The Sunset Road Race is the finale of the Redlands Bicycle Classic and it is known for whittling down the field from the gun. In the past couple of years I have raced Redlands, it has been a feat all on its own just to make it to this last stage without being time cut.
This year we had five Trek Red Truck ladies: Sara B., Gillian E., Suz H., Kinley B., and myself roll up to the starting line ready to tackle whatever this race course had to throw at us. With the first lap having KOM points and time bonus points on the line, we were all prepared for the first lap to be fast and relentless, and it did not disappoint. Before I knew it, I was the last person hanging on for dear life in the front group along with Gillian E. and Sara B. Suz H. and Kinley G. settled into their own groups which there were many of scattered about the Sunset Loop.
After the KOM, the lead group settled a bit until there were some strong attacks, and eventually one attack stuck and managed to stay away from the chase group to the finish line. Being a BC local team, I was excited to have three TRT ladies representing in the lead pack amongst some of the best riders in the world, and with one lap to go, I felt confident we could work together to pull off a strong result. Unfortunately, near the top of the last climb on the last lap a couple of riders went down including Sara B. (Sara was not injured and was quick to get up and get on a spare bike as her shifter broke). During the crash I was on Sara’s wheel so I was also caught up behind the incident and it was at a critical point in the race when things were heating up. Both Sara and I were disconnected from the lead pack and had to roll it in solo. Fortunately, Gil managed to avoid the bikes and bodies and hung in until the end, pulling off an impressive 11th place finish.
Suz H. and Kinley B. both made it to the to the four lap marker which gives you a prorated time and keeps you in the results. Once again, this is a goal for a lot of riders as there were many riders that didn’t even get to start the Sunset Loop! So overall, the TRT Ladies showed up to Redlands and represented very well. We demonstrated that we have all been working hard training this last year and showed improvements in both physical and mental strength. I am proud to be on this team with these ladies and can’t wait for our next racing adventure.