Schneider Marks First Victory of Her Season at Redlands

Skylar Schneider wins stage 4 criterium for a second year
Photo: Above Four Media / Redlands Bicycle Classic

Redlands, California (April 13, 2024) – Skylar Schneider catapulted herself around the DNA Pro Cycling’s sprint train in the final meters to cross the line, marking her first win of the season for Williams Racing Devo in Downtown Redlands. Schneider had won stage 4 last season in similar fashion in her Redlands debut. DNA Pro Cycling Makayla Macpherson was second, followed by Marlies Mejias in third.

“Every year is a new challenge; we always look forward to Redlands,” Schneider said at the finish.  “It’s one of the first races we do all year, so it sets the stage to give us the momentum to keep going.

“DNA did a phenomenal lead out. They were very fast and very smooth; we knew exactly where we wanted to jump. They made it hard for us because they were going so fast but we were on a mission today to get this first win for WRDevo. Two weeks ago I was doing all-nighters in my bakery so I’m really happy to be here and feeling good.”

The professional women took to the stage at 2 PM local time, after a morning filled with cycling events including the kids’ school duel races and the Plain Wrap Charity Ride at 8 AM. The first race began with stage 2 of the junior stage race at one, followed by the pro women.

The 75-minutes of racing included five sprint competitions – four intermediate sprints and points offered at the finish. Virginia’s Blue Ridge Marlies Mejias led the classification by five points ahead of her teammate Emily Ehrlich, and 7 points ahead of Cynisca Cycling’s Chloe Patrick. With Mara Roldan (Cynisca) sitting in fifth on GC and the team focused on moving her up on GC, it would be Mejias jersey to lose.

Twenty24 sent Emily Ehrlich to monitor moves at the front of the race, keeping Marlies on her wheel to be ready for the first sprint of the day. The Cuban sprinter crossed first to earn top points in both the first two of five points available. Once she had gained enough points in the first few intermediate sprint to gain a healthy margin in the classification, she switched focused to the finish – eager to gain a stage victory before the race ends on Sunday.

“The goal was to maintain the lead with the jersey,” Mejias said. “The finish didn’t go as planned but tomorrow is another day where we will try again. We’re in a good position, so I hope tomorrow will be a great day for the team.”

DNA Pro Cycling Nadia Gontova successfully defended another day in the yellow jersey. Photo: © Veloimages

DNA Pro Cycling controlled the pace of the field, following the first intermediate sprints. The squad made sure the yellow jersey of Nadia Gontova was kept safe and out of trouble. They monitored the front of the field and kept the race moving, making it difficult to go around them with such a tight and technical circuit.

As the laps began to wind down, teams began positioning themselves for the finish. DNA Pro Cycling was given the green light, ready to battle for the stage win. With one lap to go, Schneider was sitting sixth wheel just behind her older sister Sam and four other DNA jerseys. Rounding the final corner, Schneider launched her sprint, surfing wheels to get into the DNA slipstream before jumping for the win.

“I think the team did really, really well,” Macpherson said, despite missing out on the top step. “We wanted to keep Nadia safe. The team worked amazing in doing that, but we also wanted to get a result for the day. We were able to get on the podium so it was a great day out there.”

There were no changes in the overall top five on GC, with Gontova maintaining a 50-second lead heading into the final day of race.

“It was really hard, not my favorite day,” Gontova said.  “I’m really grateful for some awesome teammates keeping me safe. I’m happy to have made it through today. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, which is a little more up my alley. I really liked it last year, though I suffered a mechanical on the last lap. I’m hoping this year will be a better results in the end.”

There was no queen of the mountain points available on the stage, while Cecile Lejuene maintains her lead in the Best Amateur competition.

The finale for our pro women will begin at 10 AM in Downtown Redlands for the City of Redlands Sunset Road Race.

First – Skylar Schneider (Williams Racing Devo)
Second – Makayla Macpherson (DNA Pro Cycling)
Third – Marlies Mejias (Virginia’s Blue Ridge Twenty24)
Photo: Above Four Media

Emma Langley (Virginia’s Blue Ridge Twenty24) in red QOM jersey, Marlies Mejias in the sprint leaders jersey (Virginia’s Blue Ridge Twenty24), Nadia Gontova in yellow (DNA Pro Cycling), and Best Amateur Cecile Lejeune (CCB p/b LLG) in white.
Photo: Above Four Media