Defending Redlands Classic champion Andrew Bajadali and his new team, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, are hoping for some revenge this week after being devastated by a virus during the Tour of California. The ever optimistic 34-year-old spoke with Kathie Reid about the race, his team, and his background.
You have got to wonder if Andy Bajadali (Kelly Benefit Strategies – Medifast) is experiencing a little déjà vu right about now. For the second year in a row, he is starting the Redlands Classic with a team that found out just weeks before that they were not invited to the Tour de Georgia. Last year, it was "kind of a shock" for his Jelly Belly squad, he told Cyclingnews at the Kelly Benefits team training camp in San Bernardino days before Redlands. He admitted that this year, with his new team, "We were a little devastated again" at the lack of an invite.
Anyone who knows 'The Baj' recognizes that throughout his career, when faced with professional challenges beyond his control, he has shown an uncanny knack for remaining calm, optimistic, and focused – perhaps especially when situations have demanded a shift in objectives. And he has consistently been insightful and savvy enough to surround himself with people who do the same.
Last year, Bajadali arrived at Redlands feeling like he "had a point to prove," given the Georgia snub. And prove his point he did. This year he is returning to Redlands to defend his 2007 overall title. This time around he is with a different team, but his good friend and former Jelly Belly team-mate Alex Candelario, will arrive in Kelly green with him.
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