Redlands, Calif. — Spinning wheels battled howling winds as cyclists fought hard to the finish at Friday’s 2009 Redlands Bicycle Classic Stage One race in Beaumont, Calif. The race, presented by PossAbilities in partnership with CH&E Investments, featured world class athletes vying for a stage win and strong positions toward the overall win.
Today’s events started with an 18-mile handcycle course that tore through downtown Beaumont with world class athletes competing for the win. The men’s and women’s Stage One race unfolded over a 22.3-mile loop that the men completed four times and the women three.
The courses long leg stretches usually feature fast-paced sprints, but the wind turned the area into a more strategic battlefield. The hills on the course hurt, but the wind was more challenging, said the women’s first place finisher Ina Yoko Teutenberg with team Columbia Highroad. You really have to be mentally alert because there could be a breakaway at any minute and you can’t let it get away from you.
For the men’s Stage One race, it was a push until the final lap as a group of four breakaway companions, just 13 seconds ahead of the fast closing main group, sprinted for the title. In the end, Jeff Louder with BMC Race Team threw his hands up in victory as he powered past the rest of the group. “It was a windy day, so sometimes it felt like you were riding straight into a wall,” said Louder. “There was a low downhill drive and I knew if we got down there and pushed it, it should work out, and it did. Overall this was a really tactical race. You don’t see a lot of these types of races in America, so it was good to be a part of it.”
Racing events continue tomorrow with the Stage Two portion of the races in downtown Redlands with the men’s and women’s criterium. For more information on the race, including official times, visit www.redlandsclassic.com.