The 34th edition of the Redlands Classic kicked off Wednesday May 2nd at the Big Bear Lake Time Trial, or at least it was scheduled to. Several inches of snow Tuesday night forced organizers to cancel the opening stage due to unsafe road conditions. A disappointment for some become an opportunity for others as the race would now begin with a difficult road stage that featured a mountain top finish the following day.
With a profile that included gradients of over 8% in the final 10k, the Pacific Premier Bank Cycling Team would look to their best climber Thomas Wavrin to make a mark on the day. Wavrin would finish the stage, however the legs were not there for him as they had been a few weeks earlier in New Mexico and he finished 72nd out of the 180 rider field.
The following two stages, a 60 mile circuit in the city of Highland Friday and a downtown 90 minute criterium on Saturday, provided for some real excitement as Wavrin began to find his legs. After chasing hard to bridge nearly 45 seconds to a 4-man break on Friday, Wavrin found himself chasing again Saturday after being caught on the wrong side of a pile-up.
On Sunday it was Enrique Aldapa’s turn to ramp up the excitement when the team rode brilliantly initiating several breakaways which led to Aldapa finding himself in a 2-man move that stayed away to win the day in front of the cheering crowd. Unable to best his breakaway companion, Aldapa and the team would have to settle for another near win and look to next year for their first victory in Redlands.