2015 Speed of Light WorldTour Cyclocross/Ladies Night

The last Speed of Light ahead of the Tour Competition is in the books, and the stage is set for a blistering four weeks in July. The action started thick and fast, with one of the largest fields of the year on hand to test the legs ahead of the biggest fake stage race of the summer. Cyclocross and Ladies Night saw a few new faces in the drops, and a solid showing of the area's women on bikes.

Cody Sovis and Birthday Gal (it's a long story) Craig Webb combined over the opening climbs to keep the pace hard over the Vasa CC Climb, where a big split finally occurred on the last of the series of ascents, and again as the lead group made the left turn onto Madeleine's Trail. Freshly returned to Michigan and SOL, Ryan Kennedy made the juncture as Alex Vanias split the group, with Webb riding the Truee de Madeleine's in the second fastest time ever. The trio pulled clear, with Sovis and McLains' Eric Grassa caught in between the leaders and a larger group of chasers.

Grassa gave brave chase before a mechanical saw him cede the field on the Power Section. Sovis was not on his best day and gave up big time over the 2.9 miles of fast and flat, which saw the three leaders well gone and setting a new KOM time of 8:07 on the segment, with Vanias adding a rather illustrious jewel to his already heavy crown.

From the front, Webb made a move that saw him riding clear for a full two miles before Vanias churned his way back into touch, and eventually take a narrow win. Kennedy held for third, a solid show of fitness after a full three weeks away from both TNR and SOL. Sovis was caught and forced to the front of the second chase group, ultimately getting blasted out of the water by an on-form Chad Jordan and City Bike's big talent, 'fresh' from Lumberjack 100, Josh Zelinski.

Jason Lowetz was the next cyclocross bike across the line 50 seconds down from Sovis, a great showing from a rider who, as some may recall, is still the original cyclocrosser in TC. Jon Throop, Jason Whittaker and Lars Welton all took double points with their finishes, with Throop making a smooth transition from fat tires to skinny ones and setting a PR in the process.

Kaitlyn Patterson was duking it out in that very group, and managed to take another first spot in the women's field. She now sits 7th overall in the WorldTour, already looking like a sure bet to have the highest women's position of all time by the year's end. Susan Vigland and Laura Webb were next through, with Emma Schwab hanging tough in her sister Heidi's absence.

Patterson caps off a group of rider that sit with a tally over 80 points, still within touch for the overall. Vanias cedes the WorldTour lead for the first time this year, with Sovis making the most of double points hauls at Singlespeed Night and Cyclocross Night to move 7 points clear. It's a narrow margin with a long ways to go, including two Grand Tours and a points-heavy World Championship still remaining on the calendar. Vanias should be a full 20 points clear again by August if he repeats his Giro dominance. Kyle Macdermaid is sitting third place, while Rob Goepfrich and Jon Throop have gone level-pegging almost all spring to sit separated by 7 points after 7 SOLs.

The Tour Competition starts next Thursday, July 2. It's as straightforward as it gets; no time bonuses and no double points on Stage One, just an opening salvo that should give the GC and each jersey competition some semblance ahead of KOM double points (a week earlier than usual), Sprint double points, and the infamous Queen Stage finale, with two laps of the course.

Times and points from CX/Ladies Night are listed below. You can see the complete WorldTour standings here.

Alex Vanias0:35:5620

Craig Webb0:36:4119

Ryan Kennedy0:37:4418

Josh Zelinski0:38:4817

Chad Jordan0:38:5016

Cody Sovis0:39:0430

Austin Johnson0:39:5314

Jason Lowetz0:39:5426

Kaitlyn Patterson0:39:5620

Kyle Macdermaid0:40:0711

Craig Fortuna0:40:0710

Jeff Zeller0:40:149

Luke Tjosvold0:40:448

Rob Goepfrich0:41:097

Susan Vigland0:41:5219

Laura Webb0:41:5718

Jon Throop0:42:158

Jason Whittaker0:42:176

Yensen Schwab0:43:202

Dan Madion0:43:261

Jeff Wentzloff0:43:40 

Lars Welton0:44:01 

Jeff Socia0:45:15 

Andy Humphrey0:46:34 

Emma Schwab0:46:5617

Chris Gallagher0:47:14 

Ross Clement0:48:10 

Don Marsh0:50:06 

Dan Howe0:50:20 

Todd Labonte0:54:07 

Steve Mentzer0:54:40 

Brent DeVries1:17:50 

 

2015 Speed of Light WorldTour Singlespeed

Alex Vanias stayed perfect in 2015 with the fastest time of the night and holds onto his WorldTour points lead.

Kyle Macdermaid must have entered SS Night knowing it was his time to shine. Like a low wattage, energy efficient light bulb, the SS crusher was absolutely brilliant without being wasteful about it. He was able to break his own SS World Record with a 39:01, and did it while dueling with some of the toughest singlespeeders in TC.

Keegan Myers and Eric Grassa may have taken the holeshot, but it was always going to go to The Lion of LeRoy, Alex Vanias. The WorldTour leader accelerated just over a mile in and waltzed away, riding a smooth tempo in an attempt to save his legs for the Lumberjack 100. His dominance was clear, and it fell to Cody Sovis to head up the chase aboard his All-City Nature Boy, a singlespeed ‘cross bike. His efforts on the front were to control affairs, with teammate Jason Whittaker tucked onto the tail of the 6 man chase group.

Steve Andriese was poised for a move along the Power Section, but the pace from Sovis was just quick enough to discourage anyone to make a move, especially the Singlespeeders. It was Whittaker who broke the stalemate with a move over the last 500 meters of the Power Section, covered almost immediately by Macdermaid and the stream of riders still present and collect.

The group broke up across the sand crossing, with Macdermaid in hot pursuit of Keegan Myers and Grassa still in touch, while Andriese and Whittaker were behind by a handful of seconds, with Sovis dangling. Just before the descent to Anita’s, it was all back on the table with the group coming back together. Macdermaid attacked Anita’s with a small headstart and the SS class was decided. Sovis was able to catch and pass Andriese and Whittaker over the climb, but Andriese reeled him back him before the line.

Macdermaid’s third place on the day and first SS brought him a huge points haul, enough to move him up into third overall. Vanias’ 20 points keep him clipping away, and he’ll look to the Tour to take 60-70 points and establish a comfortable lead. He’ll have to survive a brief run from Sovis, who has Cyclocross Night next week to attempt to cover a 3 point deficit. Rob Goepfrich now sits fourth, with Jon Throop fifth. Jason Whittaker made some in-roads and now holds tenth position.

2015 Speed of Light Giro Competition Finale

As always, the Giro is a battle of attrition, with just eleven riders completing all four stages.

Alex Vanias and Kaitlyn Patterson took home the first Grand Tour titles of the year Thursday night in the Giro Finale. With Laura Webb and Lauri Brockmiller out of the GC, Patterson’s runner-up was Heidi Jones, the most consistent woman rider in Speed of Light history, now again on a podium through sheer perseverance.

Vanias made it a clean sweep of the Giro with a late charge to take the stage after an elite selection tore the field asunder in the opening miles of the Finale. Vanias, Ryan Kennedy, Craig Webb, Sean Kickbush and second placed GC rider Cody Sovis made the first break, with Luke Tjosvold and Mike Powers recovering and making contact as well.

Sovis was obviously not on a good day and was tailed off three times, with Vanias sportingly pulling him back into touch over the Power Section. Mercy wasn’t enough as Sovis was dropped across the Power Line Crossing. A freak cloudburst turned the Power Section into a soggy morass, with the lead group flying through the mud and mashing to greener, drier pastures on the far side of the Wall Bypass.

Vanias was calm and collected late, springing ahead to take stage honors ahead of the chasing Kennedy, Kickbush and Webb. He’s the first rider to sweep all four stages of a Grand Tour, as well as the first rider to win the GC, KOM and Sprint jerseys in one Tour.

The Sprint Competition ended with Vanias 14 points clear of Sovis, with Kickbush third. The margin in the KOM Competition was the same, with Kennedy second and Keegan Myers making the most of his second place finish on the KOM stage to finish third.

Rob Goepfrich will be thankful Alex isn’t over 45 years old, as it at least let someone else win something in the month of May. He takes the Best Old Rider Competition over Keith Conway. Kyle Macdermaid outlasted the field to bring home the Singlespeed Competition solo, the first person to win that particular race.

Einstein Racing will have to settle for another Team Competition win, keeping their streak of perfection alive after an early scare from City Bike Shop. The blue and white pinstripes stopped showing up and lost their lead, then their finish on Stages Three and Four.

The WorldTour picture should look very Greek, with Vanias looking for essentially full points ahead of a dynamic June. Riders will get double points over the next four weeks’ theme nights. The Classics include Fat Bike Night, Singlespeed Night. Cyclocross Night and Ladies’ Night this month.

Provisional results are updated here.

2015 Speed of Light Giro Competition Stage Three

Race leader Alex Vanias rode a more conservative SOL that in the first two weeks, but his gap still moves out.

The return of Einstein Racing’s former SOL World Champion Ryan Kennedy provided some excitement, but even “The President” was very much under wraps by the pink jersey. Riding with Saturday’s Snake Alley in mind, Alex Vanias chose to measure his efforts wherever possible on Stage Three, combining with Kennedy to break off the front and ride to an even bigger Giro lead.

With some notable non-starters, including former Giro winner Ty Schmidt, out of the GC picture, Vanias’ elbow room was always going to be ample. Second placed Cody Sovis opened affairs over the Vasa CC Climb, and after some assistance from Kennedy and Vanias, Sovis was back to the front before Madeleine’s Trail when he spotted some daylight back to the rider sitting third place on GC, Josh Zelinski.

That lead group, which included Kennedy, Vanias, Sovis, Craig Webb and Keegen Myers, split on the tail end of Madeleine’s, with Kennedy and Vanias going up the trail. Gapped initially, Sovis regained contact and went to the front on the Power Section, with Myers and Webb saving energy to make a move for results, while Sovis was more concerned with the time he could put into Zelinski. Behind, Zelinski was regrouping with McLain powerhouses Eric Grassa and Marc Brunette, with Einstein Racing’s Craig Fortuna playing the role of ticket collector.

Myer’s move came on the sand pit, with Webb marking the move but ceding the position after the Wall Bypass. Webb battled on but would call it a day after the Boonenberg, with Sovis finishing off the route solo. Grassa, Brunette and Zelinski weren’t giving up, and clawed back some time late.

Vanias made it clear this Giro would see no gifts with a late move to take the stage and push his lead out to nearly six minutes over Sovis, who came in over a minute down on the stage in fourth place. Zelinski slots into third overall after three stages, with SS leader Kyle Macdermaid now fourth. With Jason Whittaker out of the race due to illness, he needs only to finish to take the inaugural SS Grand Tour Competition.

The women’s race is in the same boat. Overwhelming leader Kaitlyn Patterson didn’t make the SOL start, and neither did Lauri Brockmiller. It leaves Heidi Jones looking to become the first two-time women’s Grand Tour winner, which she can complete by safely completing Stage Four next week.

Vanias has also wrapped up the Sprint and KOM competitions, even with Kennedy taking the double points on the Boonenberg last night. Vanias will clean up next week as long as he starts, with Sovis sitting second on the Sprint board and Kennedy now slotted second in the climber’s tally.

Rob Goepfrich will also take the Best Old Rider award with another strong ride next week. He’s been Mr. Consistent in May, and looks cleared to take the win with a ten minute buffer over Keith Conway.

Einstein Racing has put the universe back in order with an aggressive and deep performance over the past two weeks in the Team Competition. Over a minute down after Stage One, they’ve combined with Sovis, Nate St. Onge, Luke Tjosvold and now Ryan Kennedy to build a lead of 19 minutes over City Bike, with Hagerty Cycling threatening in third four minutes back in third place.

Next week is the Giro Finale, and with everything all but decided, there’s no reason not to ride aggressive. We should see a very exciting fourth stage, and the party should start for Vanias in the parking lot. The traditional Giro grill-out is already in the works, with beer, hot dogs and chips waiting riders at Bunker Hill.

You can see the full Giro picture here.

Speed of Light Giro Competition Stage Two

What little hope remained of unseating the pink jersey went up in a cloud of dust over the new Madeleine’s Trail section on Stage Two, with Vanias now focused on wider goals.

Entering as sure favorites, Alex Vanias and Kaitlyn Patterson now have some serious breathing room and the contenders have all but settled for second place. After a demonstrative effort on Stage Two, Vanias now can look to sweeping all the competitions that he is eligible for, and took a big step in the Sprint competition with double points on the Power Section and almost doubling up second place as the race hits the second half of its four stages.

Vanias once again used Madeleine’s Trail to cement his lead. From the gun, Sean Kickbush took affairs into hand over the Vasa CC Climb, with Luke Tjosvold putting in a quick, testing move on the front as well. Vanias came to the fore on the second to last climb before Madeleine’s and immediately opened a gap, with Kickbush ready on the wheel and Cody Sovis scrambling to make it across.

Once the lead trio took the turn, it was Vanias taking center stage. Almost immediately, he took a 10 second lead before Madeleine’s turned upward, with Kickbush trying to claw his way across and Sovis languishing behind. Resigned, Kickbush settled onto Sovis’ wheel as the pair went in search of the leader over the Power Section. Vanias was gone for the day, while Tom White and Luke Tjosvold sitting about 20 second behind Kickbush and Sovis.

Kaitlyn Patterson used each and every climb to test her rival in Lauri Brockmiller, and it was enough to extend her GC lead after two stages. Her 42:42 was even good enough to pair with Vanias and put their OAM team into third place in that competition. Patterson is nearing two and half minutes clear of Brockmiller, who is putting some solid rides in for CBS.

Vanias took full points and extended his lead in the KOM competition as well, with Sovis second and Kickbush third on the day. The KOM competition will be double points next week, and it’ll be interested to see if Alex can stay perfect on the Boonenberg in 2015. He’s already well ahead, but the points total should certainly help if he is looking for the WorldTour title by the end of the year.

The Singlespeed race couldn’t be much closer, with Kyle Macdermaid taking the stage win for the SSers, with Jason Whittaker fighting tooth and nail to limit his losses and with hopes of making a move over the next two stages. Macdermaid is looking very tough and holds 19 seconds over Whittaker, who experimented with a taller gear ratio this week. That is the competition that should be very entertaining as Vanias looks set to clean house elsewhere.

The only jersey Vanias doesn’t have is one he isn’t eligible for, the white jersey of Best Old Rider. With Craig Webb a non-starter on Stage Two (something about an anniversary) the lead falls to teammate Rob Goepfrich. He’s sitting with a comfortable lead with two stages to go and some solid times to start off his Grand Tour run. He also has teammate Lars Welton in reserve, should he need any support in the coming weeks.

Einstein Racing moved into the Team Competition lead with a very close 14 second gap over City Bike Shop. Einstein Racing will rely heavily on the return of Ryan Kennedy next week to hold onto the slender margin, while Team OAM now is relatively safe in third place, 8 minutes clear of fourth.

The Men’s GC is over bar a disaster, and one no one would like to see. Vanias is sitting 4:23 clear of new second placed rider Cody Sovis, with Tom White a further 41 seconds back in third. Josh Zelinski and Nate St. Onge round out the top five, with last year’s Giro winner Ty Schmidt in a position to sneak in with a good ride late.

Stage Three of the Giro Competition is next Thursday, May 21. It’ll be all eyes on the Boonenberg, with double points for the KOM competition. Alex Vanias can wrap up the sprint and KOM competitions by taking first next week, though with riders so far behind, he may find a number of riders targeting those segments and perhaps sacrificing some time on GC.

You can view the full Giro picture here.

2015 Speed of Light Giro Competition Stage Two Preview

The general classification has found some shape after Stage One, and the leaders will look to maintain and extend on an important second stage.

Alex Vanias is very much in the driver's seat after one trip around the revamped SOL course. With a healthy lead on GC, he can even start to focus on his leads in the other classifications, chiefly the Sprint competition, which is up for double points this Thursday. Vanias used two moves to open up his winning margin, the most demonstrative on the new Madeleine's Trail segment. Putting the hammer down, he gapped the rest of the lead group by nearly 20 seconds in less than a mile, and then renewed his assault over the Power Section to equal the long standing KOM on 2.9 mile section.

Equally well positioned is Kaitlyn Patterson, who sits with a solid lead and room to improve. She's already become the first woman to score in a points competition, and has good reason to hope to repeat that success going forward. Her climbing talent serves as a nuclear bomb against the rest of the women's field; on any given SOL, she need only detonate once to all but end things.

City Bike Shop's minute-plus lead in the Team Competition will be under fire this week as well, but with Tom White and Josh Zelinski riding so tough, it'll be a tall ask to overcome them in the three remaining stages. Einstein Racing will call on the returning Ryan Kennedy and Luke Tjosvold to register their top two times after some strong but pedestrian results from Cody Sovis and Nate St. Onge on Stage One. The return of the President certainly lends some weight, especially if the team can find some gaps early to open up in the tough, twisting finale to the finish.

After a balmy Stage One, temperatures are back down to a perfect 64 degrees according to the forecast, while two days of on and off rain should be of some help on the sand and dust, some of which was reduced by the 2015 change of course. Rider feedback was mostly positive, with some lamenting the lack of Wood Chip, but most approving of the slight change of direction and a long, more sustained climb replacing the short, steep and loose Wood Chip.

Stage Two leaves Ec at 6.30pm, or rolls through the Bunker Hill Parking lot at 6.45pm.

2015 Speed of Light Giro Competition Stage One: Vanias and Patterson Crush

The Giro Competition is underway, but could it already be over?

Thursday’s first Speed of Light of 2015 offered no careful easing in, with demonstrative efforts by the “It” couple of the moment, Alex Vanias and Kaitlyn Patterson. “The Lion of LeRoy” and Patterson both took stage victories and hold solid margins in the general classifications after the opening salvos have been fired and as the dust only just begins to settle.

The new route was certainly testing enough, but it was on the original opening mile that a lead group made the gaps. Cody Sovis was steady on the front with Vanias, City Bike’s Tom White and Josh Zelinski, and Craig Webb making the selective ascent of the Vasa CC Climb and making the turn onto Madeleine’s Trail with a good margin over Ty Schmidt, who was left in no man’s left and chasing hard.

The first SOL on Madeleine’s did not disappoint; if Tom Boonen has his Tainnenberg, Fabian Cancellara his Oude Kwaremont, then Alex Vanias has his Madeleine’s Trail. He put in his first big effort of the day on the flat section that runs to the base of a short climb, and promptly opened a massive gap. Cody Sovis responded and opened a gap of his own to the remaining three, but Vanias was piling the distance on even on Sovis’ terrain.

It was over bar the shouting before the race had even hit the Power Section, but a 100 yard detour saw Vanias off course and suddenly chasing Sovis, Zelinski, and White, with Craig Webb bridging back on. Again, Vanias came around and drove away using is elite-level time trial talents. Sovis tried to limit the losses, but ceded time, even with a helpful boost from a willing Zelinski.

Behind, Kaitlyn Patterson used the KOM of the day, the Boonenberg, to renew the situation from Mud, Sweat and Beers; Patterson up the road with Lauri Brockmiller pairing with a former teammate, this time Laura Webb, to try and bring her back. Patterson held on to take the win and will carry a twenty second lead into Stage Two. Webb will be second, with Brockmiller lingering under a minute back and ever-dangerous.

Patterson also holds the distinction of becoming the first woman to ever score points in jersey competition, finished 5th on the Boonenberg. Vanias took full points, with Webb, Zelinski and Schmidt opening their accounts in the KOM competition.

Vanias holds every jersey he is eligible for after tying the record on the Power Section, with the same quadruplet of riders scoring and in the same order for the Sprint. The Sprint competition will take center stage next week for double points, and it’ll be interesting to see if the field focuses on that rather than try to make up the big gap already there on the GC.

Webb is in the driver’s seat in the Best Old Rider competition, with teammate Rob Goepfrich next in line.

City Bike’s outstanding showing gives them a solid lead in the team competition and two riders in the top five. White and Zelinski delivered over a minute lead ahead of Einstein Racing’s top two times of the day coming in from Sovis and the resurgent Nate St. Onge. Hagerty sits third, with McLain not fielding enough riders to qualify.

In two weeks’ time, we may be talking about just how exciting the Singlespeed race is finishing up. With the open GCs looking like they could be wrapped up with another great week from Vanias and Patterson, Kyle Macdermaid’s 13 second lead over Jason Whittaker, with Jake Ellis not far off the pace, could be the most interesting battle in the next few weeks to come.

No matter the lead, there are three weeks left to survive for the leaders and no shortage of ambitious riders ready to pounce.

To see the full standings, click here.

Speed of Light Giro Preview: The Contenders

The only rider to take a Grand Tour double-and the most successful Grand Tour rider-enters Thursday’s first Stage with historic implications.

You can count the number of Giro-Tour winners on your fingers, with just seven riders taking the Giro and Tour in the same season. Of the seven, four did the double twice, and the names should ring a bell; Fausto Coppi, Eddy Merckx (three times), Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain. Ty Schmidt stands to the be first SOLer to double the double, and his quest starts this Thursday at the Giro. Last year, Schmidt was foiled in the double with a dramatic win from Einstein Racing’s Ryan Kennedy. “The President” recovered from a mechanical to hold onto the victory, riding outnumbered and reacting to attacks on la tappa reina.

Schmidt responded by taking the Vuelta in August and September, the first rider to win two Grand Tours in a season this year, he will look to seize his second Tour title and his first since 2013, the inaugural year of Grand Tours. Step one, of course, is the Giro, and it’s a competition that has seen memorable battles in the past. In the first season, teammates Bennett Paul and Scott Luca put on one of the most exciting stages in Speed of Light lore. Luca put in a flurry of attacks, with Paul marking each one. More than once the duo, riding with massive leads overall, slowed to a crawl, almost track standing as they eye-balled one another into the finale. Paul survived to take the win, with Einstein going 1-2-3 on the overall.

Jorden Wakeley would be the overwhelming Giro favorite if he made all of the stages. After a fourth MSB victory, he’s certainly got the fitness. Now that he lives essentially on the course, Wakeley’s rival from Saturday, Alex Vanias, enters as the biggest favorite heading into the Giro. He certainly has the engine, but he’ll be up against some deep squads and SOL veterans with four tough stages on the docket.

With Ryan Kennedy slated to miss Stage One, he’ll be much more focused on the KOM and Points competitions, although would readily support teammates in good position. Luke Tsjosvold enters as the likely team leader, with Jason Lowetz, Chris Kushman, Jimmy McKenna and Cody Sovis confirmed as his supporting cast. Einstein Racing would like to bring back another Grand Tour title and set the tone for 2015. Dave Walston and Jason Whittaker will fly the colors as they target the first Singlespeed competition.

M-22 enters with the commanding duo of Sean Kickbush and Keegan Myers, with Chad Jordan in support as well. The pair lit up the 2014 Tour and are always stage hunters, but have yet to bring home a full Grand Tour. Both will be contenders in the KOM and Sprint competitions as well, but it will be interesting to see how they prioritize their efforts in big Giro field.

McLain Cycle and Fitness will be spearheaded by Eric Grassa and Marc Brunette. Perhaps no riders benefit as much from the exclusion of Wood Chip Hill, with the more gradual ascent more suited to both riders. They’ll also have Jack Kline riding for the Best Old Rider jersey.

Hagerty Cycling’s Craig Webb has won the Best Old Rider award in previous Grand Tours, and it’s a competition the team will have a special emphasis on the white jersey with a loaded squad that includes Rob Goepfrich, Hal BeVier, Lars Welton and Don Fedrigon. Steve Andriese will lead the team in the new singlespeed category, while Andrew Nash looks to head up the pink jersey charge for the team. They also have Susan Vigland in the women’s GC hunt, which already looks like one of the more exciting races.

Vigland will be supported by Melissa Socia and Laura Webb, and they’ll need all the firepower they can must as they face former teammate Lauri Brockmiller and her new teammate Beth Craven. Hagerty Cycling also gets a boost from Beth Collins. The difference could be made by CBS’ Trisha Mannion. She could be the rider to tip the scales after taking the Tour win last summer.

The Giro sticks to its traditional formula, with featured days for the the Sprint and KOM Competitions sandwiched between a time bonus Stage One with straight time and normal points serving as the finale on May 28.

Stage One: The opener puts the GC riders under pressure right away. There will be no glass-cranking, with 10, 6 and 4 seconds on the line, and the only bonus time for the entire Giro. There will be 10, 8, 6, 4 and 2 points for the Mountains and Sprint Classifications as well. The Sprint segment will the the classic Power Section, while the Vasa CC Climb returns as the KOM segment.

Stage Two: It’s a tradition to have the second week earmarked for the sprinters and strongmen, and this is true to form on May 14. It’ll be double points over the Power Section, with 20, 16, 12, 8 and 4 points awarded. It’s normal points for the KOM, with that competition waiting for the third day of the Giro to take center stage.

Stage Three: The climbers get their chance on May 21 with the Vasa CC climb serving as an immediate kick to the teeth of any rider unprepared for its rude welcome. Double points for the climbers, and normal points for the sprinters. It’s the last chance to make up any big gaps with the help of extra points.

Stage Four: The finale is on May 28, and there should be everything left to fight for to round out the Giro campaign. Normal points, no time bonuses, nothing but the pink jersey on the minds of riders still in contention overall, or looking at other competitions after three tough weeks.