This week, for the very first time, the Speed of Light will take on two (2) lap of the SOL course to make up the Queen Stage of the 2014 edition of the Tour Competition. With the top two spots of the GC separated by just 27", Ryan Kennedy and Keegan Myers will put on an absolute show that is sure to thrill until the very last. Almost every competition is still up for grabs, with both the green and polka dot jersey up for grabs on the final day.
Some notes: If you are not still in the GC, you do not have to do two laps. If you normally ride a single SOL lap in over 50 minutes, we don't advise you to try for a second lap, unless you are still on the General Classification. However, we aren't going to tell you to stop and go home. Follow your heart.
We will score one lappers and two lappers separately on the website for the day. It's the only time this year that we will do two laps, so winning the Queen Stage is going to be a legendary accomplishment.
For the Mountains and Sprint classification, we will take your BEST time on the Vasa CC Climb and Power Section, regardless of lap.
Riders CAN skip the first lap and join in to pace riders, however, their time will NOT be taken as an official effort for SOL.
WorldTour Rolls On
During the two week gap between the Tour and the Vuelta, we'll have two WorldTour events worth 20 points to the winner, -1 through the top twenty. The first stop, August 7, will be Tag Team Night. We'll take the fastest time and the slowest, the second fastest and the second slowest, the third fastest and the third slowest, etc., to create a new leaderboard! The fastest pair will take top points. EVERYONE will score points.
The second World Tour event is an ode to Eric Pollard. August 14 is Snack Sack and Baggy Night, where all riders wearing baggy clothes and/or riding with a snack sack will get qualify for double points on the finish. It'll be worth 20 points to first, -1 to the top twenty, but could go for double anyone riding with the snappy casualness of Eric Pollard.
The final Grand Tour of 2014 kicks off August 21. La Vuelta will be a week old in Spain, but we'll just be getting into the swing of things. Jason Lowetz will return to defend his 2013 Vuelta crown, but there are a lot of likely contenders for the title.
Stage One of the Vuelta, August 21, will debut the first ever double double points at a Grand Tour. In a nod to the ridiculously demanding Vuelta and the climbs that make it famous, both Stage One and Stage Three will be worth double points, making this the ultimate battleground for TC's bevy of great climbers. Instead of the Vasa CC Climb, we'll be using the Hill On Iceman Course segment for the Vuelta. The ascent is 127 feet at an average of 3%, but it has two ramps that kick over 12%, including a pitch at the top that hits 17%. Coming just over halfway of the lap, it's a cruel sting in the legs that can often open gaps, or shut the door on riders trying to bridge back up to the leaders.
Stage Two of the Vuelta is the double points opportunity for the sprinters, still on the now world famous Vasa Power Section. Tyler Kelly will be a marked man, the current spring master at the Tour, but there's an awful lot of speed in the local peloton ready to put up a stiff fight.
The final stage will be all about the GC, though it's possible some riders might already be casting an eye to the SOL World Championships two weeks later. It's a tough finish to a long SOL season, but with the WorldTour getting tighter than ever in the final few weeks, every week counts.