2022 Redlands ClassicOwen Daniels
Finally after a 2 year hiatus because of covid the Redlands Classic race was a full go for 2022. Being that this is the only race that my family and friends can see me race in I was so happy to be racing in Redlands again. Also the handcycle portion of this race is made possible by Team PossAbilities so i always want a put on a good showing for my sponsor. For me the Redlands Classic is a special race since it was the first race I had ever competed in back in 2011. It was the race the fueled the fire for my racing career. The last time I had race the Classic was in 2019, however in 2019 I had nowhere near the fitness I do now in 2022 so I was eager to showcase this to my family and friends. This is also one of the best races on the calender since it was 4 consecutive days of racing consisting of a time trial, road race, and 2 criterium races.
Racing started with a 9 mile time trial that was out and back course with 600 ft of climbing so I knew it was going to be a tough day. From the start it was 4.5 miles downhill at speeds reach almost 40 mph. After the turn around was the 600ft of climbing back up to the finish line. My race goal was to hit good power numbers and see where my fitness was after a hard race out in Alabama. Power was right where I wanted it to be and ended up finishing with a time of 25:47 which was good enough for 1st place overall for the day.
Friday was a road race held inside Yucaipa regional park. The course was a 1.3 mile circuit with alot of turns and technical sections for 25 laps. I wanted to use this race as a training ride for the upcoming world cups I would be traveling to so my plan was to really push the pace from the start. As soon as the whistle blasted off the start line and pushed the pace immediately. For 25 laps I never let up, charging up the hills and accelerating out of every turn. I pretty much rode out in front by myself for this whole race and crossed the finish line in first place for the second day in a row. However, knowing there were some fast guys just behind me made me push even harder to stay out front.
Saturday and Sunday are by far my two favorite days of this event. Both are short circuit courses less than a mile known as criteriums in the heart of downtown Redlands. The crowds are always cheering and the atmosphere is always electrifying. Among the crowds are my friends and family so being able to take home two more wins in these races was the perfect ending to an always great weekend of racing. I was able to make it four for four wins in the Redlands Classic. It was the first time I’ve been able to bring home four wins but hopefully wasn’t the last. Now time to get back to training and get ready for the world cup #1 & #2 in the coming weeks. As always I have to thank my sponsor Team PossAbilities for putting on a great race and always keeping me on the best equipment.