Davis Steals Queen Stage Victory Atop Onyx Summit

Cole Davis (Ribble Rebellion) takes the Queen stage victory atop Onyx Summit
Photo: VeloImages / Redlands Bicycle Classic


San Bernardino, California (April 11, 2024) – “I’ve never won a mountain top finish in my career and to do it on a crit team full of sprinters, this is not expected for us,” Cole Davis said, following his surprising victory on stage 2 for Ribble Rebellion. “It’s been a tough year and a half. I thought about hanging it up but this team gave me an opportunity to continue my career; I’m just so thankful for that!”

From the publication of the changes to the queen stage at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, all eyes were set on the Onyx Summit for Stage 2. Plenty of nervous legs were spinning at the start this morning, getting ready for the long day ahead. Despite plenty of effort from other teams, it was the Ribble Rebellion rider in the end who rode away to victory, leaving his fellow competitors speechless at the finish. Team California’s Nick Narraway finished shortly behind followed by Stephen Bassett (Denver Disrupters) in third for a second day running.

“I was dropped several times today, having been teammates with Joäo Almeida (2022 Giro d’Italia winner) throughout my career, I tried to use what he always taught us – a steady effort,” Davis said. “I love going from 1km to go but on a mountaintop, it’s way different.

“I have to apologize to my parents today because I told them why bother coming out here – I just have to roll and make time cut, best day – maybe top 20? I didn’t even bother looking at the stage profile because I thought I’m never going to win. I had come here to try and win stage one. So that was really frustrating but the upside is that I am 20 minutes down on GC so when I go, nobody has any reason to chase me so that played into the strategy today.”

The men began their 50.4-mile trek for the queen stage at 10 AM local time, with the sun shining and the temperatures beginning to rise. Two intermediate sprints were first on the docket, at 10.5 miles in with another at 15.5 miles prior to the start of the climb. Canel’s was the first to make a move with Sebastian Mata earning top points at sprint 1. The race suddenly took a wrong turn off course as the results were being announced, forcing the race to be neutralized for roughly two miles as officials scrambled to get the peloton back on course safely.

Teams settled back into tempo, conserving their legs on the last bit of flat road before the climb began. The warm temperatures and head wind played a factor, making it tough for any breakaways to get established.


Photo: VeloImages / Redlands Bicycle Classic


Landis/Trek Cyclery’s Stephen Schaefer was the first to go, hoping for some companions to tag along but looking back realized he was on his own. The Tucson native kept his head down and gained up to a 2:20 minute gap ahead of the field. Shortly before the first KOM, it was Canel’s – Java Efren Santos who launched a solo chase. The former Mexican National Road Champion would close a two-minute gap, catching Schaefer with 18 miles left to race. Schaefer did his best to hold Santos’ wheel but after such an intense solo effort for so long, he lost contact soon after.

Santos had been 19-seconds down on GC at the start of the day, and had gained up to a 1:15 gap on the field. Project Echelon lifted the tempo in defense of the yellow jersey, slowly closing the gap. Just as they rounded a curve and had Santos in sight, the Canel’s rider suffered a mechanical. The Shimano neutral service team was on the case within seconds, but it was too late. Santos did his best to keep a gap but the peloton was on the move, catching him seconds later.

“The peloton had been pretty calm when I first launched my attack,” Santos said after finishing. “I had the unfortunate mechanical at a bad time. Though I was helped by Shimano, by then the peloton was right on top of me.”

What was remaining of the front group had been reduced to roughly 30 riders, as the fireworks because to explode. Project Echelon maintained a solid pace at the front of the field, with the yellow jersey of Tyler Stites sitting comfortably on third wheel. Several teams tried their hands at disrupting their plan.

Williams Racing Devo’s Eder Frayre attacked within 10km to go, with Team California’s Kellen Caldwell the only rider to respond. Project Echelon maintained their composer, with neither rider a threat to the GC. Frayre was racing with two broken ribs suffered in a training crash a week prior, and thus was not able to maintain the effort. Caldwell fought on, and would manage to gain 30 seconds before he too was absorbed with 1km to go.

Tyler Stites would finish in the front group, behind Davis and Narraway, four seconds down maintaining his lead on GC. Bassett moved up to second just five seconds down, after another consistent finish racing for the first time at altitude in several years.

Stites won the time trial last year, going into the new course tomorrow hoping to repeat his victory to defend yellow for another day.

“I have to thank my team, they rode amazing,” Stites said at the finish. “We controlled the riders up the road and brought them back. There were a lot of attacks in the final few kilometers that I had to cover. The last one kind of slipped away, but I was just happy to be in the little group on the same time. It was pretty tough, more of grind because it was so gradual, only really got into the high intensity in the last few km.”

**Photos for media use only. Other inquiries please contact Rebecca Reza.


First – Cole Davis (Ribble Rebellion)
Second – Nick Narraway (Team California)
Third – Stephen Bassett (Denver Disrupters)
Photo: Redlands Bicycle Classic


Tyler Stites (Project Echelon) in yellow, Stephen Schaefer of Landis/Trek Cyclery in the red KOM jersey. Quinn Felton (Aevolo Cycling) leads the Best Amateur competitions and Ryan Gorman in the green sprint leader’s jersey.
Photo: Above Four Media