The 32nd annual Redlands Bicycle Classic is underway in California. Held over the course of five days, it’s the first stage race of the 2016 USA Cycling Pro Road Tour. With its rich history and tough competition, the event certainly carries prestige in the US and the overall win is hotly contested. In this year’s event, 25 men’s teams and 19 women’s teams will battle for the yellow leader’s jersey and we’ve got exclusive coverage for you. We will host a live steam for the weekend events and highlights during the week. In addition, we’ll have rider diaries on Ella from Hagen Berman – Supermint’s Ivy Audrain, who’s making her pro debut this season, and the ladies of Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling have taken over our Ella instagram.
Now let’s hear from Ivy Audrain on how stage 1 went.
Stage 1: Highland Circuit Race
14 laps, 41.3 miles
Race winner: Scotti Lechuga (Hagens Berman – Supermint). 2nd: Allison Jackson (Twenty16 – RideBiker), 3: Kristin Armstrong (Twenty16 – RideBiker)
Day one of the Redlands Cycling Classic starts off with the Highland Circuit Race….and a lot of nerves. Redlands is the first stage race in the inaugural year of the National Pro Tour, and with it brought star-studded rosters (in case the race wasn’t hard enough already). It’s always a little nerve wracking to start alongside some of the world’s best. Now throw in another hundred anxious riders and nothing should go wrong, right?!
False. Staging for Highland and fighting for position before the climb feels a little something like this:
Luckily, some of those star-studded riders are my teammates and mentors, so learning to move around the bunch at the right times made a big difference in conserving energy.
Oh, why is it important to conserve energy you ask? Well, not only will we do approximately 200,000 feet of climbing tomorrow finishing on Oak Glen (possibly exaggerated), we had to go around the Highland Circuit 14 times today with a pretty steep climb each lap at the finish. Doing that climb 14 times went a little something like this:
Lap 1 – “we just stood at staging for 45 minutes. I feel like garbage. I can NOT do this 14 times”.
Lap 2 – “No just kidding, I’ll be fine. Not so bad”.
QOM Lap – “THIS IS FINE I’M STILL FINE” (not fine at all).
Lap 10 – “….there HAS to be an error on the lap-to-go sign. Four to go can’t be real”.
Lap 12 – “Let me just follow this wheel…” (see below)
For others, however, 14 times up that hill is no big deal. Specifically for my teammate, Scotti Lechuga, who with the help of our teammies, was able to bring in the victory with a clean set of wheels and a few valuable seconds on second and third place finishers, Allison Jackson and Kristin Armstrong of Team Twenty16 – Ridebiker.
— Ella (@ellacyclingtips) April 6, 2016
Mint looks good on us, but yellow looks pretty great, too! Congrats, Scotti!
This was SUCH a huge win for our new squad on such a huge day! The Hagens Berman Supermint squad has a big week ahead!
Here’s what’s ahead:
Thursday, April 7
Stage 2 – City of Yucaipa Road Race: 4 laps, 61.8 miles
Friday, April 8
Stage 3 – Greenspot Time Trial: 7.1 miles
Saturday, April 9
Stage 4 – City of Redlands Criterium: 1-mile course (60 minutes) – LIVE STREAM ON ELLA
Sunday, April 10
Stage 5 – Beaver Medical Group Sunset Road Race: 9 laps, 68.1 miles – LIVE STREAM ON ELLA
Come back tomorrow to read up on stage 2!
Ivy Audrain is a member of the new UCI Hagens Berman – Supermint team, making her debut as a pro this season.