Tyler Stites (Project Echelon) scorched to victory on the Route 66 time trial at the Redlands Classic for the second year in succession. The American finished eight seconds clear of Matteo Dal-Cin (Toronto Hussle), with Toby Røed (Above and Beyond Cancer) taking third.
Stites’ time was four seconds slower than the one he recorded on the same course last year, but his time of 17:43 was still enough to take the win, with Dal-Cin and Røed the only other riders to finish inside the 18-minute mark.
“It was good; I love this course, it’s fast and good pavement,” Stites said. “Zack [Gregg] and Stephen [Vogel] are really smart TT guys, they told me some tips for the pacing so I listened to them. The pacing was a lot different than last year. The wind was a completely different direction. It was a similar time, but a very different effort.”
Stites’ effort was also enough to see him divest teammate Ricky Arnopol of the yellow jersey. In the overall standings, he leads Arnopol by nine seconds, with 17-year-old AJ August (Hot Tubes Cycling) third at 12 seconds and Robin Carpenter (L39ION of Los Angeles) fourth at 46 seconds.
“It’s going to be tough, hopefully the crit won’t be too tough to defend,” Stites said. “Sunset I’d say is the queen stage of the race. It’s really hard to defend but I think between Ricky and me high up on GC, I think that will help. We’ll give it our best shot.”
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