Team High Road continued on their winning ways with Mara Abbott winning the Redlands Sun Time Trial Prologue with a 25 seconds lead over Aaron's Kat Carroll. Coming in one second later, is High Road's Kim Anderson to round off the podium. Under cloudy skies, Abbot, who finished fourth in last year's prologue, raced the 5 kilometers and climbed the 207 final hill in eleven minutes and ten seconds, with an average speed of 26.98 km/hr.

"It went really well, I was able to keep a good mental attitude about it, I felt really confident, not necessarily confident that I could win but confident that I prepared myself to do a really good race." said a very happy Abbott about her ride.

Women's Podium (l-r): Kat Carroll (Aarons), Mara Abbott (High Road), Kim Anderson (High Road)

With both Webcor and Aaron's team placing each three riders in the top fifteen, all with less than a minute between them, High Road is looking forwards to defending the jersey, even if they are only fielding 5 riders in this race.

"It's going to be interesting, we've got some pretty strong teams to go up against, Webcor is in a good position because they have quite a few good riders get good placings, but we've got a good position too, we've got Kim in third, we've got Mara in first and despite the fact that we've only got five riders, they are all pretty fit, they've been riding well together and do what we can." said High Road DS Kristy Scrymgeour.

Tomorrow's stage is the 110km Beaumont Road Race, a new stage in the Redlands Classic, and everyone is expecting a field sprint. With time bonuses on the line, attacks should be flourishing.

Mara Abbott (High Road), winner

"To be able to, on a race like that, go out and do so well is really exciting because I know I prepared myself but you don't know what everyone else will do."

"The thing that I really love about this course is that it's so interesting. There are so many things that happen during it, it's not just a straight climb, it's not a flat course, it's so interesting. And there's a million different ways that you could ride it, you could ride it all day long and ride it different every time so it's really fun. I actually had fun riding this course every single year. This is my third time riding this course."

"You know, I think when I started out, this was my first NRC race that I'd ever done, and then I ended up getting fourth last year, and so you learn more about yourself as a racer and hopefully keep getting better and better, that's the natural progression."

"Beaumont is fun, I actually like the loop. It's cool, because it's got a little bit of everything, it's got flat sections, some long straight sections, it goes up through a climb through this little neighborhood and so it's cool because it's the kind of course that's it's whatever you make of it."

Kat Carroll (Aaron's), second place

"I was nervous before, I had a good ride in the prologue here last year but with Oak Glen it didn't so much matter, about the good ride but this year with a different course I think it's a race that suits me pretty well, and we've got a strong team and I knew that if we put ourselves in a good position early then we'll have some good racing and hopefully have a some good results. I had a good bit of pressure on myself before, I did work to choke the cereal down this morning, I don't know, I just tried to remember how I rode it last year and relied on the fact that I feel like I'm stronger."

"Another year on the bike, more experience, more confidence with our team, great equipment, I think all of that adds up, yeah it ended up being a good ride."

Plan for the next 3 days? "Race our bikes hard. Keep on the podium, like I said we have a strong team, Felicia (Gomez) is not here, she has a cold, we still have strong riders, we'll do our best."

Kim Anderson (High Road), third place

"Actually, it just really hasn't been my forte ever, so I really started to feel really good this season and I was telling (teammate) Alex (Rhodes) today that I tend to be really conservative in the beginning because I think I'm afraid I'm going to blow up so I just went and I felt good the whole time . My boyfriend Aaron (Olson) told me kind of how to ride it, to go hard, hard, hard and then to a certain point maybe rest at this one part and then go as hard as you can up the climbs because they are so hard and then there you go. So I'm really excited, I knew Mara was going to ride so well, she's just built for these things. It's just going to be a fun week, I'm really excited. Alex is in super form right now too, it's cool."

"It was a little bit windy, a couple of sections were a little headwind but that was the least of my worries, I wasn't thinking about that, [hits her legs] come on go!, okay 3k, 2k , 1k, okay. Once I crossed the line, I could breathe again. "

"I rode a time trial last year and I rode the road bike this year. I think a lot of the men are going on their trial bikes. We didn't have timetrial bikes for one, and then for two, (laughs) we didn't have timetrial bikes so I chose the road bike. Also for the climbing, I think I climb much better on the road bike because I'm used to it."

Mara Abbott (High Road) powering up the hill

Top 10 Results
  1. Mara Abbott, High Road 11:10.21
  2. Katharine Carroll, Aaron's, +25.42
  3. Kim Anderson, High Road, +26.16
  4. Christine Thornburg, Webcor Builders, +28.72
  5. Alex Wrubleski, Webcor Builders, +29.88
  6. Leigh Hobson, Cheerwine, +32.17
  7. Anne Samplonius, Cheerwine, +40.79
  8. Tiffany Cromwell, Colavita/Sutter/Cooking Light, +40.96
  9. Meredith Miller, Aaron's, + 47.91
  10. Janel Holcomb, Webcor Builders, +48.46
Full results here

Photo c. Lyne Lamoureux