Speed of Light Tour Competition Stage Three Recap

Rob

The overall race leader swept up the spoils in this year’s mountain stage, moving himself two clear of second place in the Mountains Classification. 

With Vicenzo Nibali-esque ease, Ryan “Mr. President” Kennedy moved himself into a second leader’s jersey on Stage Three with a perfectly timed move on the Vasa CC Climb. With teammate Jason Whittaker wearing polka dots entering the third stage, it was an Einstein mission to keep the classification lead in the team.

The unusually tranquil start only made the explosion on the Vasa CC Climb that ripped the peloton to shreds. A number of riders set PRs on the climb, impressive considering the sedate entry onto the lower slopes of the first rise. Ryan Kennedy punched it at the perfect time to take top points, with Keegan Myers reacting for second. Whittaker was third best on the day, but has vowed to target the same segment in the finale next week.

It was a familiar slew of faces that spilled over Wood Chip Hill and toward the Power Section, including Kennedy, Myers, Chris Kushman, Justin Morris, Tyler Kelly, Josh Zelinski, Whittaker and Eric Grassa, with Ty Schmidt and Cody Sovis scrambling onto the tail of things as they wound through the small section of singletrack before the trail opened back up and the ride lit up. Kennedy did a big pull, but Myers, still looking for some 25″ on GC, refuses to come through. The City Bike boys were willing to head things up, as the green jersey himself powered along for a solid stretch to keep the pace high. Sovis, back on a cyclocross bike, finished off the section to help bring a number of new riders into the top ten of all-time, himself coming in 5 seconds shy of Wakeley’s 8:19 record, with Zelinksi just one second back. It’s a mark that could fall if that trio can put it all together.

Myers was always going to make his move through the Saarlock pit, and with Sovis floundering in the sand, only Chris Kushman was left to support the yellow jersey, and he was unable to contribute, lingering near the back. Kennedy countered the move with Grassa and the rest of lead pack, now missing Sovis, Schmidt and Whittaker.

Behind, Rob Goepfrich was in the fight of his life to claw back time on Best Old Rider leader Scott Luca. The white jersey was amply aided by his baby brother Shawn, with the green KEEN jerseys duking it out against TJ Jenema, Brian Beauchamp, Nathaniel Saldanha and white jersey dreamer Lars Welton. Outnumbered, Rob lost a handful of seconds while Scott timed a move to go clear late, opening up his lead as the old boys head into the Queen Stage to cap off a very tough race.

Nothing is set in stone aside from the women’s GC, with Morgan Johnson’s DNS giving Trisha Manion a clean sweep of the race and the weight of the world heading into the Vuelta, where she’ll try to become the first ever woman to win two Grand Tours.

The top of the GC is separated by 27″, and over the 25 mile stage that caps off the race, that lead is by no means safe. Kennedy will have to be extra attentive in the finale, and has already called on Einstein’s deep stable of riders to help protect the lead. Myers won’t give up, and the last lap of the last stage is going to be a dramatic showdown of some of the area’s best riders, all prepped and ready to fight.

With the DNS of Luke Tjosvold, Tyler Kelly is now sitting as the green jersey favorite and holds a podium position in third. He also holds a two point lead over Sovis heading into the last stage, and is technically still in the running for the mountains jersey. He has a great teammate in Josh Zelinski to help him in all of those scenarios, as well as to help hold City Bike’s second place in the Team Competition, where CBS sits just over eight minutes behind Einstein Racing, and ahead of KEEN.

Stage Four leaves Einstein Cycles at 6.30, or 6.45 from the Vasa 25km Parking Lot. All riders still eligible for the General Classification will have to complete two laps of the course, a grueling battle over familiar ground. It’s a whole new element to the race, and one that will surely see some heroics, some suffering, and some disasters days for riders hitting the red line and burying themselves like never before. Non-GC riders can ride a single lap, but those capable of riding a sub-45 SOL are allowed to ride two laps. Race organizers are asking that any non-GC riders turning in times over 45 minutes do only a single lap so that there isn’t a need to send out a Search and Rescue Party.

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

Rider Stage One TIME BONUS Stage Two Stage Three Stage Four Total Time
Ryan Kennedy 0:38:32 -5″ 0:38:14 0:38:29 1:55:15
Keegan Myers 0:38:56 -3″ 0:38:15 0:38:31 1:55:42
Tyler Kelly 0:39:41 0:40:04 0:39:27 1:59:12
Cody Sovis 0:39:28 0:41:11 0:40:32 2:01:11
Jason Whittaker 0:39:30 0:41:30 0:40:57 2:01:57
Josh Zelinski 0:41:37 0:41:10 0:39:32 2:02:19
Eric Grassa 0:39:47 0:43:52 0:39:34 2:03:13
Scott Luca 0:42:31 0:43:05 0:42:30 2:08:06
Lars Welton 0:42:40 0:43:15 0:42:58 2:08:53
Rob Goepfrich 0:42:40 0:43:25 0:42:59 2:09:04
Austin Johnson 0:42:26 0:43:04 0:47:00 2:12:30
James Padden 0:45:40 0:44:20 0:50:00 2:20:00
Craig Fortuna 0:49:29 0:47:50 0:47:49 2:25:08
Jason Walter 0:53:41 0:49:06 0:47:33 2:30:20
Trisha Manion 0:51:58 0:51:11 0:48:01 2:31:10
Matt Harris 0:53:46 0:52:30 0:51:53 2:38:09

SPRINT CLASSIFICATION

Rider Stage One Stage Two Stage Three Stage Four Total
Tyler Kelly 10 20 30
Cody Sovis 6 12 10 28
Ryan Kennedy 4 20 2 26
Keegan Myers 2 16 6 24
Josh Zelinski 16 8 24
Eric Grassa 6 2 4 12
Jason Whittaker 1 8 9
Ryan Kushman 8 8
Chris Kushman 8 8
Eli Brown 4 4

MOUNTAINS CLASSIFICATION

Rider Stage One Stage Two Stage Three Stage Four Total
Ryan Kennedy 8 10 20 38
Keegan Myers 10 8 16 34
Jason Whittaker 10 10 12 32
Tyler Kelly 6 10 8 24
Eric Grassa 4 2 8 14
Cody Sovis 2 6 8
Josh Zelinski 4 2 6
Chris Kushman 4 4
Ryan Kushman 1 1

BEST OLD RIDER

Rider Stage One Stage Two Stage Three Stage Four Total
Scott Luca 0:42:31 0:43:05 0:42:30 2:08:06
Lars Welton 0:42:40 0:43:15 0:42:58 2:08:53
Rob Goepfrich 0:42:40 0:43:25 0:42:59 2:09:04

TEAM COMPETITION

Total
Einstein Racing

3:53:17

City Bike Shop 4:01:31
KEEN Tech

4:12:47