heated up further as Byway stunned the field to win comfortably. However, the seasoned pro reminded the young pretender why he is reigning champion and over 50 points ahead in the GC standings with a dominant performance, crossing the line in 37:16.5. This was 15 seconds ahead of Byway who clocked 37:31.4, however with the downhill course favouring the more powerful Kress, this makes Byway’s performance all the more impressive.  Just 3 seconds behind Byway, Sean Anderson (SBR Coaching, Verona) took third, claiming his second podium finish of the season. Felix Young (University of Bath) managed to hang on to third in the GC standings for another week after a time of 38:07.9. This was enough for a top 6 finish among a group of 8 riders separated by 47 seconds. This also included Martin Carron (Challenge by Choice, Squamish) who appeared to have an uncharacteristic off-day, finishing in 38:40.5. However when you are 21 points clear in second overall, you can afford to occasionally take it easy!

Meanwhile in the Women’s Cat A, Grace Menning (Peak Centre, Vancouver) continued her ascent to the top of the GC standings by claiming maximum points again in a time of 43:33.9. This takes her within 23 points of Sarah Greenwood (Leadout Coaching, Squamish), who took third in a time of 44:23.7. However, with only 3 stages left Greenwood remains the favourite to claim the title! Second place went to Sheena Harris (Challenge by Choice, Squamish) in a time of 44:42.7.  Fellow Challenge by Choice rider Jenni Chancey consolidated her position in the top 3 overall, taking 12 points after a time of 44:56.3.

Finally, in the Men’s Cat B there was a Challenge by Choice hat-trick with the only sub-40 minute times. Grant Willburn comfortably took the stage win in a time of 39:12.3. After taking the top spot overall last week, Willburn stretched his lead to 14 points and with three victories in the past 3 stages, he looks set for the title if he can maintain this form.  There was a tight sprint to the line for second as Jeff Desroches just held off Callum Davidson, finishing in 39:38.6 and 39:39.6 respectively. This marks a return to form for Desroches, after only claiming 5 points in stage 8 and means he still has an outside chance of becoming champion. Further down the field this category continued its unpredictable nature with 8 riders finishing within 40 seconds of each other. This group included, third place overall, Bobby Howell (Challenge by Choice, Squamish) claiming just 5 points. However with a 27 point lead over Rob Phoenix (Leadout Coaching, Squamish) his overall podium finish still looks safe!

There is your round up for this week’s stage of the Peak Indoor Racing Series! You will all be pleased to know that the next stage is another Climbs and Plateaus course, so until then good luck and thanks for racing!

For the full results please click here.

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