Greetings Indoor Racers and welcome to the penultimate stage of the fall season! Despite stage 10 being a gruelling plateaus and climbs course, stage 11 provided no respite as the plateaus were removed in favour of more climbs! Like last week, some big players were missing again due to a plague sweeping through the peloton. This gave others a chance to claim some glory and climb up the GC standings and with mountain points in offer, let`s see who the movers and shakers were in this week`s stage.
It seems that the mysterious plague struck hardest in Squamish as the top two overall of the men`s Cat A, Dwayne Kress and Martin Caron (Challenge by Choice) were absent from the start line. It was Peak Centre Ottawa`s Connor Byway and Alex Gagnon who capitalised, taking the top two positions in 36:08.2 and 37:27.2 respectively. Another stage victory for the youngster Byway took him above Felix Young to third in the GC standings, after the University of Bath rider was another who was not able to compete this week. It will take a huge performance in the Original Time Trial for Young to claim the place back, but with 10 points separating them, it is still possible! The final place on the podium was taken by the only University of Bath rider, Jake Hollins, in an impressive time of 37:42.3. There were also strong performances from debutant Ted Russo (Peak Centre, Vancouver) who clocked 39:26.2 and Jon Harris (Peak Centre Vancouver) who finished just behind in a time of 39:48.3.
Meanwhile, in the Women’s Cat A, Grace Menning`s (Peak Centre Vancouver) amazing run ended as she finished in 46:40.2, despite not feeling 100%. This was not enough for the podium as Sheena Harris (Challenge by Choice) took the stage win in 44:46.7 with Leadout Coaching`s Sarah Greenwood claiming second in 45:37. As a result, it is safe to say that Greenwood will be crowned the fall champion as she takes a 27 point lead into the time trial, but the stage is set nicely for these two to battle it out again in the winter season! The final place on the podium went to Summer Ohlendorf (SBR Coaching), who crossed the line in 45:38.5. Further down the field there was some great racing as positions eight to twelve finished in little over a minute of each other. This group included Sheena Cholewka and Renee Brikner (Leadout Coaching, Squamish) who are separated by a single point in the overall standing, showing there is still a lot to fight for!
Finally, it was a routine race in the Men`s Cat B as Jeff Desroch (Challenge by Choice) took first in 39:52.6, ahead of Grant Willburn (Challenge by Choice) and Joe Haimowitz (Peak Centre, Ottawa) who crossed the line in 40:04.0 and 40:41.9 respectively. This allowed Willburn and Desroche, the top two overall, to cement their positions further and 9 points for Bobby Howell (Challenge by Choice, Squamish), after a time of 42:24.0, means it will be a Challenge by Choice hattrick in the GC categories! Hopefully rival centres have a strategy to break this dominance in the winter season!
As this was the final KoM stage of the season, the Polka dot jersey was up for grabs as the climbers were awarded points for their average watts/kg. Despite not racing, Dwayne Kress (Challenge by Choice, Squamish) added another medal to the cabinet after previous performances were enough to claim the title. Similarly, Sarah Greenwood (Leadout Coaching, Squamish) is likely to finish with two jerseys to her name, after taking 17 points with an average Watts/kg of 6.97. Jeff Desroches (Challenge by Choice, Squamish) is the Men`s Cat B KoM after an average watts/kg of 3.56 was enough for 15 points and the jersey!
There you have it, stage 11 was another tough one but you guys made it look easy! There is just one more to go as the Original Time Trial returns for the final stage of this season. The titles look all sewn up but there is still a lot of pride to race for so let`s see who is still motivated and is already on holiday! Thanks for racing, until next time….
For the full set of results please click here.