Emerging from a late-race break, Kiwi Roman Van Uden (Pure Black Racing) won the Redlands criterium, the second stage of the Redlands Bicycle Classic. Going for the green sprint jersey, Van Uden made his way into break after break, on the hunt for the points. Van Uden was successful as he takes over the sprint classification.
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The rest of the break, stuck in a crash on the second to last corner, was caught by the charging field. Ken Hanson (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda) took the field sprint for second ahead of Australia Criterium Champion Jonathan Cantwell (V Australia).
In the break were GC contenders such as Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell) at 9 seconds down, Tyler Wren (Jamis-Sutter Home) at 16 seconds and Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth) at 22 seconds. Sergio Hernandez (Jelly Belly) and Isaac Howe (Kenda/5-hour Energy) were also going for the stage win as part of the same move.
Francisco Mancebo (RealCyclist.com) remains in yellow tied on time with Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell). The prologue results were used as a tie-breaker.
Lots of drama and confusion in the GC department. As usual in crits, the attacks flew until a break was established and seven riders were off the front. Then with the halfway plus one lap time bonus sprint coming up, the Bissell train took control of the front of the field to set up B. Jacques-Maynes who was sitting in second on GC at one second down. They ramped up the speed, reeled everybody back in and went for it. But first, a bit of confusion with the points sprint on the lap prior. Mancebo sprinted and the sprint continued for one more lap where B. Jacques-Maynes outsprinted Mancebo on the time bonus sprint. And confusion rang.
Thinking that they had the virtual lead after double-checking with the officials, the Bissell team stayed at the front and controlled the race. To add to the confusion, the race announcers also called B. Jacques-Maynes the virtual leader. With ten laps to go, the team was informed that Mancebo had remained in yellow with the prologue results used as the tie-breaker.
GC time is not calculated to the hundreds of a second typically. So the two were separated by 1 seconds and of course, everyone knew that they were tied on GC. The confusion was about the tie breaker which in this case is the hundred of a seconds of the prologue results.
More confusion earlier in the race. Only two laps into the race, fourth on GC at 6 seconds down, Andres Diaz (Team Exergy) pulled into the pit but his mechanical was not approved and he wouldn’t be granted a free lap. He was stuck behind trying to chase solo. One of his teammate sat up and waited for him. But Diaz went back into the pit, the ruling was changed and he was re-inserted into the field. And that left his teammate, Sam Johnson, dangling off the back. Johnson could not catch up and was ultimately pulled.
The final stage, the 94.1 miles (151.4 km) Beaver Medical Group Sunset Road Race should be an explosion of attacks. On tap are the tough Sunset Loop and time bonuses at 2 intermediate sprints and a the finish. Mancebo and B. Jacques-Maynes are tied on points, Chris Baldwin (juwi Solar – First Solar) is down 5 seconds, Diaz at 8 seconds and A. Jacques-Maynes is at 11 seconds.
Roman Van Uden (Pure Black Racing). “I was trying to escape off the front to try and pick up the sprint points because it was one of our goals for this tour and the final move went with five laps to go and I thought if there was another one coming, it was a good chance to get it and hopefully if they’re going for time, they’ll let me go for points. We stayed ahead, I tried to relax, tried to calm the nerves down so I could time it right. I hit the last two hairpins pretty hard, so no one could come around.”
About GC contenders in final break? “Most of them were pulling hard and I knew that they were going for time so I could just sit on and take the win. Awesome.”
About going in the early break. “That came back together when Bissell went for the time bonus. I get my breath back and then at the next one [points sprint], I told Shem to drill it. Bissell let us sit at the front for awhile picking up points.”
Ken Hanson (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda). “Coming in with a lap to go, we had Sergio in the break. We were really confident with Sergio, we wanted the break to stay away. We knew if he had a chance to sprint against those guys he had it. I had Bernard Van Ulden and Brad Huff in front of me. Huff took over on the backside, the Borrajos jumped over us with Cantwell. We were going in before the S-turns and coming into the second to last corner, we could see that the break had crashed because they still had 50 or 60 meters on us. They would have stayed away because the guy who won was the only guy who stayed upright in the break, all the other guys went down. I came through with Cantwell and got him for the sprint. By the time we opened up our sprint, the guy was crossing the line, it was that close. We were really hoping that Sergio would have that chance because we were confident but if it came back, I was feeling really good and Huff was still there so we were confident in a bunch sprint too. Sometimes it happens, we’re bummed for Sergio, a missed opportunity for him, he’s good out of a breakaway.
About the crash. “It happened coming out of the second to last corner. That’s maybe 175 to 200 meters before the line because the last corner is 100 meters maximum, maybe 75. If you start your sprint, especially out of a break and it’s a tailwind finish, you want to be sprinting, it’s okay to be first wheel out of that last corner on a day like today. Sergio was second wheel starting to sprint and some guy came into him and took him into the barricades.”
Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell). “Our team plan was, half an hour in, to take over the front, mow down whatever was up the road and I’m sprinting for bonus seconds. There was a bit of confusion about the points sprint right before the time sprint. We had to be up there, the sprint was going for both laps anyway. I was still in position and Mancebo was gased, he was confused, he went full gas for the points and then they rang the bell again, and you could see going ‘oh I have to do this again’. I had no one left either, I basically led myself out for a lap, still got it and Mancebo was second.”
About the GC confusion. “Then it went back to the prologue but unfortunately there was miscommunication amongst the officials. They told [DS] Omer [Kem] that we were the leaders on the road and we act on whatever information is supplied to us. Half an hour later after my guys rode their butts off and did a terrific job controlling the front of the race, they told us that I didn’t have it. I’m really upset about this whole thing. I know they work hard but that’s the kind of thing that you don’t want to see at a race of this caliber.”
About the late race break. “At that point, we went back to plan B which was if I wasn’t in the lead, full team attack. Andy made a great move, got into the race lead in the small break with under five laps to go. If he gets any kind of time gaps at the finish line or time bonus second, he moves into the race lead, that would have worked out for us. Unfortunately, Andy was caught behind the crash and finished fifth.”
About tomorrow. “The only thing that I could take away is my legs felt great all day, my guys put me in great position, I feel fresher now then when I started this morning. I’m feeling really confident for tomorrow, and if anything, it’s fire in the belly. I’m going to use this to continue to try and hit the race. I’m not here to get second, I’m here to win this thing.”
Top 3 Elite Men Stage 2 Results: (Full results not available yet)
1 Roman Van Uden (Pure Black Racing)
2 Ken Hanson (Jelly Belly)
3 Jonathan Cantwell (V Australia)
Elite Men GC Results:
1 Francisco Mancebo (RealCyclist.com)