Megan Jastrab (Rally-UHC) is not old enough to vote, but she is old enough to win professional cycling races. On Thursday, the 17-year-old Jastrab blazed a fast finishing sprint to win the second stage of the Redlands Bicycle Classic, the Highland Circuit Race. Jastrab out-kicked reigning U.S. criterium champion Leigh Ann Ganzer (Hagens Berman-Supermint) and Lauren Stephens (Tibco-SVB) to win the stage.
Race leader Amber Neben crossed the finish line five seconds back in the main field to maintain her overall lead. After the win, Jastrab credited her teammates, Abby Mickey and Gillian Elsay, for riding in the day’s breakaway, which forced other teams to do much of the work.
Our game plan was to ride it and see what we could do because we’re not in the best position on GC,” Jastrab said. “The team was confident they could handle it. And they did, they rode amazing, and it made our jobs easier. Those of us in the field stayed back. We covered moves and trusted that Abby and Gillian did their job in the break.”
In the men’s race, Kevin Vermaerke continued Hagens Berman Axeon’s win streak, winning the sprint ahead of teammate Cole David in the closing feet of the 58.1-mile circuit race. Alex Cowan of Floyd’s Cycling finished third.
Overnight leader Sean Quinn finished in fifth place to preserve his overall lead.
Vermaerke is riding the Redlands Classic for the first time in his career. He said the team’s primary goal was to preserve Quinn’s lead. But when he saw an opportunity to go for the win, he took it.
“As the race went on, we knew the climb was going to be critical. Going too early was an easy mistake to do, it looks a lot shorter until you’re on it and you realize you have a long way to go,” Vermaercke said. “We had the whole team on the front. We took control with about a lap to go. We kept it strung out with our GC guys in good position, and we held it until the line to be able to finish first, second, and I believe fifth with Sean. It was a good day in the office for the team today.”
The Redlands Classic continues Friday with stage 3, which features the mountaintop finish at Oak Glen. Stay tuned to VeloNews.com for news and updates from the race.
Redlands Classic Stage 2: Highlands Circuit Race
Top 10 women’s results
1. Megan Jastrab, Rally-UHC Cycling, 1:44:35
2. Leighann Ganzar, Hagens Berman-Supermint, at 00:01
3. Lauren Stephens, Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank, at s.t.
4. Krista Doebel-Hickok, Rally UHC Cycling, at 00:03
5. Jasmine Duehring, Sho-Air TWENTY20, at s.t.
6. Emma Grant, Sho-Air TWENTY20, at s.t.
7. Alice Cobb, Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank, at s.t.
8. Lex Albrecht, Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank, at 00:05
9. Lindsay Goldman, Hagens Berman-Supermint, at s.t.
10. Emily Newsom, Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank, at s.t.
Top 10 men’s results
1. Kevin Vermaerke, Hagens Berman Axeon, 2:06:39
2. Cole Davis, Hagens Berman Axeon, at s.t.
3. Alexander Cowan, Floyd’s Pro Cycling, at s.t.
4. Scott Mcgill, Gateway Devo Cycling, at s.t.
5. Sean Quinn, Hagens Berman Axeon, at s.t.
6. Eder Frayre, Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling, at s.t.
7. Sam Boardman, Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling p/b Maxxis, at s.t.
8. Samuel Anderson-Moxley, Team Mike’s Bikes pb Equator, 0:00:03
9. Tyler Williams, Team California, 0:00:05
10. Diego Binatena, Above and Beyond Cancer p/b Scheels, at s.t.