By Kirsten Robbins in Redlands, California, USA
Jeff Louder and his BMC squad savoured victory after the final stage of the Redlands Bicycle Classic on Sunday. Adding his name to the list of notable overall winners is a career highlight, according to Louder.
"This is the 25th anniversary of this race and I was looking at the palmarès of the event and I can't believe that my name is going to go up along side all those guys," said Louder.
Past winners of the Redlands Bicycle Classic include well-known and legendary riders like Christian Vande Velde, Santiago Botero, Chris Horner, Jonathan Vaughters and Davis Phinney among others.
"The who's who of American cycling is on that list. I'm not a rising star. I'm in the eve of my career and doing this for a long time. It's really an honour to win it. It's called the Redlands Bicycle Classic because it is a classic. I'm very pleased to get to win it and I'm very proud to win it."
Louder took the yellow jersey after his stage two victory in Beaumont. He thanked his BMC teammates for their unshakable performance defending the overall lead to a hard-earned victory.
"You can't win a bike race without a team," Louder said. "I really want to give this yellow jersey to my teammates because they worked so hard."
The BMC team will leave for Europe to compete in the Circuit de la Sarthe and Paris-Roubaix in April.