The Redlands Bicycle Classic powered by PossAbilities and presented by San Manuel Band of Mission Indians got off to a rolling start as cyclists climb into the opening day!
Redlands, Calif. - A beautiful spring day with the air full of orange blossoms soon gave way to a leg grinding reality for the professional racers kicking off the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar season at the 26th Annual Redlands Bicycle Classic. The American racing season is now fully underway as 114 women, and 194 men challenged the super tough 3.2 mile prologue course. The strongest teams in North America were represented in one of the longest running stage races in the United States.
The women's prologue turned out to be a bit of déjà vu with Amber Neben, who very recently joined the Dare to Be/BMW-Bianchi team roared up the climb to claim the win, followed by Mara Abbott of Peanut Butter and Co., and new cycling sensation Evelyn Stevens of HTC-Columbia in third. "I was really surprised at how good the legs felt today, we'll see how it goes tomorrow. I've been doing some mountain biking - maybe some of the steep climbs I've done helped today"
And it was a great day for Jelly Belly presented by Kenda, as two of their young riders Carter Jones 2nd, and Kiel Reynen 3rd, made a name for themselves as they sandwiched the on fire Ben Day of Fly V Australia who won the day. Starting last, wearing bib number one as last prologue winner proving he is no fluke, Day managed to eek out a two second advantage over the young gun Jones. "To come here and do the same thing as last year and with all the pressure of defending is something different for me, I am very happy to get this win".
The Redlands Bicycle Classic rolls into Beaumont tomorrow with a circuit race to kick off stage 1. 3 laps and 68 miles for the women, and 105 miles in 5 laps of the hilly and windy course that winds through the beautiful Beaumont area. A new course design takes riders up a well known climb called the Banning Bench in the first loop. It will make for a tough day to defend the yellow jersey winners on today's stage.
For more information, including race times, distances, and volunteer opportunities, visit www.redlandsclassic.com.
Also check out continuing Redlands coverage from our friends over at Podium Insight!