Rally Cycling heads west this week to continue its season at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, May 3 - 7. The five-day stage race is the longest continuously running pro stage race in America and one of the most prestigious events on the domestic calendar. Having a history of success at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, including overall victory in 2015 and the Queen of the Mountains title last year, Rally Cycling is excited to return to Redlands with men’s and women’s teams motivated by their unprecedented success at the Tour of Gila.
This year, the race starts with the 7.1 mile Greenspot Time Trial. The flat course should open up gaps in the general classification, but any time gained can be quickly lost on stage two’s punishing climb on Oak Glen. The iconic climb is a tradition at Redlands and often plays a significant role in the race’s outcome. The third stage is the Highland Circuit, a tough course with a steep finishing climb and a technical descent that rarely sees the peloton finish intact. Stage four is a classic downtown criterium, known for its high speeds and energetic crowds. The race concludes on Sunday with the Sunset Road Race. Another tough stage, it features several hilly loops before a flat run to the finish in downtown Redlands.
Emerson Oronte has his sights set on the overall title at Redlands
Headlining the Rally Cycling men’s squad will be Jesse Anthony, Emerson Oronte, and Tom Soladay. The trio work well togther – they swept the podium at the Snelling Road Race with Soladay taking the win and Anthony and Oronte finishing second and third. Soladay has continued to pick up wins around his new home in Minneapolis, while Oronte grabbed stage two of the Chico Stage Race and finished second at the Fort McClellan Road Race in Anniston, AL. Anthony showed his talent on the international stage earlier this year, finishing fifth overall at the prestigious Tour de Normandie in France.
“After seeing how well the guys did in the Tour of the Gila, myself and the rest of the squad are motivated to keep the ball rolling,” said Oronte. “Training has been going well, and I'm confident I have the form to pull off some great results. With the Oak Glen climb being a bit more selective this year, it suits a rider like myself and I will be hunting for the stage win and the overall victory.”
Junior World Time Trial Champion Brandon McNulty returns to competition
The Redlands Bicycle Classic will mark the return to competition for Junior World Time Trial Champion Brandon McNulty. McNulty fractured his pelvis in a crash during stage four of the Volta ao Alentejo in early March. Also, rejoining Rally Cycling will be Curtis White. After a strong spring campaign in Europe with the U23 National Team, White will be looking to ride out from under the shadow of his younger sister Emma, who won stage four of the Tour of the Gila. Sprinters Shane Kline, Pierrick Naud and USPRO Criterium Champion Brad Huff round out the Redlands roster.
“We have a solid group of riders focused on Redlands,” said Performance Manager Jonas Carney. “Emerson and Jesse are coming off a strong ride in Anniston, Alabama, where they ran second and fifth respectively in the road race. Brandon McNulty will start his first race since fracturing his pelvis this spring, and we are excited to have him rejoin the team. Brad, Shane, Curtis and Pierrick are gunning for the criterium and with the form Jesse has been carrying all year, I would not discount his chances at getting a result on any stage.”
Olympic bronze medalist Kirsti Lay returns to the road to lead the women's squad
On the women’s side, Rally Cycling will line up in support of Olympic bronze medalist Kristi Lay. After winning the final stage and the overall at the Tucson Bicycle Classic, Lay returned to the track for Canada at the World Track Championships, claiming sixth in the individual pursuit. Redlands will mark her return to the road as she builds toward the Amgen Tour of California. Caitlin Laroche joins Lay, coming off a strong performance at the Tour of the Gila highlighted by a ninth place finish on the infamous Gila Monster stage. Allison Beveridge continues her comeback from offseason surgery and will be looking to build form. Amy Benner and Katherine Maine will seek stage win opportunities and support Lay’s general classification efforts.
"Heading into Redlands, our team is aiming to have an impact on the general classification,” said Team Director Zach Bell. “So far, we have found success with stage wins and podiums, but our general classification riders have been quietly building towards our core objectives. Redlands is the first of these and presents an excellent opportunity to show the team’s overall strength. It will also be our last tune up for the Tour of California and the team will look to build confidence with some strong results."
Redlands Bicycle Classic Stages
Stage 1 – Greenspot Time Trial (7.1 miles)
Stage 2 – City of Yucaipa Road Race (M: 94.3 miles / W: 66.1 miles)
Stage 3 – Highland Circuit Race (M: 58.1 miles / W: 41.3 miles)
Stage 4 – City of Redlands Criterium (M: 90 minutes / W: 60 minutes)
Stage 5 – Beaver Medical Group Sunset Road Race (M: 94.1 miles / W: 68.1 miles)
Rally Cycling for Redlands Bicycle Classic | Men
Rally Cycling for Redlands Bicycle Classic | Women