May 03, 2017 (Redlands, California) – A staple of the USA cycling Pro Road Tour kicks off today in Redlands, California. The five-day Redlands Bicycle Classic in its 33rd year will take place from May 3-7, and is the longest continuously running pro stage race in the United States.
Matteo Dal-cin © Rally Cycling
History was made last year when Canadian Matteo Dal-Cin, now with Rally Cycling, took home his career-best victory securing the overall title becoming the first Canuck to claim the legendary stage race’s GC jersey.
Matteo Dal-Cin © Redlands Classic
Dal-Cin was in Silber Pro Cycling colours last year when he won but surprisingly is not on the start line to defend his title. He just finished racing at the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico, so we contacted Rally wondering if he’s perhaps injured or sick. There’s no official word yet but we hear he’s on the bike and it seems the team may have bigger plans for the talented Canuck i.e. the Tour of California ?
Ryan Roth © Brian Hodes
Racing kicks off at Redlands on May 3 with the 11.4km Greenspot Time Trail, follow by Stage 2 which sees riders battle up the Oak Glen climb. The Pros will then face the Stage 3 Highland Circuit followed by Stage 4’s downtown Criterium. Racing concludes on Sunday, May 7, with the Stage 5 Sunset Road Race.
Meanwhile three Canadian men’s teams are taking part in Redlands, including Silber with strong contenders/defenders Ryan Roth and Nigel Ellsay who look to be their two strongest GC hopefuls. However the team should have the opportunity to play several cards while in the hunt for stage wins.
Nigel Ellsay © Alex Cataford
H&R Block Pro Cycling has sent a young Canadian squad including Alexis Cartier, Peter Disera, Travis Samuel and Conor O’Brien, while Toronto Hustle is the only elite amateur team from Canada in attendance.
Peter Disera © Andrew Rogers
Alex Cataford © courtesy of Alex Cataford
Other Canadians taking part include Alex Cataford of United Health Care, Jack Burke of Aevolo, Jordan Cheyne of Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis, Pierrick Naud of Rally Cycing and James Piccoli of Pacific Premier Bank Cycling Team.
Jordan Cheyne © Andrew Rogers
Toronto area based Rise Racing is the only Canadian women’s team in Redlands this year. The team’s roster is headed by co-founders Jamie Gilgen and Ashley Barson.
Ashley Barson @ Ossington Criterium © Craig Barson
Jasmin Duehring © Ivan Rupes
Kirsti Lay © courtesy of Rally Cycling
There are no shortage of talented Canadian women in the field however, including Canadian Road Champion Annie Foreman-Mackey and Jasmin Duehring, both of Sho-Air Twenty20, Lex Albrecht of Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank, Rally Cycling’s Kirsti Lay, Katherine Maine and Allison Beveridge, and Colavita/Bianchi USA’s Gillian Ellsay. Racing starts today at 11:30am Pacific with the Pro Women off first, followed by the Pro Men at 1:00pm.
Lex Albrecht © Mitch Clinton
Gillian Ellsay © Pasquale Stalteri