Holowesko | Citadel’s TJ Eisenhart took the biggest win of his career, with a solo victory up to Oak Glen for stage 2 at Redlands Bicycle Classic in Yucaipa, California. The 22-year-old attacked with 6k to go, gaining a 40-second advantage on a chase duo of Rally Cycling’s Emerson Oronte who finished second, and Brandon McNulty, in third.
“A guy went on my left with about 6k to go, followed the attack, and it was time to go so I went,” Eisenhart said after finishing. “I looked back and I had a big gap.”
Photos by Frank Sarate / SoCalCycling.com
Other than the climb up Oak Glen, the heat made for a decisive factor during Thursday’s 151.9km road race, as riders were in constant rotation getting ice socks and liquids to keep cool and hydrated. A 7-man break had enjoyed a roughly 2-minute lead for most of the day but was eventually caught on the final lap of the circuit.
“Andrei [Krasilnikau] was looking out for me the whole day, Carpenter, Ruben, Ty, Joe, everyone, giving me bottles, giving me ice – this team is amazing,” Eisenhart added.
“This was a much more decisive side of Oak Glen than previous two-years we’ve done it,” Oronte said. “I commend the organizers for it. I put in a few digs with Gavin (Mannion) and Brandon (McNulty). Gavin (UHC) had to do more work than I did, sitting second overall. I was able to pull away from Gavin, but did not have enough real estate to bring TJ back. Second place is a good result, I’m happy but you obviously want to win.”
Canyon Bicycle Pro Cycling’s Kaler Marshall earned both the KOM and point’s classification jersey’s for stage 2, having picked up the points in the break.
Women’s Race – Hall wins with late attack ahead of Neben
In the women’s race, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling’s Katie Hall took victory, finishing the 66-mile race ahead of leader Amber Neben (Dare To Be Project), after a late attack up the final climb on Oak Glen. Katie Donovan (Visit Dallas DNA) rounded out the podium in third place.
After making the turn onto the final climb, Hall launched her winning attack with 2km left in the race. Neben, who was riding neck to neck with the UHC rider, kept Hall close enough to stay in the yellow jersey heading into Friday’s stage.
“It wasn’t a super aggressive race because it was so hot, but that’s what really zapped us,” Hall said after the stage. “However, I think our team is sitting second and third on GC right now, which sets us up for some aggressive racing later, and I’m pumped about that. I’ll be teaming up with Ruth Winder to do our best to unseat Amber.”
Winder (UHC) now leads the point’s classification, with Hall in the QOM leader’s jersey. Neben holds a 23 second lead ahead of Hall on GC, with Winder over a minute back in third.