Durango’s Christopher Blevins led a strong breakaway group that included Cullen Easter for much of the road race Thursday at the Redlands Bicycle Classic in Yucaipa, California.
Blevins, 20, and Easter, 30, battled for king of the mountain points while gaining as much as 1 minute, 45 seconds on the chase peloton. In the end, the chase caught the break riders with a little more than 10 miles to go, and Blevins’ Hagens Berman Axeon teammate Thomas Revard was first to cross the finish line of the 94.4-mile route that featured six laps around a 14.1-mile circuit. Revard finished in 3 hours, 49 minutes, 38 seconds and earned a 10-second time bonus for crossing the finish first after the Oak Glen climb. Project Echelon Racing team rider Lionel Mawditt was second in 3:50:07, and Hagens Berman Axeon’s Sean Bennet was third in 3:50:14.
Blevins fell back to 51st and is nine minutes off the lead. Easter, riding for 303 Project, went to 50th, 8:45 back.
Cullen Easter’s brother, Griffin, finished sixth and is only 1:06 back. The 303 Project team rider is a former Fort Lewis College cyclist. He was joined on the front page of the results by current FLC cyclist Cormac McGeough, who rides for Jelly Belly’s team. McGeough will miss this weekend’s collegiate road nationals in Grand Junction to ride with his pro team.
Stage 2 served as the opening stage of the 34th Redlands Bicycle Classic, as the opening Big Bear Lake individual time trial was canceled Wednesday because of snow and wet road conditions.
Stage 3 will take riders through Highland for a lengthy criterium. The course is a 2.8-mile circuit that will be completed 20 times for a total of 58.1 miles.
Stage 4 on Saturday is a downtown criterium in Redlands. It is a 90-minute timed event with big awards for sprinting.
The closing stage Sunday is a true road race at 94.1 miles with five king of the mountain climbing sections and three sprint bonuses available.
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