Tour of Watopia Live: Videos

Tour of Watopia Live // Stage 5: Volcano Circuit CCW

Stage 5 of the Tour of Watopia Pro-Am was a double-header. Both the women and men fought short and fiery battles to win the day and the overall.

  • Men stayed together between intense bunch sprints
  • Samuel Brannlund (Team Sz) takes the stage and jumps onto overall podium
  • Jonathon Levie (KISS Racing Team) keeps lead for series victory
  • Women split the group by keeping pressure on after sprints 
  • Olivia Baril (Team Turbo) wins the stage, Cecilia Hansen (Heino) wins the series

It was the third of three stages for both the women and the men. Riders from Zwift community teams and professional cycling teams are competing in a points-based classification. Each of the racers earn points for their position at the finish and at designated intermediate sprints or climbs. At the end of the stage, racers are ranked based on how many points they claimed.

There’s also a General Classification (GC), which adds together each rider’s points from all three stages. The woman with the most points across Stages Two, Four, and Five (women race Stages One, Three, and Five) will win the Tour of Watopia.

Missed the race? Read the recap and check the results.

Provisional men’s results

Provisional women’s results

Course: Volcano Circuit CCW

The men and women both raced three laps of the Volcano Circuit CCW route for their final Tour of Watopia Pro-Am stage. The mostly flat route loops riders around and even through an active volcano. It features a pair of short, sharp kickers just before the lap banner – which also serves as the intermediate sprint banner for this race. Each lap is just 2.6 miles (4.1 kilometers long). Including a short lead-in, that meant the riders only had about 10.5 miles (or 17 kilometers) to race.

Stage Highlights: Men’s Race

Most of the 68-rider peloton stayed together this stage, weaving around the volcano at breakneck speeds. In the first sprint, Per-Johnny Doving (Team X), Lionel Vujasin (Canyon ZCC), and Samuel Brannlund took the most points. Race leader Jonathon Levie (KISS Racing Team) who grabbed top points in the second sprint, with Brannlund and Michael Apers (BZR Cycling Team) following.

Coming into this stage, both Vujasin and Apers were high in the General Classification (GC). Now, Brannlund was climbing higher and Levie was starting to lose ground.

During the last lap, Andrew Baverstock (Team TFC) tried an attack but didn’t get away for long. Dan Fleeman (Indoor Specialist) took the opportunity to slingshot out of Baverstock’s slipstream in front of the bunch, forcing the pack to chase him down.

With 1 kilometer to go, Jesper Atterman (Fusion ECT) attacked off the front with an Invisibility Ghost PowerUp! He pulled out a 3-second gap while the bunch couldn’t see him, and then brought it up to 4 seconds. But as the riders behind opened up their sprints, the space between them closed. Ollie Jones (Canyon ZCC) led things out with an early Helmet Aero Boost PowerUp. Then Gavin Dempster (Team Draft) took the lead. It looked for a moment like he would hold his position to the line. But he started to fade in the last couple seconds, and Brannlund shot around him to take first place! Ryan Larson and Holden Comeau, both of Indoor Specialist, took second and third respectively.

Levie held on to win the GC for the series. Brannlund shot up the rankings to land in second place, just one point ahead of Larson in third.

Note: Results are provisional and will be finalized after performance verification takes place.

Individual Points Podium – Stage 5

  1. Samuel Brannlund (SZ) – 53 points
  2. Ryan Larson (Indoor Specialist) – 39 points
  3. Lionel Vujasin (Canyon ZCC) – 34 points

General Classification

  1. Jonathon Levie (KISS Racing Team) – 107 points
  2. Samuel Brannlund (SZ) – 103 points
  3. Ryan Larson (Indoor Specialist) – 102 points
  4. Lionel Vujasin (Canyon ZCC) – 96 points
  5. Michael Apers (BZR Cycling Team) – 93 points
  6. Holden Comeau (Indoor Specialist) – 73 points
  7. James Phillips (Canyon ZCC) – 65 points
  8. Per-Johnny Doving (Team X) – 58 points
  9. Vidar Mehl (KALAS) – 54 points
  10. Matt Gardiner (Indoor Specialist) – 52 points

Stage Highlights: Women’s Race

The women started out in a large bunch like the men, but the first sprint caused an eruption that blew the group apart. Maiike Van Der Plas (Race3R), Vicki Whitelaw (Heino), and series leader Cecilia Hansen (Heino) picked up the most points at the line, landing in the front group of about 20 riders. Eventually, another group behind worked their way back up, but the surges had taken their toll. Less than half of the 81 starters remained.

Coming into the stage, Hansen held a close lead in the GC ahead of Lou Bates (Race3R), Olivia Baril (Turbo), and Daniela Istrate (Revo). The performance of the provisional winner of the second women’s stage Mary Wilkinson (Canyon ZCC) could not be verified and so her win from that race was nullified, passing the yellow jersey to Hansen. 

Team Heino dominated the second sprint, with teammates Louise Houbak, Whitelaw, and Hansen crossing in the first three positions! They used their acceleration to try to split the group again, but the other racers were prepared. They closed down gaps quickly.

As the finish line approached, Ilaria Sanguineti (Valcar - Travel & Service) broke off the front early, using a Helmet Aero PowerUp to get a small gap. Ella Harris (Canyon-SRAM) responded, and then the rest of the racers jumped! After a leadout from her teammates, Hansen took to the front in her yellow leader’s jersey. She was rushing toward a stage win that would cement her overall victory. But she was denied at the line by Olivia Baril (Team Turbo)! Baril crossed first in a photo finish, followed by Hansen and then Istrate.

In the end, Hansen extended her GC lead and took the win overall. Baril took second place and Hansen’s teammate Whitelaw rose to third.

Note: Results are provisional and will be finalized after performance verification takes place.

Individual Points Podium – Stage 5

  1. Cecilia Hansen (Heino) – 46 points
  2. Olivia Baril (Turbo) – 46 points
  3. Vicki Whitelaw (Heino) – 42 points

General Classification

  1. Cecilia Hansen (Heino) – 120 points
  2. Olivia Baril (Turbo) – 109 points
  3. Lou Bates (Race3R) – 97 points
  4. Daniela Istrate (Revo) – 95 points
  5. Vicki Whitelaw (Heino) – 92 points
  6. Emma Belforth (Team SZ) – 65 points
  7. Louise Houbak (Heino) – 58 points
  8. Leah Thorvilson (Turbo) – 49 points
  9. Helen McKay (Team Turbo) – 49 points
  10. Mary Wilkinson (Canyon ZCC) – 45 points

Racer Reactions

Cecilia Hansen said it felt “amazing” to be crowned the winner of the women’s Tour of Watopia Pro-Am.

“[The race was] crazy, barely any rest between sprints,” she said. “We, Heino, had a plan. Riding in yellow increased pressure but didn't change the plan.”

That plan, Hansen said, was “executed to perfection” in the second sprint. Team Heino swept first, second, and third and stayed in the front group.

“I love my teammates!” she said. “And Lars my DS. Very supportive, couldn't have pulled this off without them.”

Olivia Baril said she’s very happy to be on the overall podium.

“I knew I wanted to move up to at least 2nd and it was well within reach,” said Baril,of Team Turbo. “I am super happy I was able to achieve that.”

The winner of the men’s Tour of Watopia Pro-Am, Jonothan Levie, said it means a lot to him –  especially while dealing with a recent injury.

“I got pretty emotional after stage 2 when I found out I was still in yellow,” said Levie. “I wasn't expecting that and it was hope.”

He said he didn’t focus on his GC opponents too much.

“I could get a list of riders to watch, but Zwift favors personal efforts and everyone is given a chance to position themselves and perform,” he explained. “I put myself towards the front and gave it my all for each banner, knowing it'd come down to only a few points.”

He also gave credit to KISS Racing Team for supporting him and working together. Even teammates who weren’t as powerful had a role to play in making sure they could race each stage.

Samuel Brannlund said Team Sz worked to come into the sprints at high speed, which suits him well.