Redlands: Haedo and Duehring win stage 3 of the Highlands Circuit Race

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Lucas Haedo took victory in the Highland Circuit Race on Friday in Stage 3 of the Redlands Bicycle Classic. Photo: Dan Munson

UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling’s Lucas Haedo looked back, saw he had won by a few bike lengths and took his time to celebrate his Redlands Stage 3 win in style. The decorated Argentinian sprinter dropped out during the hilly 20-lap circuit race, letting the race work in his favor until the last lap when he positioned himself perfectly to attack the final climb ahead of Michael Rice (Axeon Hages Berman ) and James Piccoli. (Raise KHS). Haedo’s victory marks his first of the 2018 season and his second victory at Highland following his win in 2015, proving the 35-year-old is still a force on the road.

“We went all day for the breakaway because we knew we had to put pressure on the Axeon guys,” Haedo said. “In the end, nobody had the legs to go from the bottom to the line. I was 8th or 10th wheel, Piccoli left too early, and I was waiting, waiting, waiting. The last 300 meters were very difficult. Sebastian [director sportif] was on the radio, ‘Keep toe the line! Keep queuing!’ and finally I understood. I’m so happy to win again here for UnitedHealthcare.

Thomas Revard (Axeon) finished safely in the peloton to retain his overall lead, 23 seconds ahead of Australian Lionel Mawditt (Project Echelon). Revard’s teammate Sean Bennet is third at 32 seconds.

Most of the teams showed intense motivation to run, which thwarted any significant forward movement until midway through the race, when Cory Lockwood (Project Echelon), Lachlan Norris (UHC) Ulises Castillo ( Jelly Belly) and Joshua Kropf (Applewood Garneau) winning a maximum time of over a minute. On the final KOM, with six laps to go, Lockwood attacked, leaving only Norris in pursuit.

Lockwood maintained his lead until the last lap, when he was swallowed up by the charged Axeon Hagens Berman team, leading the field to take the stage victory with Michael Rice, who was fast enough for second place of the day.

“Big day for the team, we came in today wanting to protect the yellow jersey,” Rice said. “The boys did a great job doing this. Being second on stage is such a good bonus, I’m really happy. Thomas is in a very good position with the criterium tomorrow then the famous Sunset Loop on Sunday. We have a strong team and we are really excited for the rest of the race.

Thomas Revard continues in yellow for Axeon leading the GC, teammate Ivo Oliveira (Axeon) remains in the green sprinters jersey, Cullen Easter (303 Project) will wear the red KOM jersey ahead of Stage 4, and Sean Gardner (Gateway Harley Davidson / Trek U25 Team) is our new top amateur leader.

Duehring escapes for victory

Jasmin Duehring rides out to win the Stage 3 City of Highland Circuit race on Friday at Redlands Bicycle Classic. Photo: Dan Munson

Jasmin Duehring (Twenty20) battled her way to victory Friday in Stage 3 City of Highland Circuit Race ahead of yellow jersey Katie Hall (UnitedHealthcare) who finished second and Sara Bergen (Rally Cycling) third for the day . Crucial time bonuses were available for the top three, with 10, 6, and 4 seconds available on the line. Bergen jumped to second place in the GC ahead of Edwige Pitel, who now sits 2 seconds behind the rally driver. Hall was barely two seconds ahead of Bergen on the line.

“I’m happy with my team’s progress. I’m really proud of them for really going out there and giving it all up,” Bergen said. “Congratulations to Jasmin and Katie on a great ride. It was a huge effort for the team. We are still hungry and not fully satisfied. We had a few seconds but Katie also had a few.

Duehring attacked on the final laps of the 14-lap, 41.3-mile circuit and held on for the win. A break of 5 riders, including Duehring’s teammate Allie Dragoo, held a 1:10 minute advantage at the halfway mark before Duehring caught them with 4 laps to go. Temperatures reached over 90 degrees by midday, which also played a part in the day’s race; a drastic change from the snow of just two days ago.

“I knew as long as I kept the pressure on I would have a chance,” Duehring said. “I was in pain for sure. I know from watching the men’s race in recent years that the break has a very good chance of lasting until the end, especially when it’s hot like this, because the peloton gets tired too. I had my teammate Allie (Dragoo) in the first break. Once we caught them, there were a lot of counters. It was tight at the end, I didn’t think I was going to get there.

Twenty20 raced aggressively all day to cover available time bonus seconds to keep Shayna Powless in contention for the overall on GC. Rally Cycling and UnitedHealthcare battled for control of the peloton throughout the stage and look to the final two stages and battling it out on the Sunset Loop for Sunday.

In the QOM ranking, Hagens Berman Supermint rider, Starla Teddergreen was in the breakaway and got some extra QOM points. Teddergreen had been on the break earning points on Thursday to keep her in contention for the jersey. The 37-year-old is one point clear of Bergen heading into the final two legs.

Katie Hall (UnitedHealthcare) remains in yellow for Stage 4, while teammate Lauretta Hanson (UHC) continues to lead the sprint standings. Sara Bergen (Rally Cycling) remains in the red QOM ranking, and Katie Clouse (Amy D Foundation) is our new top amateur on GC.

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