Photo: Casey B. Gibson
AEVOLO HEADING TO REDLANDS BICYCLE CLASSIC
May 1st, 2017
From New Mexico to California. Aevolo Cycling heads to the Redlands Bicycle Classic with heavy hearts following the death of Chad Young. The 21-year-old Axeon Hagens Berman rider sustained head injuries in a crash on the final stage of the Tour of the Gila from which he was unable to recover. Aevolo rider Michael Hernandez was also involved in this crash and will be sidelined with injuries for the next six to eight weeks.
Redlands, running from May 3-7, is the third team race of the year after Joe Martin Stage Race and Tour of the Gila.
"In the absence of Hernandez, I would really like the guys to step up and get some time in the breaks," said sport director Mike Creed. "Normally we've been conservative with breaks so Mike had help in the final kilometers. But with him out, I want them to be aggressive and look for opportunities."
The Redlands Bicycle Classic opens on Wednesday with a 7.1 mile individual time trial, followed by the Oak Glen road race, the Highland circuit race and a downtown Redlands criterium. The Sunset road race, with its steep climb up Sunset Road on every lap, will ultimately decide the winner on Sunday May 7. Stage lengths span between Thursday's 94.4 miles of racing and the 90-minute City of Redland criterium run over a one-mile circuit.
"I'm happy to return to Oak Glen," Creed commented. "I used to race up it and it will give me a chance to lie to the guys about how much faster I did it."
"Jack [Burke], Jokin [Etxabe] and Luis [Villalobos] have shown some good form," said Creed. "I hope they can keep it rolling and maybe improve."
Burke wore the young rider jersey in the Joe Martin Stage Race after delivering the team its first UCI top 10-finish in the opening individual time trial. He eventually went on to finish second in the Joe Martin U23 classification and third in the U23 classification at Gila.
Villalobos, the U23 Mexican individual time trial champion, took second in the Gila young rider classification with his 13th place finish on the general classification while Etxabe finished 20th overall.
Hopes do not solely rest on the shoulders of this trio. Creed noted: "Honestly everyone has a chance to show themselves."
With development the main target for Aevolo Cycling, Creed is not looking for specific results at Redlands, but is aiming for the entire squad to learn, develop and take their chances.
"If the guys attempt to race as a team and execute best practices, I'm happy," said Creed. "You have to trust the results are genuine when they executed the plan correctly."
More info about this race at redlandsclassic.com.
Aevolo cycling for Redlands:
Jack Burke (CAN)
Jokin Etxabe Letura (ESP)
Laurent Gervais (CAN)
Gage Hecht (USA)
Zeke Mostov (USA)
Jason Saltzman (USA)
Tyler Stites (USA)
Luis Villalobos (MEX)