Redlands, California – Christopher Blevins was the best finisher Saturday for the Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team as the breakaway stayed clear in the City of Redlands Criterium.
Blevins placed 11th – and second in the field sprint – as nine riders stayed clear for the majority of the 90-minute race that included nine corners. Gage Hecht (Aevolo Cycling) took the win ahead of Danny Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team) and Ulise Castillo (Jelly Belly presented by Maxxis). Alfredo Rodriguez (Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling) placed 10th to win the field sprint 23 seconds later.
Other finishers for Axeon Hagens Berman were: Jhonatan Narvaez, 14th; Michael Rice 16th; Geoffrey Curran, 84th and Jonny Brown, 113th. All were given the same time as Blevins.
Sunday's final stage is generally one of the hardest on the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour circuit. Comprising 12 laps and 151 kilometers, the Beaver Medical Group Sunset Road Race often shakes up the overall standings due to its continuously undulating nature.
Narvaez, in 11th place and 2:19 off the lead, is best-placed for Axeon Hagens Berman. Stage 2 winner TJ Eisenhart (Holowesko-Citadel presented by Hincapie Sportswear) continues to lead in the overall standings. He is 42 seconds ahead of Gavin Mannion (UnitedHealthcare), with only two other riders within a minute.
Blevins (17th, at 3:44) and Curran (19th at 4:24) are the other two Axeon Hagens Berman riders in the top 20 in the overall standings.
Header photo of Christopher Blevins (center) by Davey Wilson.