Noah Granigan (Floyd’s Pro Cycling) outsprinted Scott Mcgill (Gateway Devo Cycling) to win the downtown Redlands Criterium on Saturday.
A break of nine riders was established a few laps into the 90-minute stage, working together in order to fight for the win in the final lap.
The nine-corner circuit was marred by several crashes that caused the race to be neutralized several times.
Granigan had the extra kick in the final meters to earn the first Pro Road Tour stage victory for his new team, Floyd’s Pro Cycling and the best result so far of his career. Mcgill finished just behind in second, with First Internet Bank Cycling’s Jarret Oldham in third.
“The crashes are just something that happens with racing,” Granigan said. “The first time was actually one of my teammates, Noah Simms on the ground, so I’m hoping he’s OK. Each time coming out, the legs were locked up, just from sitting around a few minutes. It’s definitely not ideal but you just kind of roll with it. It’s great winning, Floyd’s got a lot of support from Floyd Landis, and all of his partners, so it’s good to have really good people helping us and supporting us.”
Hagens Berman Axeon kept a tight leash on the escapees throughout the race, mostly to keep their GC leader Kevin Vermaerke safe from the chaos of the day. The break also included Michael Hernandez and Alex Hoehn of Aevolo Pro Cycling, Hugo Scala Jr. (Gateway Devo Cycling) and Michael Garrison helping his Landis/Trek Elite teammate, Quinn Simmons, extend his lead in the points classification.
Simmons had initially missed the early move, until Garrison pulled him up to join the break, in order to fight Hernandez for the six sprint points available on the stage. The 17-year-old now holds a 10-point lead over the Aevolo rider.
“Overall it went well; I didn’t exactly expect the break to make it all the way to the end so that was a nice surprise,” Simmons said. “Right as the break formed, Michael Garrison called us both up there, which was the biggest thing because I missed the initial break. He pulled super strong all day to keep the time gap up and help me go for the sprint points. Sadly I wasn’t strong enough to hold it off until the end when we went for it, but still a good day.”
Hoehn was the highest placed rider in the break, sitting over three minutes down on GC. Back in the field, Elevate KHS’s Jordan Cheyne, crashed upon crossing the line with two laps to go. The Canadian was unable to finish the stage due to damage to his bike, but crashing in the final three laps allowed him to maintain his third place on GC.
The leader classifications and top 10 on GC remained the same ahead of the final day of racing at the Sunset Loop Road Race Sunday. Vermaerke leads the general classification, 24 seconds ahead of Eder Frayre (Elevate KHS) and 27 seconds ahead of Cheyne.
The Beaver Medical Group Sunset Road Race men’s 94.1-mile event will begin Sunday at 2 p.m.