Expanded Colorado Classic Women’s Race Added to PRT Calendar
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Spring snow blanketed roads at the higher elevations in southern California, disrupting the start of the third stage race of the season for the Pro Road Tour (PRT). The hazardous road conditions leading to Big Bear Lake caused a cancellation of the first stage for the Redlands Bicycle Classic presented by San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. The 34th edition of the Redlands Bicycle Classic rolled on as a four-day stage race, May 3-6, with heated battles among the 25-team men’s field and 14-team women’s field in the cities of Highland, Redlands and Yucaipa.
Katie Hall (Saratoga, Calif./UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) continued her winning streak by capturing her third consecutive General Classification crown at a PRT stage race this season. Her PRT individual lead increased to 480 points, a sizeable 225-point margin over Sara Bergen (Vancouver, B.C./Rally Cycling). With a fourth-place finish on all four days of racing at Redlands, Gavin Mannion (Ft. Collins, Colo./UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) jumped to the top spot in men’s PRT individual standings with 217 points. Brendan Rhim (Greenville, S.C./Holowesko-Citadel p/b Arapahoe Resources) remained in second place, 74 points back.
The PRT team standings for women remained unchanged, with UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling in charge over Rally Cycling and Twenty20 p/b Sho-Air. The men’s PRT team standings continued to be led by UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling and Holowesko-Citadel p/b Arapahoe Resources as one and two, respectively. Hagens Berman Axeon overtook Rally Cycling for the third position.
From start to finish for all four days of racing at Redlands, Hall controlled the G.C. lead for the women. She would win the opening road race in Yucaipa, which she also won last year, and finish second in the Highland Circuit Race. Bergen would finish in the Top 10 all four days, including two bronze placements, to gain PRT points. Scoring a third place on G.C., France’s Edwige Pitel (Jakroo Racing) moved from seventh to third overall in the PRT individual standings. The UnitedHealthcare duo of Leah Thomas (Boulder Creek, Calif.) and Diana Peñuela (Colombia) remained in the Top Five, Thomas in third and Peñuela in fifth.
“For me, this is unexpected to be the G.C. leader throughout these PRT races, because I have often played a support role on this team. I feel like I have learned a lot from racing for Ruth Winder, Alison Powers, and Mara Abbott in past years, and now that it’s my turn, I am ready,” said Hall about winning three consecutive stage races and dominating the PRT standings. “For me, the key was getting a gap on the Oak Glen stage and then relying on my teammates to help me keep that gap through the rest of the stages. They looked out for me, kept me out of trouble, and covered or pulled back all of the dangerous moves.”
Consistency was the name of the game for Mannion’s move to the top of the PRT standings this week. Like 2017, he repeated with a fourth-place G.C. finish at Redlands again this year. The big mover in the men’s standings was Australian Lionel Mawdett (Project Echelon Racing), who moved from 12th to third overall. The 23-year-old was second on the opening stage and finished second on G.C. at Redlands Classic. With the Rally Cycling squad not racing at Redlands, Rob Britton (Calgary, Alb.) moved from first to fourth overall. Ruben Campanioni (Cuba/Holowesko-Citadel p/b Arapahoe Resources) rounded out the Top Five.
Another big mover on the men’s side of the PRT was 21-year-old Thomas Revard (Carmel, Ind./Hagens Berman Axeon). Like Hall, he led from start to finish at Redlands Bicycle Classic for the overall title. He used all these points to move into sixth spot on the leaderboard for men.
Next on the PRT calendar is the third criterium of the year, the MVP Health Care Rochester Twilight Criterium. It is the ninth edition for the Rochester, N.Y. criterium, this year with a new spring date, Saturday, May 19, and a new title sponsor, MVP Health Care. The course crosses the Genesee River twice, with the start/finish line on the Broad Street Bridge in downtown Rochester. Follow all the action with a webcast on FloBikes.tv. For more information, visit www.rochestercrit.com.
PRT Expands to 21 Events for 2018
The second annual Colorado Classic women’s stage race has been expanded from two to four days and will has been added to the PRT calendar for 2018. The women’s stage race will take place on the same days and with similar routes as the men’s stage race, Aug. 16-19, starting in Vail and ending in Denver. This brings the total number of PRT events to 21 for the year, with 48 racing days for men and 41 racing days for women.
An international field of 78 competitors is expected for the Colorado Classic, represented by a total of 13 UCI, Domestic Elite and Colorado-based women’s teams. RPM Events Group, organizers of the race, are committed to advancing women’s racing and empowering women through cycling by investing significant resources in expanding the race, routes, video and streaming recap coverage and fan engagement for women.
The PRT includes a mix of quality criteriums, omniums, road races, stage races and one individual time trial across 16 states, with 21 events taking place from April to September. The PRT features the nation’s top road race events and is open to both professional and amateur cyclists. Individual and team champions are crowned at the conclusion of the calendar.
Women’s Individual Standings
- Katie Hall (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) – 480 pts
- Sara Bergen (Rally Cycling) – 255 pts
- Leah Thomas (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) – 223 pts
- Edwige Pitel (Jakroo Racing) – 197 pts
- Diana Peñuela (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) -185 pts
Men’s Individual Standings
- Gavin Mannion (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) – 217 pts
- Brendan Rhim (Holowesko-Citadel p/b Arapahoe Resources) – 181 pts
- Lionel Mawditt (Project Echelon Racing) – 159 pts
- Rob Britton (Rally Cycling) – 157 pts
- Ruben Companioni (Holowesko-Citadel p/b Arapahoe Resources) – 140 pts
Women’s Team Standings
- UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling – 850 pts
- Rally Cycling – 616 pts
- Twenty20 p/b Sho-Air – 352 pts
- Hagens Berman / Supermint – 141 pts
- Team TIBCO – Silicon Valley Bank – 107 pts
Men’s Team Standings
- UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team – 541 pts
- Holowesko-Citadel p/b Arapahoe Resources – 389 pts
- Hagens Berman Axeon – 358 pts
- Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling Team – 276 pts
- Rally Cycling – 274 pts
Photos from Redlands Bicycle Classic courtesy of Dan Munson