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Wherry, Thorburn set to defend Redlands titles

USPRO national road champion Chris Wherry and Christine Thorburn, winners of the 2005 Redlands Bicycle Classic, will take the start Friday as the 22nd edition of the California NRC race gets under way. Last year, both riders won the opening 1200-vertical-foot, 5km Mt. Rubidoux time trial and barely held onto their leads through the four-stage event. This year, the race consists of the 680-vertical-feet, 5km Centennial Bank time trial, a circuit road race and a criterium in downtown Redlands. Having won last year’s event for Health Net-Maxxis by just seven seconds over Trent Lowe (Jittery

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By Ben Delaney

Wherry

Wherry

Photo: Casey B. Gibson file photo

USPRO national road champion Chris Wherry and Christine Thorburn, winners of the 2005 Redlands Bicycle Classic, will take the start Friday as the 22nd edition of the California NRC race gets under way.

Last year, both riders won the opening 1200-vertical-foot, 5km Mt. Rubidoux time trial and barely held onto their leads through the four-stage event. This year, the race consists of the 680-vertical-feet, 5km Centennial Bank time trial, a circuit road race and a criterium in downtown Redlands.

Having won last year’s event for Health Net-Maxxis by just seven seconds over Trent Lowe (Jittery Joe’s-Kalahari), Wherry this year is riding for Toyota-United. Thorburn returns with her Webcor squad, which put the rider ahead of Quark’s Annette Beutler by a mere two seconds at race’s end.

Another noteworthy Health Net transfer, Toyota-United’s Juan Jose Haedo, will likely be looking to repeat his 2005 victories in the criterium and the Sunset Loop road race.

Thorburn

Thorburn

Photo: Casey B. Gibson file photo

Toyota-United’s nemesis Health Net has other plans, however. Scott Moninger has won the race twice, in 1989 and 1995, for Team Crest and Chevrolet-L.A. Sheriff.

Other pro teams in the hunt include Navigators Insurance, Jelly Belly, Colavita-Sutter Home Winery, Kodak-Sierra Nevada and TIAA-CREF.

Although Redlands has dwindled in terms of stages — down from a peak of six stages plus a prologue in the 1999 edition Christian Vande Velde won — the prize money hasn’t. The men and women will be going for a total purse of more than $40,000 this year.

Check VeloNews.com this weekend for stage reports and photos, then see the April 10 print edition of VeloNews for the complete story on the 2006 Redlands Bicycle Classic.

Stages
Friday, March 24 – Stage 1, Panorama Point Time Trial (5km men/women)
Saturday, March 25 – Stage 2, Criterium (60 mins. women, 90 mins. men)
Sunday, March 26 – Stage 3, Sunset Road Race (99.5km women, 142km men)

Teams
MenToyota-UnitedNavigatorsInsuranceHealthNet-MaxxisJellyBellyColavitaOlive Oil-Sutter Home WineryKodak Gallery-SierraNevada CyclingTeam TIAA-CREFAEG-Toshiba-JetNetworkJittery Joe’sSuccessfulLivingPriorityHealthTeam MonexTargetTrainingVMG RacingBMC Racing TeamFiordifruittaCRCA-Sakonnet Technology U25Kahala-LaGrangeBroadmark-Hagens-BermanCalifornia Giant-Village PeddlerSienna Development-Goble Knee ClinicTeam SpineWomenWebcor-PlatinumT-MobileTeam LiptonVictory Brewing CyclingVelo Bella-KonaFord CyclingColavita Cooking LightLandis-Trek-VWVitamin CottageTeam CheerwineTeam BiovailTeam Kenda TireBicycle John’sColorado Premier Training-ColnagoSC Velo-Incycle
 

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