A massive change to Speed of Light for 2015!
For the very first time, we will make a change to the official Speed of Light course, beginning with the Stage One of the Giro Competition on May 7. We've been riding the same route for three years, and it's time for a new challenge, new records, and a change of pace to mix up how SOL shakes out.
In 2015, the SOL course will start the exact same way, leaving the split rail fence and heading counter clockwise on the Vasa 25km. The trademark Vasa CC Climb opens affairs as always, serving to string out the group right from the start. There are two more smaller ascents until the course diverges to its new route, a left hand turn onto Madeleine's Trail.
This change came around for a number of reasons. First, it adds roughly two minutes to the route, putting the average finishing time for the field closer to the 45 minutes SOL was designed to be. The change also keeps riders off Wood Chip Hill, which is now Rutted Gravel Eroded Hill. Bypassing this will help maintain Wood Chip and keep it center stage at races like the Iceman Cometh. Finally, replacing Wood Chip with the longer, more gradual climb on Madeleine's changes how riders approach the opening salvos and the all-important Power Section that follows it. Small gaps will be harder to open up, making for more competitive groups over the Power Section and heading into the finale each week.
Riders will take a left turn when they get back onto the Vasa, and the rest of the route is unchanged. The Power Section will feature as the sprint segment, with the more accurately-outlined Hill On Iceman Route (now the Boonenberg) narrowed to the actual ascent and without any flat section at the top as the KOM point.
For the first week, everyone must keep careful track of their own time. Time from the "Go!" to the split rail fence. If you are manual stopping a wrist watch or Garmin, stop the clock at the split rail fence, NOT at the top of the hill as you take the final right hand turn.
After Stage One, we will use an officially created Strava segment to keep track of times. If your time doesn't show up on the segment, you are responsible for submitting via email by 10am on Friday. The email for SOL time submissions is email@example.com Add it to your Contacts.
The Speed of Light WorldTour
The WorldTour is back for 2015. Each Grand Tour, each one-day Classic and, of course, the World Championship, are worth 20 points, -1 through the top 20 positions. Every one-day SOL (those not a part of a 4 week Grand Tour) will have a bonus theme. Anyone taking on the bonus challenge and still placing in the top 20 will get double points for their efforts. Those include Fat Bike Night, Singespeed Night, Cyclocross Night and Ladies' Night in June.
To count for the Speed of Light WorldTour points, you must score in the Grand Tours overall or in a specific competition over the full four weeks. One day SOLs will be scored weekly and updated along with official SOL times.
The WorldTour rewards the most dedicated and consistent riders, with attendance counting just as much as results.
Speed of Light Grand Tours
Grand Tours include the Giro (May), Tour (July) and Vuelta (mid-August through mid-September). Each Grand Tour is four weeks long and uses aggregate time from each week to generate an overall classification, the ultimate prize at SOL. The overall leader will hold a leader's jersey each week, starting with pink at the Giro, followed by the historic maillot jaune at the Tour and red jersey for the Vuelta. A women's specific GC will also be run!
Each Grand Tour also scores the following jersey competitions:
KOM- The King of the Mountains will be scored each week, with the five fastest times on the segment getting 10, 8, 6, 4 and 2 points. Once per Grand Tour, the KOM points will be doubled to 20, 16, 12, 8 and 4. Note, the competition is NOT the first five over the climb, so that riders further back can perhaps ride conservatively to target specific segments and have something to race for. Giro KOM favorites: Ty Schmidt, Keegan Myers.
Points- The sprint classification is for the fastest rider across the Power Section. A lot of tactics can be played over the 3 mile section, usually capped off with a 25mph+ sprint to the end as riders look to steal full points. Like the KOM, it is scored each week as 10, 8, 6, 4 and 2 points, with one week as a double points opportunity per Grand Tour. Giro Points favorites: Ryan Kushman, Josh Zelinski
Best Old Rider- Riders over the age of 45 are eligible for our own take on the UCI Best Young Rider competition. Riders must indicate their age at the beginning of the season. The white jersey goes to the highest place rider over the age of 45 based on GC position. Giro Old Rider favorites: Craig Webb, Rob Goepfrich.
Singlespeed- For the first year, we will be offering a SS competition as well. Riders MUST indicate SS immediately after Stage One to be counted, and obviously they must then ride SS each week to complete the Grand Tour. The standings will be based on GC position each week. The SS leader will wear a very, very special jersey as competition leader.