REDLANDS, California (April 10, 2023) — The Redlands Bicycle Classic presented by San Manuel Band of Mission Indians kicks of the North American block of stage racing with a stacked field for its 37th edition. The men’s pro race is full, consisting of 26 teams, with just fewer than 200 riders. For the women’s side, the race is proud to celebrate one of the largest fields in over a decade with 18 teams consisting of eight riders per team.
The five-day stage race will begin with the Highland circuit for the opening stage, followed by the Yucaipa road race with its famed Oak Glen hill top finish where WorldTour rider Sepp Kuss made his mark on the domestic scene years ago. Next on the menu will be the 9.1-mile time trial along Route 66, which saw its return last season since its debut in 1996. The Downtown Redlands crit is set for stage 4, filled with a day of festivities including the race expo, kids races, and the Plain Wrap Ride before the pros take over to conclude the day. Sunday will celebrate the Sunset Loop finale where the GC was shaken up in both the men and women’s races last season before crowning the new champions.
Taylor Stites and Heidi Franz rode away with yellow both by a slim margin on the final day last year to celebrate their overall victory. Stites will return in hopes of defending his title with Project Echelon, supported by Cade Bickmore, Richard Arnopol, and Stephen Vogel who all had strong seasons in 2022. The team will have a tough challenge ahead keeping their many rivals at bay. Zane White had led the GC last year, losing in the end by 16 seconds in one of his first stage races in the United States. After such strong performances on the North American circuit beginning with Redlands, the Kiwi was picked up by Aevolo for 2023, hungry to finish in yellow this time around.
Other riders to watch out for include Alex Hoehn racing for Above and Beyond Cancer, one of the United States most promising stage racers in recent years, returning after racing in Europe last season. One of the new NCL crit teams, the Denver Disruptors brings a stacked squad to fight for yellow and likely the sprint jersey. The team is boasting Redlands veteran and multi-time National Romanian Champion, Serghei Tvetcov, along with Mexican National Road Champion Ulises Castillo and Noah Granigan. Also, racing for his first time at Redlands is the 2017 Paris-Nice Champion and WorldTour veteran Sergio Henao.
L39ion of Los Angeles will line up at the start, with newly signed American veteran Robin Carpenter. Sam Boardman who won the time trial last year at Joe Martin will race alongside him, as well as the 2021 Mexican National Road Champion Eder Frayre. Matteo Dal-Cin will begin his 2023 stage racing campaign, returning with the Toronto Hustle squad. The Canadian finished second at the Tour of the Gila last season, and will be one to watch on Oak Glen. Finally, 2022 Elite National Road Champion for the USA, Ama Nesk will be making his Redlands debut racing for CS Velo Racing.
The women’s race will kick off the festivities Wednesday at 8:45 AM PDT in Highland for the opening stage. Joining the many names in Redland’s history that have made their mark in California, the 2022 Champion Heidi Franz will not be returning to defend her title for good reason. The Pacific Northwest native is racing for the Spanish outfit, Zaaf Cycling, racing among the best in the world in Europe. While Redlands will miss seeing her this year, we have a stacked field that are sure to make for exhilarating days of racing.
Canadian Emily Marcolini had climbed into yellow racing for 3T/Q+M after winning atop Oak Glen last year, retaining the lead up until the final day finishing third overall. She gave a valiant effort defending yellow with a reduced squad. She would continue her form through the block of North American stage racing, but unfortunately suffered a concussion as a result of a crash at the Vuelta a Colombia Femenina that ended her season early. She is back on form, ready to fight for that top step with her new team, ROXO Racing.
Roxo Racing boasts WorldTour veteran Emily Newsom and last season’s Best Young Rider Haley Smith. Hoping to derail their efforts will be the L39ion of Los Angeles squad with the pair of powerhouse sisters, Alexis and Kendall Ryan, along with Skylar and Samatha Schneider, all four with impressive palmarès to their names.
DNA Pro Cycling and the new American outfit based in Europe, Cynisca Cycling are both teams that cannot be dismissed. DNA will have the current Mexican TT National Champion, Anet Barrera and newly signed Shayna Powless, while Cynisca has listed Maddy Ward on their preliminary roster. Virginia’s Blue Ridge Twenty24 will have Sofia Arreola and Marlies Mejias, while Redlands is proud to have a development team from USA Cycling compete as well, continuing the Redlands tradition of the place where legends are born.