Redlands Bicycle Classic Stage 4: Schneider, McGill Take Criterium Wins

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Women’s Stage 4 Criterium Recap: Skylar Schneider wins stage 4 criterium for a second year

REDLANDS, California (April 13, 2024) — Skylar Schneider catapulted herself around the DNA Pro Cycling’s sprint train in the final meters to cross the line, marking her first win of the season for Williams Racing Devo in Downtown Redlands. Schneider had won stage 4 last season in similar fashion in her Redlands debut. DNA Pro Cycling Makayla Macpherson was second, followed by Marlies Mejias in third.

Skylar Schneider wins stage 4 criterium for a second year
Photo: Above Four Media / Redlands Bicycle Classic

“Every year is a new challenge; we always look forward to Redlands,” Schneider said at the finish. “It’s one of the first races we do all year, so it sets the stage to give us the momentum to keep going.

“DNA did a phenomenal lead out. They were very fast and very smooth; we knew exactly where we wanted to jump. They made it hard for us because they were going so fast but we were on a mission today to get this first win for WRDevo. Two weeks ago I was doing all-nighters in my bakery so I’m really happy to be here and feeling good.”

The professional women took to the stage at 2 PM local time, after a morning filled with cycling events including the kids’ school duel races and the Plain Wrap Charity Ride at 8 AM. The first race began with stage 2 of the junior stage race at one, followed by the pro women.

The 75-minutes of racing included five sprint competitions – four intermediate sprints and points offered at the finish. Virginia’s Blue Ridge Marlies Mejias led the classification by five points ahead of her teammate Emily Ehrlich, and 7 points ahead of Cynisca Cycling’s Chloe Patrick. With Mara Roldan (Cynisca) sitting in fifth on GC and the team focused on moving her up on GC, it would be Mejias jersey to lose.

Twenty24 sent Emily Ehrlich to monitor moves at the front of the race, keeping Marlies on her wheel to be ready for the first sprint of the day. The Cuban sprinter crossed first to earn top points in both the first two of five points available. Once she had gained enough points in the first few intermediate sprint to gain a healthy margin in the classification, she switched focused to the finish – eager to gain a stage victory before the race ends on Sunday.

“The goal was to maintain the lead with the jersey,” Mejias said. “The finish didn’t go as planned but tomorrow is another day where we will try again. We’re in a good position, so I hope tomorrow will be a great day for the team.”

DNA Pro Cycling Nadia Gontova successfully defended another day in the yellow jersey. Photo: © Veloimages

DNA Pro Cycling controlled the pace of the field, following the first intermediate sprints. The squad made sure the yellow jersey of Nadia Gontova was kept safe and out of trouble. They monitored the front of the field and kept the race moving, making it difficult to go around them with such a tight and technical circuit.

As the laps began to wind down, teams began positioning themselves for the finish. DNA Pro Cycling was given the green light, ready to battle for the stage win. With one lap to go, Schneider was sitting sixth wheel just behind her older sister Sam and four other DNA jerseys. Rounding the final corner, Schneider launched her sprint, surfing wheels to get into the DNA slipstream before jumping for the win.

“I think the team did really, really well,” Macpherson said, despite missing out on the top step. “We wanted to keep Nadia safe. The team worked amazing in doing that, but we also wanted to get a result for the day. We were able to get on the podium so it was a great day out there.”

DNA Pro Cycling Nadia Gontova successfully defended another day in the yellow jersey. Photo: © Veloimages

There were no changes in the overall top five on GC, with Gontova maintaining a 50-second lead heading into the final day of race.

“It was really hard, not my favorite day,” Gontova said. “I’m really grateful for some awesome teammates keeping me safe. I’m happy to have made it through today. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, which is a little more up my alley. I really liked it last year, though I suffered a mechanical on the last lap. I’m hoping this year will be a better results in the end.”

There was no queen of the mountain points available on the stage, while Cecile Lejuene maintains her lead in the Best Amateur competition.

The finale for our pro women will begin at 10 AM in Downtown Redlands for the City of Redlands Sunset Road Race.

Complete Pro Women’s Stage 4 Results

 

Men’s Stage 4 Recap: McGill Takes Third Stage Win for Project Echelon

REDLANDS, California (April 13, 2024) — Scott McGill stole a third stage victory for Project Echelon at the 2024 Redlands Bicycle Classic on Saturday. Denver Disruptors were just behind, finishing second and third with Noah Granigan and Tyler Williams. Project Echelon arrived in Southern California after spending time in Europe for a short block of racing to help gain racing fitness and strength before the start of the season back home.

Scott McGill steals third stage victory for Project Echelon
Photo: VeloImages / Redlands Bicycle Classic

The Arrowhead Orthopaedics Criterium for stage 4 was a chaotic day of racing, with a massive crash in the peloton within 10 laps to go. After a short neutralization of the race to allow riders to visit the pit for service and others to be seen by medical, all riders were up and the race was started once again. Two laps were added to leave the peloton with 10 laps to go for another try. The stage 4 victory marks the third win out of the four days of racing for Project Echelon.

“The final few laps were probably the least stressful of the whole race, because I was just sitting behind the team,” McGill said. “When we were further back in the bunch, there was a lot of fighting for position. The team was super strong, we were just going to ride until two laps to go to keep the GC safe, but we were able to ride into the final lap with four guys. They were amazing today; I can’t thank them enough. We were able to win today and hold on to the GC so, yea a really stressful day.”

The team had dominated the race keeping a watch on the front of the field, marking any moves that escaped. A few riders tried their hand, including Will Gleason of CS Velo Racing, and Tyler Williams for Denver but were soon absorbed by the field.

“Tyler and I were going in it in the last lap; you can win it with three corners to go where we were one and two there,” Granigan said after the finish. “Scott is one of my really good friends, he was crafty and able to get by and get around Tyler in the head wind into the finish. It ended up working out for him. We had some small mistakes in those last two turns.”

Project Echelon kept their focus, keeping the yellow jersey safe at the front of the race. Other tactics came into play, marking the intermediate time bonus where Stites picked up two seconds behind Ryan Gorman (Voler Factory Racing) who held his lead in the sprint classification. Stites was happy, hoping to gain every second possible before the Sunset circuit finale.

“It was a stressful crit, quite a few crashes but after the restart we were able to take to the front as a team which really kept us safe,” Stites said after finishing. “It’s hard to pass a train once we’re up to speed on this course with so many turns. Scott was able to take the win, which was amazing.”

The last two years, the final stage on the Sunset circuit has delivered exciting racing for the finale, finishing within 30 seconds for the overall GC margin. Stites will start the final stage with a 43-second margin ahead of Ribble Rebellion’s Joe Laverick.

“It’s a really tough race where anything can happen,” Stites said. “We’ll need to come with our best legs and give it our best to defend.”

Meanwhile, after earning podium spots nearly every stage, Denver Disruptors will have one more chance for a stage win.

“We had the numbers [today], but it’s the first big stage race of the season,” Granigan said. “Scott’s a good rider so I can’t be too upset. I definitely wanted that one, but we’ll have numbers tomorrow so we’re looking for that.”

Complete Pro Men’s Stage 4 Results

First – Scott McGill (Project Echelon Racing). Second (left) – Noah Granigan (Denver Disruptors). Third (right) – Tyler Williams (Denver Disruptors)
Photo: © Above Four Media
Tyler Stites (Project Echelon) in yellow after Stage 4. Photo: Above Four Media
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