REDLANDS BICYCLE CLASSIC 2018 DAY 2 – YUCAIPA ROAD RACEBrett Richards
Day two of the Redlands Bicycle Classic consisted of a road race in Yucaipa California. This course I was familiar with. The weather was a perfect 60 degrees and the skies were blue. This race is especially cool because it starts next to an elementary School and all of the kids come out to cheer us on.
The course starts with a moderate climb into a flat section across Bryant Street if you are familiar with Yucaipa. The flat section across From Bryant you turn west into a fast decent with a few turns you take at fourth plus miles per hour. This is where I would take risks to gain the time I needed.
Right off the starting line everyone was racing hard partially due to the time trial being canceled on day one of the race. Everyone was fresh and showing their cards early. Two groups developed quickly and I hung back in the larger second group on the road knowing I will have to work hard to intercept those in the front group. After only 8 miles I found myself in no mans land with no help and putting in a charge to catch the last racer ahead of me. With two laps to go the catch was made on the decent. I ended up making the pass on the inside however he ended up overtaking me on the uphill and carried it down the flat section of Bryant until we reached the downhill. The pass for the lead was again made by me on the downhill. As we start to climb my competitor was right there but slowly slipping back. As soon as he was out of my draft I put in a charge giving it all I had and never saw him for the remaining miles of the race.
There were times of doubt going through my head early on in the road race as we inched closer and closer to the finish. At one point in the race the front group had a 20 second gap on me. This was surprising to me so early on but that big charge early took a toll on them.
Being on the podium two years in a row at this race is an amazing feeling of accomplishment. Being on the top step of the podium at this race two years in a row is a feeling that I don’t take for granted. Racing at this level and many other levels depends on who shows up. Your competition in some ways decides your fate. The competition at this years Redlands Bicycle Classic was not the fiercest but I had a few guys that really made me work hard for it.