August Soars to Victory Atop Oak Glen
Photo: Brian Hodes / VeloImages
April 13, 2023 (Yucaipa, California) – Andrew “AJ” August of Hot Tubes Development Cycling stole away with the win at Oak Glen on Thursday for stage 2 at the Redlands Bicycle Classic. Weather had descended on Yucaipa with temperatures dipping down to the low 50s at the start. The NY-native and cyclocross junior star was in his element, taking a chance to escape from the field midway up Oak Glen.
By the time the field reached the climb, conditions had deteriorated with heavy fog greatly reducing visibility. A six-man chase group including Tyler Stites (Project Echelon) and Riley Sheehan (Denver Disrupters) tried to close the gap but came up short in the end. Last year’s overall winner Stites finished second, with Sheehan rounding the podium in third.
“I knew I’m climbing quite well right now,” August said after finishing. “I thought I took it too early, but I think with the fog it actually helped being out of sight. It was brutal; the last two laps I couldn’t feel my hands. Once we hit the climb I got warm for sure.”
The men raced six circuits around Yucaipa before the climb to Oak Glen. Denver Disrupters worked to protect Noah Granigan’s yellow jersey early on, keeping a leash on anyone who tried to escape. Midway through, it was 18-year-old Evan Boyle who managed to escape solo. Racing away from the field, he would eventually reach up over a three-minute advantage. Three others took on the chase including Landis Cyclery Stephan Schaefer, CS Velo Will Gleason, and Expeditors’ Greg Talpey. Boyle gave a valiant effort in the weather the riders faced, but was caught on the last lap. The Aevolo rider snagged enough points to move into the KOM lead for his efforts.
“I was supposed to get in the break, but I was hoping I would get a little bit of support so we could put pressure on other teams,” Boyle said. I got the pacing right, going down the descent as fast as I possibly could, recovering and then flag myself up the hill. The climb was really hard; I didn’t take that into consideration when I went in the break.”
As the field made the turn onto the climb, the top teams moved into position at the front. Toronto Hustle had led the chase after Boyle, hoping to deliver Matteo –Dal Cin in a good position among the favorites at the base of Oak Glen. Dal Cin had won Redlands Classic back in 2016. Instead, it was L39ion of Los Angeles, Denver Disrupters, and Project Echelon who sent their climbers on attack, including Stites, Sheehan, and Kyle Murphy with Eder Frayre. While they were focused on one another, August took the opportunity to escape.
“We came into the day trying to be in the breakaway because it’s a hard course to be on the front the whole day,” Sheehan said. “We were able to not do any work until halfway through the race, that saved our legs a lot for the climb.
“Kyle Murphy (L39ion) attacked 500m in. Everyone was looking at each other and then August kept the tempo going to the line, a phenomenal ride by him. I was just trying to follow wheels hoping Noah would be back there for GC. In the last km, the group was pretty thin. I tried giving it a go at 500m but it was brutal.”
Ricky Arnopol finished with enough time to slide into yellow for Project Echelon, ready for the time trial on Friday.
“I didn’t expect to be in yellow but I think the day worked really well, the team rode really well,” Arnopol said. “Tyler and I both had the legs we knew we could have and we knew the day we knew we could have. To have it work out with Tyler on the podium and me being in yellow tomorrow is just a great feeling.
“I think we’re the best time trialing team in the country. We spend a lot of time working on it. It’s going to be really close but I think we have a really good shot. Tyler waxed everyone in the TT last year, so I think he can do it again.”
*Official results not available at this time. We will send with the women’s report.
Second – Tyler Stites (Project Echelon)
Third – Riley Sheehan (Denver Disrupters)
Photo: Above Four Media
Ryan Gorman (Mike’s Bike’s) Sprint Jersey
Photo: Brian Hodes / VeloImages