Ehrlich Wins Stage 3: Lake Perris Individual Time Trial

Emily Ehrlich (Twenty24) wins the Lake Perris Individual Time Trial, Merlis Mejias (Twenty24) is second, with Alia Shafi (Fount Cycling) in third.
Photo: Above Four Media / Redlands Bicycle Classic

Riverside County, California (April 12, 2024) – Virginia’s Blue Ridge Twenty24 Emily Ehrlich rode to victory for a second year running in the time trial for the stage 3 Toyota of Redlands Lake Perris individual TT. She won with a blazing time of 24:21. Moving to a new course this season at Lake Perris, riders rode a technical, 11.7-mile course starting atop the lake dam, winding their way around the lake via portions on a bike path and taking a couple tight turns before powering up to the finish to complete the third stage at the 2024 Redlands Bicycle Classic.

Ehrlich arrived to Redlands following her first ever Pan American Track Championships where she earned two gold medals in the individual pursuit and team pursuit respectfully. Her teammate Marlies Mejias was second with a time of 23:05, followed by Alia Shafi (Fount Cycling) in 23:11.  Ehrlich had been feeling under the weather, trying to recover from the effort on the track, not sure if she would be able to race through Sunday.

“It’s been really tough coming from the track, I’ve been just taking it day but day. I’m feeling a little bit better today, even though yesterday really wiped me out,” Ehrlich said before her start.  Speaking of the course ahead for the TT Ehrlich was excited for the change in venue and the new course.

“I’m really excited about the course; it’s very technical but going to be fun. I think there are a lot of opportunities to gain time where a lot of people might not think. We’ll see what happens.”

The defending overall champion was sitting far out of contention on the GC recovering from illness. She started within the first group of riders rolling down the start house. The heat had finally subsided on Friday, with a slight wind keeping the riders cool but thankfully did not play much of a factor for the finish.

Current U23 National Road Champion, Natalie Quinn had a solid day racing with the USA Cycling Redlands Development squad. She finished 12th on the day with a time of 25:59, enough to move her into third overall. Emma Langley struggled after a tough day in the mountains on stage 2, finishing the TT in 27:26, dropping down to 9th overall.

Alia Shafi moved up to 2nd overall on GC after a strong showing in the time trial on Friday. The Fount Cycling Guild rider won the Joe Martin time trial last season, surprising her rivals and even herself. The confidence built from last season is evident this season, making her climb up the GC riding consistent each day. Shafi was 5th on GC at the start of the day, down 1:26 from Gontova (DNA Pro Cycling). The yellow jersey managed to defend her lead, with a 50-second advantage ahead of Shafi.

“It was a little scary around those corners but I pushed it where I felt I could and was safe,” Shafi said. “It was awesome to end on the podium.  The wind played a factor a little, but I took that into account in my strategy moving up slowly on GC.  We’ll see where I am for tomorrow.”

The race returns to Downtown Redlands on Saturday for a full day of festivities beginning with the kid’s school duel races. The pro women will take to the start later in the afternoon at 2:15 PM local time.

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