Redlands, California - The Hagens Berman Axeon Cycling Team’s Thomas Revard claimed the overall victory in the general classification at the Redlands Bicycle Classic on Sunday, marking the best result of the young rider’s career. Exemplary riding by the entire roster meant that the team also secured the title in the team competition.
After the stage 1 time trial was canceled due to inclement weather, it was the reigning U23 National Champion’s impressive win on stage 2 that placed him atop the GC, a spot he did not relinquish for the duration of the 4 day stage race in Southern California. Revard’s victory comes in just his first year with the team.
“Going into today I was pretty confident with how the team was riding,” said Revard. “I knew that it wasn't going to be a cake walk and that it was going to be hard. The team rode out of their skins today to control the race and protect me the whole day. The last two laps were insane with Gavin [Mannion (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling)] launching some massive attacks. The first one Chris took the most impressive pull I've ever seen getting me back up to Gavin. The last lap Sean and Will both marked Gavin. Will then dropped back and helped me get back up to Gavin. Eddie, Ivo, Michael, and Ian controlled the race the entire day. On the short laps I was super excited to have Sean and Will with me on the closing laps to hold their GC positions! Once we got to the short laps I knew I had it I just had to stay upright!!”
The final stage, the Beaver Medical Group Sunset Road Race, was won by Brendan Rhim (Holowesko/Citadel p/b Arapahoe Resources) after he rode off the front of the main group when they entered the five, local criterium laps at the end of the 94 mile stage.
The team had three riders place in the top 5 of the GC, with Sean Bennett finishing in 3rd place and Will Barta finishing in 5th. Revard finished 24” ahead of Lionel Mawditt (Project Echelon Racing), who finished in 2nd in the GC.
“Sunset Loop is never easy to control, but the guys handled it expertly,” said sport director Jeff Louder. “They were calm under pressure and we had an answer for everything the other teams threw at us. Over four days of racing we were able to secure first, third, and fifth in GC, a stage win, and team GC. This was a victory made possible by the entire team. They all played a critical role and I am very proud of what they've accomplished today and this week.”
The Hagens Berman Axeon Cycling Team will return to racing on May 13, when it lines up for the Amgen Tour of California, the seven-day stage race that starts in Long Beach, California and ends in Sacramento.
(Photo: Davey Wilson)