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Freddy Ovett wins Redlands Classic men's stage 2 atop Oak Glen climb

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Freddy Ovett of L39ION of Los Angeles wins stage 2 of 2022 Redlands Bicycle Classic

Freddy Ovett (L39ION of Los Angeles) won a three-up sprint for men, and reached finish line with women's winner Emily Marcolini (3T/Q+M), seen on far left (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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The men's race was neutralized with 2 laps to go because of traffic control issues. The women's peloton passes the stopped men field as they begin their 3rd (of 4) lap.

The men's race was neutralized with two laps to go on circuit, and was still stopped when the women's peloton passed, to begin their penultimate lap (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Some of the riders in the men's field found a shady spot to recover during their 32 minute "Intermission" with 2 laps to go.

Some of the riders in the men's field found a shady spot during their 30-minute "Intermission" with two laps and final climb to go (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Others waited on the tarmac, not necessarily happy.

Some of the men's teams opted to stay on side of road during 30-minute delay (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Kaler Marshall (Expeditors Elite Cycling Team) went off the front early in search points to solidify his lead in the KOM competition and Chris Rickert (Team Mikes Bikes pb Equator Coffees) joined him in search of points for the Green Jersey competition

Kaler Marshall (Expeditors Elite Cycling Team) went off the front early in search of more KOM points and was joined by Chris Rickert (Team Mikes Bikes pb Equator Coffees) who sought sprint points (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Thomas Schellenberg (TaG Cycling Racing Team), Alexander Murison (Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes #177), Kaler Marshall (Expeditors Elite Cycling Team #102), Luke Feuerhelm (Above and Beyond Cancer p/b BIke World #47), and Chris Riekert (Team Mikes BIkes pb Equator Coffees #235) continued to work in the break after the intermission.

Breakaway of five riders once racing resumed (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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At mile 14.9 Project Echelon has reduce the gap to the break to just 36 seconds.

Project Echelon works at front of peloton to chase the breakaway (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)

Freddy Ovett (L39ION of Los Angeles) won a three-up sprint on the uphill finish of stage 2 at Redlands Bicycle Classic on Thursday. Jesse Maris (LUX-CTS p/b Specialized), just 18 years old, took second while 20-year-old Alexander White (CS Velo Racing) settled for third. 

The trio finished the 90-mile Yucaipa Road Race in 3 hours, 52 minutes, 3 seconds, arriving at the finish line of the signature 5.1-mile climb on Oak Glen Road at the same instant as Emily Marcolini (3T/Q+M) completed stage 2 for the win in the women’s elite race. 

The second day of racing was filled with chaos. The men’s field was neutralised and halted one mile from the start line of their fifth of six laps on a 14.1-mile circuit, with 40 miles to go, in what Redlands Race Director Eric Reisner called “a situation” and “things were becoming too dangerous for the riders”. 

There was no report of any rider injuries, but the men’s field was stopped for 30 minutes for what observers in the area said involved race officials working with local public safety personnel to resolve a lack of communications with course marshals.

“The reason why we stopped the race is that we got separated from our marshals and we weren’t able to contact them,” Jeff Woo, chief race official said in a statement. “We had to pull those marshals back to make sure the riders were protected.”

While the men’s peloton remained on the side of the road, the women’s field continued to race, both using the same circuit like previous years. The women were more than halfway through their 61.8-mile road race and were allowed to pass the area as the situation was deemed to be safe and controlled. The men’s field resumed shortly thereafter, however, the delay was not long enough for the two fields to remain separated on the final climb.

Two riders formed an early break in the men’s race, Chris Riekert (Team Mike's Bikes) and Kaler Marshall (Expeditors Elite Cycling), and had a three-minute advantage on the peloton 25 miles into the stage.

With four laps remaining, the duo were joined by Luke Feuerhelm (Above and Beyond Cancer), Will Teal (Fount) and Tom Schellenberg (TaG) and together gained an advantage of more than four minutes before the peloton began their chase. 

After the 20-minute neutral stoppage, the fifth circuit resumed and the quintet drove their advantage to 2:30 with 30 miles to go, with Feuerhelm the first to drop out of the break. 

Marshall took the top KOM points as the foursome held a 1:20 margin over the peloton at the start of the final lap. Once on the climb on the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, the fireworks began, with L39ION six riders to set up Ovett for the final surge at the top of the climb for the victor.

"It was a super hard race," Ovett said. "Chapeau to Project Echelon for making the race hard. I felt good, I gave it my all. I had my teammates believing in me, so I had no choice but to go full gas. I got a nice gap and managed to get the win. I'm wearing this beautiful jersey, and hopefully I can hold onto it for a few more days."

Ovett took over the GC lead with Maris four seconds back in second place, and White another two seconds down in third. Eric Brunner (Blue Competition Cycles) is in fourth place on GC, 31 seconds off the pace. Cole Davis (Voler Factory Racing), who won stage 1, moved to seventh on GC, 45 seconds back. 

Marshall switched from the sprint classification lead to the KOM lead, while Riekert took over the sprint lead and Maris moved into the best amateur jersey.

Friday features a new 9.1-mile time trial along old Route 66, which organisers previously included in the 1996 event.

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Jackie Tyson
Jackie Tyson

Jackie has been involved in professional sports for more than 30 years in news reporting, sports marketing and public relations. She founded Peloton Sports in 1998, a sports marketing and public relations agency, which managed projects for Tour de Georgia, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Cycling. She also founded Bike Alpharetta Inc, a Georgia non-profit to promote safe cycling. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp. She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times (not fast). Her favorite road rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in Provence (France), and some mtb rides in Park City, Utah (USA).

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