The 30th annual Redlands Bicycle Classic presented by San Manuel band of Mission Indians continued Friday in Beaumont California. The City of Beaumont Circuit Road Race has always provided a chance for many riders to move up in the general classification; Friday's race provided just that opportunity.
The sunny skies racers and spectators enjoyed yesterday were gone. Racing got started under cloudy skies and cool temperatures. The racers would also encounter winds in the valleys and canyons that can break a group apart.
Friday's race presented the riders with a different challenge then the previous day's Time Trial. Friday the riders headed into the foothills surrounding the community of Beaumont on a 24.1 mile circuit race. The men completed 5 laps for 120.5 miles, while the women went 3 laps for 72.3 miles.
Alison Power of United Healthcare began the day with a 34 second lead over 2nd place rider Leah Kirchmann of Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies. Leah would inch closer in the early stages of the race by posting valuable time bonus, once the women had made the last turn onto the finishing sprint Leah was poised to win the stage and take the yellow jersey away from Alison. Leah Kirchmann ended up taking the Stage victory and with it the overall GC lead. Lauren Stephens of Team Tibco finished a close 2nd and Tayler Wiles of Specialized Lululemon finished the stage 3rd.
The current women's GC standings after Stage 3 are as follows: Leah Kirchmann of Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 5:04:52, Alison Power of United Healthcare 00:09, Tayler Wiles of Specialized Lululemon 00:16 back.
The men's race supplied plenty of excitement and opportunities. At one point a group of 11 riders had a gap that reached over 4:00 minutes. The break would finally be chased down by the peloton. The break would include Ben Jacques Maynes of Team Jamis Hagens Berman that would make him the virtual yellow jersey on the road. Since the break had the potential to take the yellow away from Tom Zirbel the Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies team would be asked to reel in the break.
Once the break had been brought back into the fold the men of Hincapie Sportswear Development and Smart Stop would do the rest of the work and ended up putting both there rider’s in contention for the field sprint. Travis McCabe of Smart Stop ended up winning the stage over Ty Magner of Hincapie Sportswear Development and Sergio Hernandez of Incycle –Predator Components.
Travis McCabe of Smart Stop won the sprint to capture the stage ahead of Ty Magner of Hincapie Sportswear Development and Sergio Hernandez of Incycle –Predator Components.
Travis McCabe moved into the GC lead with his strong stage finish. Tom Zirbel Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies fell down into 2nd place 00:05 seconds back. While William Routley of Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies moved into 3rd 00:06 back.
Racing continues tomorrow in downtown Redlands. The women’s race will take to the streets at 2:30 for a 60 minute Criterium followed by the men at 4:30 for a 90 minute Criterium. After the race hang around for the free concert featuring the voice contestant Michael Austin of Austin Law at 6:30.
This year’s event will be held April 2 – 6, 2014 in Redlands, CA and surrounding cities. The race features professional men and women’s races that will include five tough days of racing, beginning with a Circuit Race in the City of Highland on Wednesday, a time trail at Big Bear Lake on Thursday, a grueling road race in the scenic City of Beaumont on Friday, wrapping up in Redlands with a criterium Saturday, and the famous Sunset Road Race on Sunday.
For more information, including race times, distances, and volunteer opportunities, visit www.redlandsclassic.com.