Posted by Editor on 03/24/04
Our correspondent Leigh Hargrove (Pushbikes.ca) has just updated us on today's stage of the Redlands Classic. Top-5 results were posted earlier.
Stage 1, the Crestline road race, is a new stage for Redlines, with the men covering 138 kilometres, and the women 85. The most important feature of the stage is the tough final climb, with the riders coasting into the finish less than 2 kilometres after cresting the peak at 1388 metres.
For both the men's and women's race, the stage came down to this climb and, also in both cases, it was the race leader who won the stage - Chris Horner (Webcor) for the men and Genevieve Jeanson (Rona) for the women.
The women stayed together until the climb, regrouping after each of the two previous KoM climbs. At the 35 kilometre mark a crash briefly split things up, but the peloton regrouped. The only other point of interest was the number of flats suffered - over 15 - on the rough roads. Jeanson made her patented attack on the final climb, but did not ride away from the field as easily as expected, with both Lyne Bessette (Quark) and Christine Thornburn (Webcor) keeping her in range. Bessette took second, followed by Thornburn, Karen Bockel (Ger) TDS-Schwalbe and Sue Palmer-Komar (Genesis Scuba-FFCC).
The men's race was made slightly more interesting by the break of 8 that went clear approximately 30 kilometres into the stage. Gord Fraser (Health Net), Trent Klasna (Sierra Nevada), John Lieswyn (Health Net) and Mark McCormack (Colavita Olive Oil) were all part of the lead group, which stretched their lead to over two minutes. However, Horner's Webcor squad was at the front keeping the leaders in range, and at the base of the final climb Horner attacked, catching and dropping the breakaways to take his second consecutive stage. The only rider able to stay with Horner was Cesar Grajales (Jittery Joe's), who took second on the stage. There were two bad crashes in the men's race, both requiring a rider to be taken to hospital. The first is reportedly Ted Luang of the Webcor team, the second was a U.S. Postal rider - either Dave Zabriskie or Jurgen Van Den Broeck.
Redlands continues tomorrow with the well-known Oak Glens road race - 171.7 kilometres for the men, and 129 kilometres for the women.
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