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 3 went.
Stage 3: Greenspot Time Trial
Let me be perfectly clear on the topic of time trials: this is not a discipline that suits my strengths, nor is it a stage that has ever NOT sent me into perpetual grumpiness. I love technical courses, sprinting, and things that happen on a track. That rarely describes a TT.
One day I’ll be able to write about a stage of Redlands without it sounding like a centralized apocalypse is occurring around me at all times, but today is not that day. Time trials are stressful when they’re not your specialty; and bike racing is not always rainbows and people shaking cowbells at you while somebody announces free money on each lap.
To get ready to face the stage, I hopped on the rollers, put a Nickelback song on repeat (just kidding, I’m not a monster!), and got ready to race…as ready as I could be. After a solid warm up, I rolled down the start ramp like a cannonball of anxiety. The course covered 7.1 miles and included… you guessed it….more climbing! Have I mentioned how much I love climbing? No? That’s not a coincidence.
For today’s stage, I had to grit my teeth and get my butt uphill as fast as I could go on my BH TT time (trial) machine.
Y’all don’t need to hear about my hip flexor ailments or my saddle sores, but I will say this: finding the perfect saddle for a 5-day stage race is like convincing yourself that your birkenstocks look cool. As much as you tell yourself that they are right for you, deep down, you know you’re at least a little bit wrong. A TT presents a great opportunity to reflect on your saddle in solitude for a long time.
I thought things were going okay, but then somebody passed me and I was like:
So that happened but I kept battling on and crossed the line with dignity intact. I fought hard through the whole TT to make sure I wasn’t anywhere near the time cut….which was not an unreasonable possibility going against an Olympic Gold Medalist on a short course.
Kristin Armstrong of Team Twenty16 – Ridebiker did take the win by a considerable lead, putting her in the yellow jersey. But next up is…. THE CRIT! My Hagens Berman Supermint teammates and I are ready to tear it up!
Here is a preview of tomorrow’s stage:
What’s up next:
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
See you at stage 4, Redlands!
Ivy Audrain is a member of the new UCI Hagens Berman – Supermint team, making her debut as a pro this season.