The 2007 NRC winner Rory Sutherland (HealthNet-Maxxis) went flat out like a lizard drink'n and crossed the line with the fastest time, winning the Redlands Prologue - Sun Time Trial, in nine minutes and fifty-one seconds. Coming in second, with less than 2 seconds slower is Ben Day (Toyota-United). Rounding off the podium, is Dominique Rollin (Toyota-United) with 8 seconds slower than Sutherland.

"It's hard for everybody. Today a lot of things seem to slide in right, whereas last week in San Dimas they just didn't happen, I didn't get it together last week and it's a matter of trying to iron out those problems, and get the monkey off my back a week early." said Sutherland about his race today.

Men's Podium (l-r): Ben Day (Toyota-United), Rory Sutherland (HealthNet-Maxxis) and Dominique Rollin (Toyota-United)

The next stage is the Beaumont Road Race where the 194 men tackle a 138 km circuit race with 2 time bonuses on the line. HeathNet-Maxxis will have its job cut out for them defending the leaders jersey with Toyota-United placing 6 riders in the top fifteen positions. And Rock Racing still smarting from losing their lead in San Dimas and finishing on the second step of the podium, by one second, will be trying to move up Oscar Sevilla now in fourth place.

"It's good that we have the yellow jersey, obviously you always want to be in the lead, but it's not good when you look back and see Toyota's got second and third right behind you, so it gives them some ammo against us. Honestly, it's going to be hard, tactical racing, and you can't discount Sevilla right within reach so we'll see how the racing goes." said Health Net-Maxxis Directeur Sportif Mike Tamayo.

The team is motivated. "We had a lot of illness at Tour of California, our staff got sick, our riders got sick, that virus went everywhere, plenty of people got sick so we're happy to be done with it. We went to Taiwan had a great race there, we won fifteen out of sixteen jerseys available so it was a great race." continued Tamayo.

Same as the women, riders and teams are expecting the Beaumont to finish in a field sprint, and that, again, the last stage, the Sunset road race, be the decisive stage in the Redlands Classic.

"I think it's going to be a smaller bunch kick, a smaller bunch kick. I don't think the course is hard enough to really break the field apart but you never know, if the right move goes..." said Tamayo about the upcoming stage 1.

Rory Sutherland (Health Net-Maxxis), winner

"It's a very important race for the team and to be able to do that straight away is a really good thing for our morale. "

"We just concentrate on today, today and tonight we'll look at tomorrow. Like I told my good friends here, you get second and third so you can't have too much of a better day. We'll see what happens tomorrow, if you look at last year, so many dynamics change this race, so many things can happen especially on a day like Sunday, there's no concession, it's racing every single day, we'll see what happens. If it works out, it works out, and if doesn't, it doesn't. We have a very capable group of guys, we'll see what happens."

(About his form) "It's my job to be good pretty much the whole season, I'm trying to stay at a happy medium the whole season so to speak. "

Ben Day (Toyota-United), second place

"My legs felt pretty good and in terms of the way I rode the course, I felt that I didn't leave anything out there you know but I gave it everything I had. Lost concentration a little bit in one of the corners and that kind of took me by surprise, could have been a second here or there but who knows. I had Rory in front of me, so I had the carrot there and I was chasing him and I could see him the whole way."

"Our team, we have pretty much the strongest team in America, we've got so many guys who are riding so well and who are capable of winning this event so our chances here and our chances for the rest of the year are always to be playing as many cards as we possibly can. These guys won't really know which one of us that they need to follow, that's going to be our big play."

(About his form) "I'd say 80 percent, I had some big goals at the beginning of the season. With California, unfortunately I was one of the many, many, many people in America that managed to get sick, so I had three weeks in hell, I just couldn't get better. I've been healthy for two or three weeks now, my energy level is starting to come back, and I'm just happy now to be in kind of a progressive form. I'm looking forwards to a really big block of racing now, I've got this race, then we have Georgia, Gila and Mt Hood, some really good races coming up. I'm hoping to progress all through them and hopefully get the results."

Dominique Rollin (Toyota-United), third place

"Its a good beginning. The form is there, preparation for the Tour of Georgia, I was not expecting to do this today, I've been working on my time trialing, and it's showing. (Working on it) for four or five months, it showed in California."

"It's not really a course for me but I knew that I could do something knowing that Svein Tuft won it last year, a big guy like me. To be at 9 seconds from Rory Sutherland, it's really a good showing, I'm happy. The team is well positioned with a second and third place. I wasn't expecting to do such a good time"

(About the plan for the next stages) "To get ahead of this guy (smiles and points to Rory Sutherland). I was told that we have 6 guys from the team in the top 15, so.... I think (our leader) is Ben, he is in good form, he only has 2 seconds behind Rory. Len checked Beaumont out, it's going to finish in a field sprint, which is good for Ivan (Dominguez) and me."

Boys will be boys....

Kelly Benefit/Medifast riders checking out a faster bike; Podium shenanigans

Top 10 Results
  1. Rory Sutherland, Health Net - Maxxis, 9:51.67
  2. Ben Day, Toyota-United, +1.99
  3. Dominique Rollin, Toyota-United +8.62
  4. Oscar Sevilla, Rock Racing, +9.29
  5. Ben Jacques-Maynes, Bissell Pro Cycling Team, +13.24
  6. Justin England, Toyota-United, +14.52
  7. Chris Baldwin, Toyota-United, +18.14
  8. Peter Stetina, Slipstream Chipotle H3O, +18.21
  9. Jeremy Vennell, Bissell Pro Cycling Team, +18.46
  10. Neil Shirley, Jittery Joes, +18.89
Full results here

Photos c. Lyne Lamoureux