Stage 8 was the epic Queen’s stage. Temps were near 90, the course included the notorious Taylortown KOM and the Kincaid Woods finishing section. After seven stages, fatigue was beginning to set in.
At Taylortown, Nic Salese attacked the leaders relentlessly up the KOM. The yellow jersey prevailed in the race to the line. Ray Morro rode to a vicious 3rd. Sam Findlater dropped off the pace early but roared back, closing the gap on the leaders in severe fashion. He was 4th.
In the Mountain Lakes sprint, Nic Salese was the first to jump and Jonathan Thomas Iwaszczuk responded instantly and blew the group to bits. The green jersey stayed in his wake, pouncing at the right moment, timing his sprint to perfection to nab 1st. Winner, Sam Findlater. These Mountain Lakes sprints are fireballs.
In the finishing section in Kinnelon, the kopgroup stayed together on the first two climbs, and then Morro, Findlater, and Iwaszczuk broke clear.
The trio worked steadily to keep the gap. Findlater jumped early and he jumped hard. His finishing velocity was impressive. His charge to the line pipped the yellow jersey.
On the hardest stage of the TOUR, Findlater came out on top.
The yellow jersey is won by Jonathan Iwaszcuk — he is king of this event in 2016, a big bull of a rider. When he goes, many times your fate is out of your hands.
Gabrielle Garby Czernik locked up the red jersey for top female. She is currently 2nd overall in the NJ TT Cup, she is undefeated in triathlon competition, and her goals are to win the TT Cup overall and peak for NJ State Triathlon championships.
The polka-dot jersey was won by Erik Stigum, a long-course triathlete who has trained the bike more this year — to severe effect. Erik Stigum, the 2016 King of the Mountain.
Stage 9 is Saturday, 7/8/16, wheels down 8:15 am, Riverdale NJ. Saturday is Parada Ride. Contact Coach@EliteEndurance.com for parking and directions.
Post-ride lunch is at Blu Alehouse.
For full details: www.EliteEndurance.com.