Stage 1: Highlands Circuit Road Race Recap
REDLANDS, California (April 20, 2022) — Heidi Franz opened the 36th Edition of the Redlands Bicycle Classic Wednesday morning winning the 41.3-mile Highlands Circuit Race for stage 1. Instafund LaPrima had several cards to play with three riders who were part of a 10-rider breakaway that managed to escape midway in the stage following a slew of attacks from the start. Working together, the group was able to maintain their lead, battling it out up the final climb to the finish. Jennifer Wheeler racing for Fount Cycling Guild was second, with Emily Marcolini (3T/Q+M Cycling) in third. Heidi Franz (Instafund La Prima) powers to win stage 1. Photo: Casey B. Gibson “We had such a strong team today, Izzie (Bertold) bridged up after the last QOM and Maddy (Ward) and I were just perfectly set up,” Franz said at the finish. “It was just the right combination of riders to keep the break going and in the last couple laps, we knew we had the legs to pull it off today. I just can’t believe it. I think I sat down and sprinted all over again 3 different times! I’m just so happy!”
The victory was an emotional one for Franz, three years after Megan Jastrab had won in Highland. Both had been racing for Rally when a fellow teammate passed away one month before the start of Redlands that year. The team had honored their loss before and after the stage.