Redlands Rider Diary Stage 2: “Going toe to toe with some of the world’s best climbers is the most humbling thing ever”

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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 2 went.

Stage 2: City of Yucaipa Road Race

4 laps, 61.8 miles
Race winner: Mara Abbott (Amy D Foundation). 2nd: Kristin Armstrong (Twenty16 – RideBiker), 3rd: Kathryn Donovan (Colavita-Bianchi) Armstrong (Twenty16 – RideBiker)
Race Report – COMING SOON
Video Highlights

HB Supermint went into Stage 2 hoping to defend the yellow jersey.
HB Supermint went into Stage 2 hoping to defend the yellow jersey.

How do I even begin to explain the Yucaipa stage of Redlands Cycling Classic?

I started the day feeling kind of like you do when you’re muscling up the strength to go to lunch with some girlfriends you haven’t seen in four years. You don’t really want to do it, you know you actually have to do it, you may enjoy it a little at times, you KNOW you should be drinking more, but it’s mostly really difficult, and at the end of the day you still have to go home and take a huge nap afterwards because it’s exhausting.

The race consisted of 4 laps of 1,400 feet (426 meters) of climbing, screaming fast descents and a finishing climb up Oak Glen that lasted around 4 soul-sucking miles. Defending the yellow jersey usually involves riding the front and controlling the pace, but with such a challenging course, things pretty much kept themselves together, as many of us knew the race would be decided on the final climb.

So much suffering
So much suffering

Sure enough, it was definitely decided on that final climb. Going toe to toe with some of the world’s best climbers is basically the most humbling thing ever. And the several instances of crashing and plenty of nervous moments that preceded it made for another mentally exhausting stage. One of those nervous moments included superstar Beth Ann Orton of Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling and I leaning against one another with wheels locked up to avoid a crash on one of the descents.

That crash in particular took down eventual winner Mara Abbott, who put  some serious time into our GC leader, Scotti Lechuga. Props to Mara and her team for shaking it off and sealing the deal!

Despite the intensity, comic relief was provided by stellar teammate, Lindsay Bayer, who ‘yard sale-d’ the contents of her pockets in the feedzone like the Honey Stinger chew fairy!

Feeling proud of my team, perpetually hungry, and completely drained, I leave you with a GIF someone caught of me going up Oak Glen all by my lonesome.

cat gif

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 3!

Ivy Audrain is a member of the new UCI Hagens Berman – Supermint team, making her debut as a pro this season.

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