Redlands, CA, April 8, 2016 – The 32nd Annual Redlands Bicycle Classic began 4 days of world class cycling action on a steamy hot day in Highland, California on Wednesday, April 6. The Classic, presented by San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, got rolling on a tight circuit with a nasty sting. The 2.8 mile course began with a neutral start but quickly hit the first of many climbs up a 10 percent grade. The women had 14 laps, and the men 20 laps to complete on the technical course.
Scotti Lechuga of the Hagens-Berman/Supermint team won the women’s race with a charge up the final hill climb, followed by Alison Jackson and Kristin Armstrong of the Twenty16/RideBiker team. In the men’s race, a break was established early with Ruben Campanioni of Team Jamis riding away in the final laps and holding off a charging pack for the biggest win of his career.
Stage two was another big day with a road race in the scenic community of Yucaipa Thursday, and a finish with a climb to the famous village of Oak Glen. Stage two turned out to be both familiar and new with a repeat winner in Mara Abbott of The Amy D. Foundation team in the women’s race, and a new face in the form of 21 year old Sepp Kuss of Gateway Harley-Davidson in the men’s race. Defending champion Abbott survived a nasty fall on the third of four 14.1 mile circuits to lay down a blazing final two kilometers to outdistance two-time gold medal winner Kristin Armstrong by 33 seconds. In the men’s race, Sepp Kuss was relatively unknown, and that may have worked in his favor. The two favorites for the stage Lachlan Morton and Janier Acevedo were caught watching as Kuss powered away in the final meters.
The Redlands Bicycle Classic also features a huge Healthy Living Expo, with world-class entertainment and exhibits from a wide variety of vendors. John Miechowicz, Expo coordinator, stated, “There will be a great vibe and a wide assortment of new vendors that will make the event fun even for those who aren’t invested into the bike racing.” The Expo area, open 8am to 9pm on Saturday, April 9, and 8am to 5pm on Sunday, April 10, will feature more than 50 vendors with a variety of foods including international foods from India, Ethiopia, and Mexico, and several organic specialties. In addition, there will be many health-oriented exhibits. Craft beer will flow from local breweries Hangar 24 and Escape Brewery.