Posted by Editor on 04/4/08
Canadian Women 2nd & 3rd in Stage 1 at Redlands
Reports from the organizers:
The skies cleared and the wind somewhat cooperated on April 4th, as the pro women cyclists crowded the starting line of the 2008 Redlands Bicycle Classic Stage One Circuit race in Beaumont, Calif., ready for 4 laps of 17.5 miles. After battling it out with her breakaway companions, Katherine Carroll, from Aaron's sprinted to a big win in Stage One. Alex Wrubleski, from Webcor Builders followed with second; and Leigh Hobson, from Cheerwine grabbed third. Mara Abbott, from High Road, just a few seconds behind in a group that bridged to the breakaway kept the yellow jersey, coming off of her win at Thursday's Prologue race.
"Our team raced well today; we knew we had to put pressure on High Road," reflected Carroll. "I got a little antsy and ended up being on my own for a while. I hoped to hold it so I could repay my team for all their hard work. Winning the green jersey wasn't the objective for the day, but my legs worked."
This year's course required different strategy from the former Oak Glen Stage One race. The 17.5 mile course takes riders through Beaumont's rolling hills, bordered by open fields and a cheering community. However, Bogart Park's grueling hill throws some of the hardest obstacles at cyclists. After the steep climb, sand rides the wind as it surrounds the riders. In order to come out strong, the athletes have to stick with the group and hold on to their place. However, many found the challenge inviting.
"I thought the course was fantastic," said Hobson. "It was definitely a challenge with the climb, but it wasn't as selective as a mountain top finish. Teams could race more aggressively."
The sun warmed the roads in Beaumont, Calif., as a new race course entered the 2008 Redlands Bicycle Classic, presented by PossAbilities. Rock Racing's Santiago Botero, in his first ever American race, sprinted away from a six man breakaway to take the yellow jersey in today's Stage One Circuit race, 50 seconds ahead of his remaining five breakaway companions. Sebastian Haedo, from Colavita Sutter Home Cooking Light and Burke Swindlehurst from Team Bissel finished second and third.
"The race was on par with races in Europe," said Botero. "It was nice to be back with some of my friends on the other teams in the group. It's like one big family. Everyone is very welcoming." Riders had to maintain their speed and push forward to conquer the course. The rolling hills at the beginning of the course gave way to a sharp climb that was laden with wind, sand, and twisty turns.
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