Not again. Both Ben Day of the Fly V Australia team and Will Routley of the Jelly Belly presented by Kenda squad were determined not to repeat the past at the Beaumont Circuit Race.
“I was in that little break here last year and I lost it by a second. I knew it all year it was in the back of my mind. So I knew where and when to go and I was paying attention all day as to how much headwind there was coming into that sprint anticipating this.” said Routley who outsprinted his breakmates Ben Jacques-Maynes (BISSELL) and Luis Amaran (Jamis/Sutter Home) for the win on stage 2 of the Redlands Bicycle Classic.
“Not again.” replied yellow jersey Day when asked what was going through his mind when the break escaped on the final climb. Last year, Day lost the overall lead when a 4-rider made it to the finish line.
Day continued. “It’s exactly the way the race panned out last year, we all know it’s going to happen, it’s what happens every time. I can’t follow everything and isolate myself because no one is going to ride with me to the finish. I’ve got to get over that climb and have safety in numbers and try to, I don’t know, bring the race back to the sprinters and that’s what brought those guys back together at the finish.”
Day finished the day in yellow with a slim lead of six tenths of a second on Jacques-Maynes. Routley moved up to third spot at one second down.
Game on for Routley. Under control by the Fly V Australia team, the peloton was all back together at the bottom of the final climb to the Summit of Bogart Park.
“The race was under control the whole day, I was feeling good and I wanted to give it a shot the last time on the climb and that’s what happened.” said Amaran who made the first move.
“We came into the last climb, we expected fireworks to explode, we never really went that ridiculously hard, maybe a few guys were leaving something for the finish so Luis went, he had a gap but he was slowly establishing himself.” explained Routley. “I’m just waiting, waiting, we’re getting closer and came to the last switchback and I said forget it, I’m just going by myself. I zipped across and caught him and the two us immediately just punched it and the gap went up more. I thought it was going to be the two of us, I looked over my shoulder and there was no one. As soon as we came around that first downhill corner, I don’t know where Ben Jacques-Maynes … he just busted up to us.”
And then there were three. “Amaran started, he went three quarters of the way up the climb. Will went the flat little part across the top just before the KOM and I went on the descent into the super sketchy downhill corner. I’ve known from previous years that you can take that corner really fast if there’s no one in front of you. I just gripped the bars hard, stuck the corner, I took it with no brakes, this is do or die, I’m going to make it with this. Careened through the corner and I was halfway across. Then it was a matter of pedaling hard to the finish line.” said Ben Jacques-Maynes (BISSELL) who was the third final rider in the break.
Routley and Amaran worked together until Jacques-Maynes joined them.
“I initially rode with Luis but fortunately because I had guys second and third on GC I didn’t have to work in that break so I was able to take it easy. Sure enough it paid enough, I felt great today but that’s also the fact that the team is riding so well. We rode well all day keeping each other comfortable at the front and I’m psyched to be on the team this year. It’s amazing all the guys this year and the fact that we have second and third on GC that enabled me to win today.” said Routley.
“You knew it was going to happen, I’ve already been jumped for a finish once this year, you know it’s coming, you just have to dig in as best as you can and hope that maybe he’s hurting, maybe not going to be able to jump with much but Will is a good bike rider. Man, hats off to him, he still made a great move just to be up in that group, he’s still a deserved winner.” said Jacques-Maynes who finished second.
Amaran crossed the line in third place, three seconds later. “When I tried, I tried to go by myself and was joined by two other guys. I knew that by myself I wasn’t going to make it, I was trying to move forwards on GC, that was the main goal.”
The field came in four seconds further back with Alejandro Borrajo (Jamis/Sutter Home) taking the sprint for fourth.
Both Amaran and Routley had to deal with a mechanical in the final laps. Amaran flatted with one and a half lap to go and switched wheels with his teammate Tyler Wren.
“I got a rear flat just maybe 5k before the climb so I was doing a bit of an effort just catching back on .” Routley chuckled. “I got back and asked the guys ‘is the break caught, are we all back together, what’s the story?’ and sure enough it’s together. Game on, time to race.”
Never been done before. “I want to reflect on the fact that this is the first time the yellow jersey has been defended on this stage before and that was because of the incredible teamwork out there today, the boys once again did an awesome job.” said Day. “It’s pretty cool to be sitting in the back of them and having the other best teams in the US coming up to me and saying your boys are riding strongly. I don’t really have to say much about how well they’re going. Happy to still be in the jersey, it’s a pretty hard stage to control, it’s almost a curse to be leading into this stage.”
The Fly V Australia squad went straight to the front of the 105.7 miles (170 km) stage intent on controlling the action.
The first break of the day went on the second lap when Andrei Krasilnikav (Holowesko Partners) attacked before the start/finish line. He was quickly joined by Rob Britton (BISSELL), Eric Boily (Spidertech) and Dan Holt (Team Type 1).
“We started rolling right away and had a gap really quickly, the organization was there pretty quick. And it seemed that everybody had good legs right off the bat, and it looked like Fly V was content to set tempo all day so for us to get away it made it a little bit easier. It’s going to be a long day out there once it was over a minute at the feed on the first lap, we realized that no one was coming across.” said Britton.
Holt dropped back the next time up the climb and the three remaining riders got down to work.
The gap went up to 2:35 the next time up the climb in Bogart Park. Two Holowesko Partners riders put in an attack which had the field single filed as they climbed.
“Our goal is to keep it between 2:30 and 3 minutes because it’s far enough out there that it’s not going to create too much energy to go across but close enough that we think these guys can bring it back pretty quickly. But you saw that lap, Holowesko guys I think they’re reading it well and recognize that they’re going to go and attack to shake things up.” said Fly V Australia Directeur Sportif Ed Beamon a few minutes after the field had gone by us at the KOM. Beamon was manning a white board with the race radio ban in effect.
Next lap the gap had gone up to almost five minutes. “It went out to almost five minutes and then I think they brought about 40 seconds back. Obviously it’s awfully hard to gauge it without radio communication so they have to wait on that time board. So we just asked them to close it out a little bit.” said Beamon.
Any panic? “Absolutely none.” replied Beamon. “You can see that they’re in control.”
Jelly Belly-Kenda put in a rider in the rotation a few times to help out in the chase. “We didn’t want to do Fly V’s job for them but we wanted to make sure that the break was kept in check. We know we have some horsepower to finish and go for the stage but also we want to keep the guys up there on GC so doing a little bit of effort in that chase. And that was about it, it was a pretty controlled day, other than the guys going for KOM points, a few little efforts there it was just a controlled day.” said Routley.
One of the guys going for KOM points was Paul Mach (BISSELL). “I tried a few on there but it was hard to get close enough to the front to get a good attack. Even if you’re twenty guys back it’s too far. Whenever I was in good position I tried to go for it but that wasn’t very often.”
In the break, Britton and Krasilnikav came to an agreement to decide the jerseys.
“There was a bit of conversation between myself and Garmin just to see who would get what points, we sorted that out for KOM and sprint. After that it was pretty simple, roll it and hope to stick it out as long as it could, give the rest of the guy a free ride in the pack.” said Britton.
Britton took the two intermediate sprint points to take the green sprinter’s jersey. Taking two of the three KOMs, Krasilnikav leads the King of the Mountain competition.
The break was brought back in the feedzone on the final lap just in time for the expected fireworks to put a somewhat isolated Day under pressure.
“My boys had done so much work at the point. Their job finished at the bottom of the climb, Bernie Sulzberger did a great job to stay by my side.” said Day. “I led over the KOM just to keep the break in check a little, It’s a little bit of a catch-22 to sit at the front and bring those three guys back, Amaran, Jacques-Maynes and Routley are very strong bike riders. That was going to be a hard task to bring it back by myself and I can’t isolate myself so it really comes into being a little bit of a poker game from the last climb, that’s the difficulty of this stage, it wasn’t easy last year, it wasn’t easy this year. I think the Fly V Australia team should be very proud that we were able to keep the yellow jersey today.”
“This race is not over by any means.” said Day. The Redlands Bicycle Classic continues with the 90-minute criterium on a technical 9-corner one-mile, flat course, with time bonuses on the line of course, a total of 13 seconds up for grabs. The GC is even tighter with 15 riders separated by 30 seconds. And then there’s the tough Sunset Loop on Sunday.
“If they make me,” laughed Day when asked if he would sprint for the time bonuses, “there’s a lot of racing to go yet, tomorrow is always a great race in the center of Redlands, I’m looking forwards to that and hopefully see some of our fast guys go for the win.”
BISSELL is ready. “There’s a couple of time bonuses in the crit. We’re going to see how Fly V controls the criterium. They’re a good crit team so we’re going to have to once again make them work for it. And if we can really tire them out so they’re hurting halfway through Sunset it can just completely fall apart. That’s the thing about Sunset, that race could fall apart at any moment and it’s really hard to figure out exactly what’s going to make it stick.” said Jacques-Maynes.
Although known for their crit speed, Jamis/Sutter is looking at GC. “Tomorrow is going to be a crit and I think it’s going to be more for crit guys. We’re really looking forwards to a GC podium and a GC win, we know that we can win stages but knowing that Luis is going very good we’re going to try to give a shot again, like we did in San Dimas, like we did today, do it again on Sunday and see if we can move him forwards on GC.” said Alexandre.
As for Routley, he smiled and said “I look forwards to Sunset Loop.”
Top 10 Stage Results
1. Will Routley (Jelly Belly-Kenda) 4:13:21
2. Ben Jacques-Maynes (BISSELL) s.t.
3. Luis Amaran (Jamis/Sutter Home) +0:03
4. Alejandro Borrajo (Jamis/Sutter Home) +0:07
5. Andrew Pinfold (UnitedHealthcare) s.t.
6. Kyle Wamsley (BISSELL) s.t.
7. Anibal Borrajo (Jamis/Sutter Home) s.t.
8. Hilton Clarke (Bahati Foundation) s.t.
9. Cody Stevenson (Adageo Energy) s.t.
10. Alex Candelario (Kelly Benefit Strategies) s.t.
Top 10 General Classification after stage 1
1. Ben Day (Fly V Australia) 4:22:44
2. Ben Jacques-Maynes (BISSELL) +0:00.06
3. Will Routley (Jelly Belly-Kenda) +0:01
4. Carter Jones (Jelly Belly-Kenda) +0:02
5. Kiel Reijnen (Jelly Belly-Kenda) +0:04
6. Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare) +0:06
7. Luis Amaran (Jamis/Sutter Home) +0:12
8. Jeremy Vennell (BISSELL) +0:15
9. Paul Mach (BISSELL) +0:19
10. Nathan O’Neill (Bahati Foundation) +0:22
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