The 30th edition of the Redlands Classic concluded with Felt sponsored Hincapie Sportswear’s Joey Rosskopf winning the final stage as well as the overall general classification. Along the way the Hincapie Sportswear squad won stage 1 with Dion Smith and captured the team general classification. Another team powered by the Felt FC bike is the Horizon Organic/Einstein Bros Bagels squad with Josh Yeaton taking the white jersey of “best amateur” in the five-day stage race.
“The leadership was pretty open,” said Rosskopf describing the team dynamics. “I did well in the time trial last year (at the Redlands Classic) so I was expected to do well there again. The team was good enough for anyone to be considered a leader.”
When Dion lost the leader’s jersey in the time trial the Hincapie Devo team readjusted their race strategy to an all or nothing style of racing.
“We didn’t have a whole lot to lose on the final day. We weren’t going to be disappointed to race hard and at the end the day lose a couple of spots on the general classification.”
However, Joey rode like a seasoned pro bridging to a breakaway and then attacking again, taking the stage win and with it the yellow jersey.
“It’s a huge confidence boost for the team. It reaffirms the faith that people had in us. It’s great that it all came together to get the win. We couldn’t ask for a better start to the season.”
The Felt FC bikes came through their first major race under the Hincapie Devo boys, with flying colors and was a factor in Joey’s overall win.
“I know I was taking the descent (in the Sunset Loop stage) better than last year. You dive through the neighborhood and take a couple of quick turns in a row,” said Joey about the Felt FC. “That’s a great place to save energy by being smooth on the turns. That plays a huge role because you can conserve energy there and on the rest of the course, except on the climb where you need it.”
When victories are won by a handful of seconds, conserving that little bit of extra power makes the difference
Next up for the Hincapie Devo squad is heading north to Sea Otter in Monterey, California for the Sea Otter Classic. Look for the black and gray of the Hincapie Development team at the front and stringing it out.