Redlands Rider Diary Stage 5: Sunset Circuit Apocalypse

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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 5 went.

Stage 5: Beaver Medical Group Sunset Road Race

 9 laps, 68.1 miles
Race winner: Leah Thomas (Twenty16 – RideBiker), 2nd: Scotti Lechuga (Hagens Berman – Supermint), 3rd: Eri Yonamine (The Dare To Be Project)
Race Report – Coming soon
Video Highlights

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Before I get into the most intense day of Redlands yet, I want to thank all you readers for the outpouring of support and encouragement I have received for these rider diaries; from friends, strangers, and other riders in the peloton. It feels really good to bring something to racing that we can all laugh about together, as we all know much too well how discouraging, challenging, and frankly how much of a  bummer the sport can be at times.

On that note, I’m using my final rider diary for Ella CyclingTips to place emphasis on how un-freaking-believable the women I race with really are. Some of my favorite moments in the race are times when, for instance, the start of the stage gets delayed for a looooooong time. We all line up so nervous and anxious for what we know will be the most difficult day of the week, and being able to take a breath of relief and joke with your buddies before the race (or share lip gloss like high schoolers) is so much more meaningful than lining up in silence, exchanging a few tense words, and getting your teeth kicked in.

Starting the race with a smile didn’t last very long unfortunately, because NEUTRAL DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING. The ‘neutralized’ climb into the sunset circuit was seriously bananas fast, even though we did slow down for a moment to avoid hitting a runaway dog…

Sunset doesn’t even make sense. Twisting descents through neighborhoods, seemingly endless climbs, spats of rain…. I don’t feel like we did anything to deserve this. But the first lap of sunset felt a little something like this: chaos, confusion and possible effort-endured hallucinations.

Me working my way through lap one:


For those of you who didn’t catch the Ella CyclingTips live feed: my team is way too radical. Super props to the Supermints making the front group, making the break, bridging to breaks, and taking off again to eventually finish second on one of the nation’s toughest circuits. Scotti, Lindsay, Allison, Liza, Sho, Julie and Megan: you guys ride in a way that inspires the peloton, and myself especially. A brand new team was able to enter the sunset circuit with all its eight riders that began the stage race, and we are going home with a few podiums and a whole lot of constructive team racing experience.

Here is a clip from the live feed of Scotti climbing away from everyone:

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Stay tuned for more team adventures of Hagens Berman Supermint Pro Cycing! Thanks for the love, Ella CyclingTips! Over and out!
-Ivy Audrain

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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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