photo credits @ Twitter
Brendan Rhim (Cal Giant-Specialized) and Coryn Rivera (UnitedHealthcare) won the stage 4 criterium of this year’s Redlands Bicycle Classic yesterday.
Meanwhile, despite crashing, Phil Gaimon (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) managed the hold onto the men’s general classification lead, while Mara Abbott (LA Sweat) finished safely in the women’s field to maintain her overall lead.
Rhim emerged victorious from a five-rider breakaway group containing Luis Amaran (Jamis-Hagens Berman), Ulises Castillo (KHS-Maxxis), who finished in second and third, followed by Alexander Ray (Silber Pro Cycling) and Peter Disera (H&R Block).
It was during the final five kilometers, that Gaimon crashed, along with other race favorite – Chris Horner (Airgas-Safeway).
“I think I just biffed it,” Gaimon said.”It was the corner we’d done a hundred times. It was tight, and people were kind of fighting and it was tense. I think I just kind of lost my back wheel there.”
Although USA Cycling’s criterium rules state, if a rider crashes during the final 8 kilometers, he or she will receive the same time as the group they were in, since Gaimon was technically outside of that mark, needless to say, it raised some ire when race officials decided to award him the same time as others.
“The rules say you get a free lap and you get back into the bike race,” said Jelly Belly-Maxxis director Matty White, whose rider Gavin Mannion is currently second overall, 31 seconds behind Gaimon.
“I’m not having a go at Optum or [Optum director] Jonas Carney, and I’d hate to take the jersey this way, but rules are rules, and USA Cycling needs to question it. They need to look at it. That’s all,” White said.
Chief official Phil Miller said:
“The way the rule works right now — and it’s been changed in the last couple of years — in a stage race we normally have an accommodation that’s made in the last 3km; a criterium is different,” Miller said. “Now the 3km rule that puts the rider back in at their time if they have a mishap extends all the way back to 8km to go.
“There was no way we could have put all the riders back in before the free lap ended,” Miller said. “They all qualified for a free lap, but we can’t put them back into the race after we hit the 8km. So they get the field time and they’re placed at the back of the field they came from, but they get the time of that field.
“I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding about how the rule was changed,” Miller said. “There was a time when the three-lap would end and there were 4km where they were just in utter jeopardy. That’s why the rule was changed. If something happened late in the race, no one had to get back into the race, they just get that time and that’s that.
“They all qualified for a free lap, but we are precluded from putting them back in because it’s too late.”
As result, Gaimon now carries a 31 second lead over Mannion into today’s final Sunset Loop road race. Cal Giant’s Adrien Costa is third, 38 seconds back, followed by Gaimon’s teammate Mike Woods, who is 56 seconds in arrears along with Gregory Brenes (Jamis-Hagens Berman). Four-time winner Horner is eighth, 1:08 behind Gaimon.
Coryn Rivera won the women’s race, after she and teammate Alexis Ryan, opened a small gap during the end of the final lap – to finish first and second ahead of Leah Kirchman (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies).
“My team did an awesome leadout, textbook, as they usually do,” said Rivera, the US crit champ. “It was good to pull off the win for the girls. They worked hard today to keep it together and led me out for a big lead.”
UnitedHealthcare, Optum and Tibco factored the most prominently in yesterday’s race, with all three teams doing the lion’s share of pacesetting leading up to the finale, where UnitedHealthcare’s “Blue Train” took over with just a couple of laps remaining.
“We were going to start our leadout on the last lap, but we weren’t being challenged so we started a lap early and it worked to our advantage,”Ryan said. “We were able to take all the lines we wanted and go exactly the speed we wanted. I took it from probably three corners to go and railed the turns, and the two of us got a huge gap. We came into the last turn and I sprinted as hard as I could and Coryn was the only one who came around me. That was a pretty cool feeling.”
Rivera said she knew her team had the win locked up as they headed into the second-to-last corner.
“I didn’t look back because I knew we were clear and we had great speed and no one was trying to come past me or anything,” Rivera said. “It was just a matter of doing our jobs, executing and going all out of the last corner. It’s the first stage win for the team here, and hopefully we do well tomorrow to set up Katie Hall for the win.”
Abbott now leads the overall by 22 seconds over Amber Neben (Visit Dallas-Noise4Good) and 40 seconds over Allie Dragoo (Twenty16-ShoAir). Hall is fourth, 1:19 off Abbott’s pace.
Top 10 Men
1 Brendan Rhim (California Giant / Specialized) 1:31:14
2 Luis Amaran (Jamis Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home)
3 Ulises Castillo (KHS – Maxxis-JL Velo)
4 Alexander Ray (Silber Pro Cycling)
5 Peter Disera (H & R Block Pro Cycling Team)
6 Travis McCabe (Team Smartstop Pro Cycling)
7 Elliott Doyle (Silber Pro Cycling) 0:00:04
8 Tyler Magner (Hincapie Racing Team)
9 Fabrizio Von Nacher (KHS – Maxxis-JL Velo) 0:00:06
10 Stephen Bassett (Hagens Berman U-23 Team)
General classification after stage four
1 Phillip Gaimon (Optum p/b Kelly Benefits Strategies) 6:59:22
2 Gavin Mannion (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis) 0:00:31
3 Adrien Costa (California Giant / Specialized) 0:00:38
4 Michael Woods (Optum p/b Kelly Benefits Strategies) 0:00:56
5 Gregory Brenes (Jamis Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home)
6 Adam de Vos (H & R Block Pro Cycling Team) 0:01:01
7 Emerson Oronte (ALTOVELO-SeaSucker Factory Racing Team) 0:01:03
8 Christopher Horner (Airgas Safeway Cycling Team) 0:01:08
9 Dion Smith (Hincapie Racing Team) 0:01:18
10 Lachlan Morton (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis) 0:01:25
Top 10 Women
1 Coryn Rivera (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team) 0:59:46
2 Alexis Ryan (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team)
3 Leah Kirchmann (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
4 Emily Collins (Team Tibco-SVC) 0:00:02
5 Denise Ramsden (Trek-Red Truck Racing)
6 Allison Beveridge (Trek-Red Truck Racing)
7 Brianna Walle (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
8 Katherine Hall (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team)
9 Scotti Wilborne (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team)
10 Lindsay Bayer (Pepper Palace p/b The Happy Tooth)
General classification after stage 4
1 Mara Abbott (LA Sweat) 5:21:11
2 Amber Neben (Visit Dallas Cycling p/b Noise) 0:00:22
3 Allie Dragoo (Twenty 16 p/b SHO-AIR) 0:00:40
4 Katherine Hall (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team) 0:01:19
5 Brianna Walle (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) 0:01:50
6 Jasmin Glaesser (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) 0:01:55
7 Alison Jackson (Twenty 16 p/b SHO-AIR) 0:02:04
8 Flavia Oliviera (Visit Dallas Cycling p/b Noise) 0:02:08
9 Miranda Griffith (BMW p/b Happy Tooth Dental) 0:02:22
10 Abigal Mickey (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team) 0:03:24
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