Patrick Bevin won his third stage at the Redlands Classic on Sunday taking victory at every road race in the opening NRC competition, and the BISSELL Pro Cycling Team defended their ranking to reclaim the Team Classification.
The close leader board, a course set up for breakaways, and rain soaked slippery roads made the final stage at Redlands even more of a nail-biter. The 94 mile day included twelve longs loops followed by five finishing circuits in downtown Redlands. About an hour into the race, a group of seven including BISSELL's Ben Jacques-Maynes escaped off the front. Under the close scrutiny of the Kenda Team, the breakaway was able to build up a maximum gap of 45 seconds. With two main circuits remaining, the group was finally reabsorbed; however due to severely worsening weather conditions, the main field had diminished as straggling riders were pulled off the course. There were safety concerns about the drenched and slick neighborhood roads featured on the finishing circuits and the pulled riders were given prorated times.
With about 25 miles to go, defending champion, Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist), attacked and held a small gap heading into the downtown circuits while race leader, Phil Gaimon (Kenda) chased with abandon. As Gaimon was focused on the threat from Mancebo, a group of four including BISSELL's Bevin and Pipp used the opportunity to get some distance on the main group. Bevin used this as a launching pad for another magnificent win. Bevin put his head down and set his sights on the finish. As Bevin soared solo toward the line, he had the stage win in mind but he was also inching closer to the podium. Bevin crossed twelve seconds in front of his closest competitor and with the time bonus he jumped to second overall. As a reward for their amazing efforts during the week, BISSELL also won the team competition.
The BPCT tally for the opening NRC race is: three stage wins, second in General Classification, and Team Classification win!