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Heidi Franz wins Redlands Bicycle Classic women's race

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Erica Clevenger (DNA) wins the final stage of the 2022 Redlands Classic

Erica Clevenger (DNA) wins the final stage of the 2022 Redlands Classic (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Heidi Franz (Instafund) celebrates winning the overall at the Redlands Classic

Heidi Franz (Instafund) celebrates winning the overall at the Redlands Classic (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Stage Podium: Erica Clevenger (DNA Pro Cycling) 1st, Heidi Franz (Instafund LaPrima) 2nd, and Sarah Van Dam (Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes) 3rd

Stage 5 podium for women (L to R): Heidi Franz (Instafund LaPrima) in second, Erica Clevenger (DNA Pro Cycling) stage winner and Sarah Van Dam (Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes) in third (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Sarah Van Dam (Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes) wins the field sprint to finished 3rd on the stage.

Sarah Van Dam (Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes) wins the field sprint to finish third on the Sunset Loop circuit (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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After putting 5 minutes into the chase pack, Heidi Franz feels comfortable enough to crack a smile.

After putting 5 minutes into the chase pack, Heidi Franz (Instafund) smiles while at front of break with Erica Clevenger (DNA Pro Cycling) (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Emily Marcolini (3T/Q+M Cycling) had to do a lot of work on her own as the race progressed trying to bring back a break of two.

Emily Marcolini (3T/Q+M Cycling) had to do a lot of work on her own as the peloton chased a break of two (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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DNA Pro Cycling wins the overall team classification at Redlands Bicycle Classic

DNA Pro Cycling wins the overall team classification at Redlands Bicycle Classic (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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The four Classification jersey winners for women (L to R): Emily Marcolini (3T/Q+M Cycling) in red QOM, Haley Smith (ATX Wolfpack p/b ProBikeKit) in white amateur jersey, Olivia Cummins (LUX-CTS p/b Specialized) in green sprint jersey and Heidi Franz (Instafund LaPrima) in yellow GC jersey

The four Classification jersey winners for women (L to R): Emily Marcolini (3T/Q+M Cycling) in red QOM, Haley Smith (ATX Wolfpack p/b ProBikeKit) in white amateur jersey, Olivia Cummins (LUX-CTS p/b Specialized) in green sprint jersey and Heidi Franz (Instafund LaPrima) in yellow GC jersey (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)

Erica Clevenger (DNA Pro Cycling) won the final stage of the Redlands Classic but it was Heidi Franz (Instafund) who made the biggest move on the day, escaping halfway into the stage and storming away to snatch the overall victory from overnight leader Emily Marcolini (3T Q-M Cycling).

The hilly Sunset Loop circuit is a notoriously difficult stage, with the general classification tough to defend on the 110 kilometre final stage. Overnight leader Emily Marcolini (3T Q-M Cycling) came into the stage with 1:01 on second-placed Diana Peñuela (DNA Pro Cycling) but was not content to simply sit in. With a time bonus on the first time up the climb, the Canadian attacked and was closely tracked by Peñuela at the QOM, with Haley Smith (ATX Wolfpack) and stage 1 winner Heidi Franz (Instafund) just behind.

The attacks continued on the climbs with fewer riders rejoining on the downhill sections until there were only 14 riders left in the leading group. Marcolini, having taken the second QOM, pressed on again for the third climb and claimed the maximum points.

However, a counter-attack flew at the halfway point, with Franz and Erica Clevenger (DNA Pro Cycling) forging clear and steadily built their lead. Although Marcolini sewed up the QOM jersey by taking fourth on the final classified climb, the gap to the two leaders grew enough to threaten her overall victory.

With two 12km laps remaining, Franz, 3:21 down on Marcolini at the start of the stage, had taken the virtual race lead as the gap ballooned to almost four minutes and continued to go out.

At the bell lap, the two leaders had 4:40 on the chasers and as they returned from the hilly loop for the closing circuits, Franz had finally sealed the overall win having helped pull the gap out to more than six minutes.

Results powered by FirstCycling

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