Emily Marcolini wins chaotic stage 2 at Redlands Classic

Emily Marcolini (3T/Q+M) won a crazy stage 2 of the Redlands Bicycle Classic as the men’s field merged with the leading women on the hilltop finish of the Yucaipa Road Race. 

Amid the chaos the DNA Pro Cycling Team swept the next three spots behind Marcolini, Diana Peñuela just 41 seconds behind in second, Erica Clevenger 2:13 back in third and fourth place going to Anet Barrera, who crossed the line just ahead of Caitlin Conyers (LUX-CTS p/b Specialized) another 12 seconds later.

The 26-year-old Canadian started the day in third place on GC and took the overall lead, now 58 seconds ahead of Peñuela, who moved from fourth to second. Conyers moved to third overall. Stage 1 winner Heidi Franz (Instafund LaPrima Elite) finished eighth on Thursday and dropped to fourth on GC, 3:04 off the pace.

Along with the leader’s jersey, Marcolini took honours as the best climber, while Olivia Cummins (LUX-CTS p/b Specialized) took over as the points leader. Haley Smith (Team ATX Wolfpack Racing) was part of the chasing group, finishing seventh on the stage to maintain her lead in the Best Amateur Jersey competition.

After four laps of the circuit that started in Yucaipa, the women’s field was all together when the 69-rider field hit the 5.1-mile climb along Oak Glen Road in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains. Clad in the red points leader jersey, Marcolini attacked and rode solo on the climb, with the only rider coming close to her being the leaders in the men’s field.

“Just before we made the last turn to come up the climb, I had my team go to the front so that I could [go] for the QOM points,” Marcolini said after the finish. “Instafund came to the front, they were riding a moderate tempo and it just felt like the right time to go. I launched my attack. I was hoping a few other riders would go with me, I wasn’t planning on going solo for 5K but that’s how it ended up happening. I looked over my shoulder and saw that I had a gap. I put my head down and hoped that I had enough in the legs to get to the end."

Halfway through the women’s 61.8-mile road race, race officials had stopped the men’s race ahead of them, as both fields were sharing the same 14.1-mile circuit. The men’s field was neutralised and halted one mile from the start line of their fifth of six laps for 30 minutes, as race officials worked with local public safety personnel on a traffic control situation. 

The women’s field was allowed to pass the area of the course, as officials deemed the safety matter had been corrected, and the men’s field resumed shortly thereafter. 

“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.”

Friday features a new 9.1-mile time trial along old Route 66, which organisers previously included in the 1996 event. The women start the Devore Boulevard time trial at 11:00 PT, with the men racing directly after.  

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Jackie Tyson
North American Production editor

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 for several minor league teams. She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times (not fast). Her favorite road and gravel 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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