Roldan Steals the Win in Redlands Opening Stage

Mara Roldan steals the stage 1 victory for Cynisca Cycling
Photo: VeloImages / Redlands Bicycle Classic


Highland, California (April 10, 2024) – Mara Roldan stormed to victory for Cynisca Cycling, stealing the win in Highlands on the opening stage of the 38thedition of the Redlands Bicycle Classic. Cynisca had been laying low in the peloton, keeping a close watch on the movements of the race before Roldan attacked rounding the final turn up Base Line Road. Maeghan Easler was just behind in second for DNA Pro Cycling, with Alia Shafi rounding the podium in third for FOUNT Cycling.

“I surprised myself a little today. I was showing some sickness coming into this so I was a little anxious about my preparation,” Roldan said at the finish. “We had a solid team and a positive mindset – everyone really gave it everything. I couldn’t be more happy with the team today.”

The field had remained together through most of the 14 laps around the 2.8-mile circuit in Highland, with temperatures soaring. Race organizers made a slight change to the start, excluding the traditional neutral roll out from the nearby San Manual Band of Mission Indians headquarters. Instead, the riders started on Base Line making the traditional finish, the start as well. The change saw many riders take to their trainers to warm up the legs prior to the roll out at 8:45 AM.


Photo: VeloImages / Redlands Bicycle Classic


There were three queen of the mountain sprint lines available in this opening day of racing. Former USA National Road Champion Emma Langley winning the second QOM and earning three more points at the finish to lead the classification for Virginia’s Blue Ridge Twenty24. No sprint points were available.

With so many changes to the course for 2024, teams are faced with a change in tactics for the overall GC. The GC contenders in the field were focused on the two time bonuses available – the first intermediate offering three, two, and one second for the first three riders, and then 10, six and four seconds for the top three on the stage.

“I was quite surprised because not a lot of people went hard on the second to last climb,” Roldan said. “I was expecting people to go really hard. Things started to move down the descent. As we got into the chicane, Cara (O’Neill) came up and positioned me well towards the front of the pack and gave it everything she had to get me to the front. I just went, I used some other teams wheels a bit and gave it everything up the climb.”

The defending overall GC Champion Emily Ehrlich arrived feeling ill, hoping to be able to race through Sunday. The recent Pan American multi-gold medalist pulled out of the race within ten laps to go.  The Twenty24 rider was able to complete enough laps to be eligible for the start on Thursday.

Cecile Lejeune racing for CCB presented by Levine Law Group was the top finisher on GC in 12th place to earn the Best Amateur jersey, similar to the Best Young Rider in other races. The Best Amateur competition is presented to the rider with the best time on GC who holds a USA Cycling category 2 license. The riders cannot be a member of a registered UCI team or part of the USA Cycling Redlands development team racing Redlands.

The women still start stage 2 Trek Bicycles Onyx Summit at 10:30 AM after the men start at 10, a brutal 29.9 climb up for a summit finish.

First – Mara Roldan (Cynisca Cycling)
Second – Maeghan Easler (DNA Pro Cycling)
Third – Alia Shafi (Fount Cycling)
Photo: Above Four Media


Emma Langley (Virginia’s Blue Ridge Twenty24) in red QOM jersey, Mara Roldan in yellow (Cynisca Cycling), and Best Amateur Cecile Lejeune (CCB p/b LLG) in white.
Photo: Above Four Media