The most challenging stage of this year’s Redlands Bicycle Classic saw a Rally UHC Cycling rider take victory for a second consecutive day. Krista Doebel-Hickok flew up the historic Oak Glen Rd climb to claim victory and move into second place in the overall classification. The result earned her the lead in the Queen of the Mountain competition.
Doebel-Hickok nearly collapsed from her effort at the finish line and had to be helped to the side of the road.
“I felt exactly how I wanted to feel: empty, gutted and proud,” said Doebel-Hickok. “It was a good kind of hurt, the kind you train so hard to be able to inflict upon yourself.”
When asked to reflect on what the result meant to her and the team, the Marina del Ray resident responded like a true leader.
“We should all be very proud of what we are doing here, especially considering the emotional toll the last week has had on everyone,” said Doebel-Hickok. “I’m very happy with how we have all supported each other on and off the bike and that some nice results could add some joy in a difficult time.”
In a repeat of stage two, Gillian Ellsay and Abby Mickey represented the team in the day’s main breakaway. Ellsay later escaped solo before turning onto the 8.7 km ascent of Oak Glen Rd. Former two-time World Time Trial Champion and yellow jersey wearer Amber Neben recognized the danger and chased down Ellsay, catching her inside 4 km remaining.
“I felt no pressure to do anything other than follow the top GC riders and take care of myself,” said Doebel-Hickok. “Knowing my teammates were working so hard up the road and that the plan was going perfectly gave me extra motivation to do my job well. These opportunities don’t come often and I didn’t want to waste it.”
After Ellsay was caught, Doebel-Hickok surged at the front, reducing the lead group to only five riders. After taking a moment to assess the situation, she went again and pulled the eventual podium finishers with her.
“Emma gapped me after my effort and I had to ride my own tempo,” said Doebel-Hickok. “I started to settle for second, but with 500 meters to go, I knew I had nothing to lose by giving it one more dig. I passed Emma, my legs locked up and I just went all in until I crossed the line. I was able to ease up the last few meters and enjoy the feeling of forcing empty legs to move.”
The race heads into downtown Redlands on Saturday afternoon for stage four. Held on a one-mile course, the peloton will race for 60 minutes in one of the nation’s fastest criteriums. This will be the last chance for the sprinter’s teams to control the action ahead of Sunday’s legendary Sunset Loop.
Stage 3 results
1 DOEBEL-HICKOK Krista Rally UHC Cycling 3:04:33 30 USA
2 GRANT Emma Sho – Air TWENTY20 0:00:04 28 GBR
3 NEBEN Amber Trek Red Truck Racing 0:00:16 21 USA
4 LANGLEY Emma Femme Equipe 0:00:39 24 USA
5 NEWSOM Emily Team TIBCO – Silicon 0:00:49 36 USA
6 DUEHRING Jasmine Sho – Air TWENTY20 0:00:52 27 CAN
7 CLEVENGER Erica Sho – Air TWENTY20 0:00:52 25 USA
8 GANZAR Leighann Hagens Berman / Sup 0:00:56 30 USA
9 BOILARD Simone Sho – Air TWENTY20 0:00:59 19 CAN
10 SYDLIK Stefanie Femme Equipe 0:01:10 34 USA
General Classification after stage 3
1 NEBEN Amber Trek Red Truck Racing 5:07:25 USA
2 DOEBEL-HICKOK Krista Rally UHC Cycling 0:01:11 USA
3 NEWSOM Emily Team TIBCO – Silicon 0:01:13 USA
4 GRANT Emma Sho – Air TWENTY20 0:01:22 GBR
5 BOILARD Simone Sho – Air TWENTY20 0:01:39 CAN
6 DUEHRING Jasmine Sho – Air TWENTY20 0:01:40 CAN
7 STEPHENS Lauren Team TIBCO – Silicon 0:01:49 USA
8 GANZAR Leighann Hagens Berman / Sup 0:01:58 USA
9 MALSEED Shannon Team TIBCO – Silicon 0:02:35 AUS
10 LANGLEY Emma 372 Femme Equipe 0:02:43 USA
Queen of the Mountain competition after stage 3
1 DOEBEL-HICKOK, Krista Rally UHC Cycling 18 pts
2 NEBEN, Amber Trek Red Truck Racing 17
3 ELLSAY, Gillian Rally UHC Cycling 14