Forty handcyclists, including those on the Paralyzed Veterans of America Racing team, gathered in Southern California last weekend for the Redlands Bicycle Classic.
It was a complete podium sweep for Paralyzed Veterans Racing in the H3 class: Carlos Moleda in first, Seth Arseneau in second, and Keith Winchell in third. View more Redlands Classic photos.
In Thursday’s seven-mile time trial race, which took place in a beautiful new venue in Big Bear, Paralyzed Veterans member Carlos Moleda took first place in the Men’s H3 race with a time of 11:53:45, followed by Paralyzed Veterans member Seth Arseneau, with a time of 12:45:88. Robert Pucket III took first place in the Men’s H4 race with a time of 13:58:38, followed by Emanuel Herrera with a time of 19:19.53. Steven Peace (12:44:61) and Beth Hope (28:09:38) took first and second place in the T1/2 class.
In Friday’s road race, which included seven laps of a three-mile circuit in the higher elevation city of Beaumont, Calif., resulted in a complete podium sweep for Paralyzed Veterans racers in the H3 class: Moleda in first (58:10), Arseneau in second (1:03:27), and Paralyzed Veterans member Keith Winchell in third (58:56, -1 lap).
Saturday’s one-mile long course Criterium, the first of two downtown Criteriums, also resulted in big wins for Paralyzed Veterans racers, with Moleda (0:37:45) and Arseneau (0:39:48) taking first and second place in the Men’s H3 class. Puckett (0:40:31) took first place in the Men’s H4 class, while Herrera (0:40:40) took second place in the Recumbent class.
Finally, Sunday’s criterium finale also resulted in first and second place finishes for Moleda (0:22:12) and Arseneau (0:22:58) in the Men’s H3 class, and a third place finish for Herrera (0:24:08) in the Recumbent class. Puckett (23:08) took first place in the Men’s H4 class.
Jodi Shiflett, director of the Paralyzed Veterans Racing team, said that the racers earn points for each race they compete in, and this year will be the first full year that racers will have accumulated points for which they can measure their success for the entire year. “It will be a good barometer to say, for example, that I finished 7th this year and then next year aim to break the top five,” Shiflett said. “There’s not a grand prize other than the bragging rights.”
Shiflett said roughly half of the riders in the Redlands Classic will be meeting in Greenville, S.C., on April 20-21 for the 2013 Para-Cycling Open, an international race.
“There’s a sense of camaraderie and sport in being on the team, and collectively there’s an even greater purpose because you share techniques, advice and support for each other,” Shiflett said. “It allows us to show the world what we’re able to do in representing Paralyzed Veterans of America.”
Learn more about Paralyzed Veterans of America's adaptive sports programs
Brittany Ballenstedt is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in several publications, including Government Executive, National Journal, Technology Daily and NextGov.com.