Redlands Classic: Sunset Road Race

Robin Carpenter Wins on Sunset Loop,

Stites Defends Redlands Title

Men’s Race

Robin Carpenter sprinted to the line to steal a second victory of the final stage for L39ion of Los Angeles after their women’s team won earlier in the day. Carpenter had been in a solo move after losing his only breakaway companion from CS Velo in the final Sunset loop. Fighting for every second once he made it to the downtown circuit, the effort secured third over all for him in the general classification. Gavin Hlady was second for Team Mike’s Bike’s of California, followed by Riley Sheehan of the Denver Disrupters. 
“I can’t believe I stayed away honestly, it was so close for so long,” Carpenter said. “I was just dying out there. It was hard and so close, 10 seconds on the last lap, everyone was blown. You needed to have teammates and I didn’t have any. I was just able to hold on.”
Carpenter had begun the final stage 40-seconds down on GC in fourth position. Meanwhile, Stites was sitting in the lead with his teammate Ricky Arnopol in second at a 9-second deficit ahead of AJ August 12 seconds down in third. A six-man break was established three laps into the stage, including Eder Frayre and Sam Boardman for L39ion, Ulises Castillo and Sergio Henao for the Denver Disrupters, Tobie Klein for Aevolo Cycling, and Joel Plamondon of Toronto Hustle. 
The group managed to secure over a minute gap for most of the stage, until two laps to go on Sunset when Project Echelon initiated the chase. The group was caught with two circuits to go, before the final KOM line when Henao was within two points of stealing the KOM classification for Denver. It was at that moment that Carpenter attacked, taking Drake Deuel of CS Velo Racing with him. 

The gap increased to a minute, making Carpenter the virtual yellow on the road before Stites jumped to close down the gap. Carpenter had several teammates in the chase group, including Frayre and the US National Road Champion, Kyle Murphy. Murphy had attacked previously, going solo for a lap before he was absorbed by the field. 
Once Carpenter and Deuel escaped, they worked together to help increase the gap heading to the final loop on Sunset before Deuel suddenly crashed leaving Carpenter alone to fight for the GC. The chase caught him just after passing the final KOM line, when Carpenter escaped again, hovering ever so slightly in front of the field. He maintained a 5-second gap in the downtown circuits, snatching the top intermediate bonus seconds, and earning another 10-seconds at the finish with his win. 
“I would have loved to take the GC, but once I caught at the top of the climb I thought I would figure out how to win the stage,” Carpenter said. “I know I have a fast bike and a fast position – just ride down the hill as fast as possible. It was touch and go for a long time, but I managed to keep the gap on the last lap. Tyler rode amazing today.
“We had a plan to put the pressure on, which we did. Stites was amazing; he rode Kyle (Murphy) back with two laps to go by himself. Kudos to him, a deserving winner.”
Stites crossed the finish relieved the battle was over knowing he had successfully defended his title for a second consecutive year with Project Echelon. He was also the victor of the KOM classification after the leader, Evan Boyle of Aevolo, had abandoned due to illness in the first hour of racing. 

Overall jersey winners – Alex Murison (Red Truck Racing), Tyler Stites (Project Echelon) & AJ August (Hot Tubes Cycling).

“That was probably the hardest bike ride I have ever done,” Stites said, exhausted at the finish. “I had to dig deep and cover everything. Robin was solo for so long, luckily I got some help from some other people. I was nervous but I just knew I had to pedal as hard as I could, it worked out. 
“It was down to me and Ricky (Arnopol), not sure when he dropped off. Everyone on the team gave everything they had. I can’t believe it, it still hasn’t sunk in.”
The 17-year-old AJ August was alongside Stites in the final to secure a second overall finish on GC and the U22 best young rider classification, his first in his young career. The top three on GC all finished within 30 seconds of one another. Stites winning by another close margin of 14-seconds, after stealing yellow by 21 seconds in 2022. 
L39ion of Los Angeles won the team classification. Alex Murison of the Canadian development squad, Red Truck Racing won the green sprint points classification to complete another successful year of the Redlands Bicycle Classic.

Pro Men’s Results

Women’s Race

Skylar Schneider Scores Second
Win of Redlands Debut,
Emily Ehrlich Secures the Overall GC

Skylar Schneider made it two for two, out-sprinting Marlies Mejias of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Twenty24 for the win in the final stage at the 37th Annual Redlands Bicycle Classic. Schneider’s sister Samantha, a decorated sprinter in her own right, rounded the podium for third.

The L39ion of Los Angeles duo had been part of a select group that split the field early on, establishing a solid advantage. Emily Ehrlich joined the move for Twenty24, keeping tabs on any attempted moves by the GC favorites, entering the downtown circuits to secure her first overall victory at Redlands. 
“It was awesome, the whole team was spectacular,” Ehrlich said. “We were playing defense, its what we had to do.”
L39ion meanwhile were not a threat for the overall, allowing them the freedom of opportunity. The team began another spectacular day of racing on this final stage in Downtown Redlands, confident of another solid result.
“The race was brutal, it was my first time doing it. Every year I hear how hard it is and how iconic,” Skylar said at the finish. “Not only the climb, but you have to be really focused because it’s such a fast downhill.”
Both sisters Sam and Skylar, are known for their strength in sprinting, with Sam having had so much success on the crit scene for many years and Skylar getting experience racing on the WorldTour. Redlands was the first race of the season for L39ion and Skylar’s debut at Redlands with the first chance of the year to test her sprint.
“We had numbers coming into the circuit, Skylar wanted to win it so we set it up,” Sam added. “She got the job done so it’s always a good idea when it happens.”
“I think it came down to good teamwork,” Skylar said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a crit or a road race, the team cohesion is a big advantage for us so we’ll try and keep the momentum going.”
There was a lot of action happening throughout the day from kilometer zero. The stage did not have a neutral zone rollout, where riders usually have a chance to stretch their legs before the battle begins. Instead, it was full gas from the whistle. The sprint points classification was also very close, with only 3 points seperating Holly Breck of DNA Pro Cycling and Rylee McMullen of Instafund Racing. Breck held an 8-point lead on McMullen at the start of the day. In the end, it was Twenty24 racing to the finish to celebrate. 
“Whenever they attacked we were up there so it was perfect,” Ehrlich said. “It’s the biggest win of my racing career. I have only been racing seriously for three or four seasons, but this is everybody’s win. The whole team was amazing.”
Marcela Prieto (Patobike) had been 39-seconds down at the start. Once the front group was established, it became very difficult for any attacks to stick with so many GC contenders in the group. The Mexican GC contender would finish second overall. Melisa Rollins remained in third to complete the podium for Twenty24.

There had been four QOM intermediate points, and valuable sprint points as well. Nadia Gontova (Red Truck) was six points down on Kathleen Abadie (Fount Cycling) in the QOM competition. Gontova was sitting in the top five on GC and was focused on the overall, allowing Abadie to secure enough points to confirm her win in the queen of the mountains classification. 
In the battle for the green points classification, the race was really tight. McMullen was trailing Breck by 3-points at the start of the day. Both had made the GC selection group, but after Breck’s efforts to secure the jersey on Saturday, the DNA rider lost contact in the last few laps. 
The battled heated up so that announcers and officials alike were checking their math to see who would don the final green jersey to secure its victory. Breck was dropped in the final two laps, losing valuable time as the gap continued to increase. Breck dug deep; crossing the line having left everything she had on the road to win the green sprint leaders classification by only two points. 
Caitlin Howell of Terun Elite missed the early move and would lose the Best Amateur jersey for Terun Elite in doing so.  Alia Shafi scooped it up white racing in the GC select group, working for her team leader fighting for the QOM, Kathleen Abadie.

Virginia’s Blue Ridge Twenty24 also secured the overall team classification of the Redlands Classic to close the first chapter of stage racing on the North American circuit for 2023. 

Pro Women’s Results


Top Photo – Robin Carpenter wins the Sunset Road Race for L39ion of Los Angeles.


Photos Christy Nicholson /

This page contains affiliate links, where we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links(at no cost to you) and helps support the site. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
assos Chamois Cream (6.76 Ounce)
Sale Garmin Edge 1030, 3.5' GPS Cycling/Bike Computer With Navigation And Connected Features
Sale Hypervolt 2 Pro - Featuring Quiet Glide Technology - Handheld Percussion Massage Gun | 5 Speeds, 5 Interchangeable Heads | Helps Relieve Sore Muscles and Stiffness (Hypervolt 2 Pro)