On a steamy hot day in Highland, California, the Redlands Bicycle Classic presented by San Manuel Band of Mission Indians got rolling on a tight circuit with a nasty sting. The 2.8 mile course began with a neutral start but quickly hit the first of many climbs up a 10 percent grade. The women had 14, and the men 20 laps to complete on the technical course.
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Scotti Lechuga of the Hagens-Berman/Supermint team won the women’s race with a charge up the hill the final climb, followed by Alison Jackson and Kristin Armstrong of the Twenty16/RideBiker team.
“I was proud of the girls today”, said Lechuga “I told them we should ride conservatively and save it for the end.”
In the men’s race, a break was established early with Ruben Campanioni of Team Jamis riding away in the final laps and holding off a charging pack for the biggest win of his career. His teammate Sebastian Haedo out sprinted the group for second, followed by Travis McCabe of Holwesko/Citadel Hincapie to round out the podium.
Campanioni said through an interpreter, “I was hurting so bad on the last lap, but I turned around and saw I still had a gap, and forced myself to continue”.
Stage two is another big day with a road race in the scenic community of Yucaipa, and a finish with a climb to famous village of Oak Glen.
For more information, including race times, distances, and daily video highlights, visit redlandsclassic.com.