Local racer Cristhian Ravelo competes in prestigious Redlands Bicycle Classic | VailDaily.com

Local racer Cristhian Ravelo competes in prestigious Redlands Bicycle Classic

EAGLE-VAIL — Local cyclist Cristhian Ravelo wrapped up a week of racing Sunday at the 33rd annual Redlands Bicycle Classic.

The classic is an invite-only race and considered to be the longest continuously running in U.S. cycling history. Ravelo is racing with a new team out of Colorado, The 303 Project, where he is the only racer hailing from the Western Slope. It's Ravelo's first season racing as a professional road cyclist; he also races mountain bikes and finished eighth in the Leadville 100 in August.

fun and a change

"It's definitely been fun but, it's definitely been a change too," he said of road racing. "It's been hard, racing with the best racers in the country, but it's been good."

When Ravelo was named to The 303 Project, he credited the Eagle County community with helping him make the team. He comes from a family of cyclists, known as Ravelo Racing, and is coached by Jake Wells of Form Attainment Studio in Edwards.

The 303 Project has competed in the first three races of the 2017 U.S.A. Cycling Pro Road Tour this season, a series of competitive cycling events held throughout the country. The Redlands Classic is the third race in the series, which started in early April in Arkansas with the Joe Martin stage race. Next up was the Tour de Gila in New Mexico. According to their mission statement, The 303 Project intends to be both a stable development pathway for elite cyclists who dream of riding professionally, and a community connection that inspires everyone to discover and enjoy the pleasures of riding a bicycle.

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"The team has been working well," Ravelo said. "We've had a couple of top-25 finishes in stages of some of the pro races, so the fact that we can be up there and be a factor in the race is good. I think we've been turning heads for a new team."

Follow along with The 303 Project by visiting http://www.facebook.com/the303project

The 303 Project pro road tour team

Taylor Warren, Fort Collins

Mac Cassin, Boulder

Jim Peterman, Boulder

Adam Farabaugh, Boulder

Cristhian Ravelo, Eagle-Vail

Nate Wilson, Boulder

Isaiah Newkirk, Boulder

Austin Stephens, Boulder

Camilo Zambrano, Boulder

Oliver Flautt, Boulder