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(September 26, 2005) - This past weekend marked the end of the Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada Professional Cycling Team's 2005 racing season, and the team had riders competing in the Mercy Celebrity Classic in Arkansas, the Bermuda Grand Prix, and the UCI World Road Cycling Championships in Madrid.

"The Barclays Grand Prix in San Francisco and the Cougar Mountain Classic earlier this month were really important for us and we performed very well in both races," commented Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada Operations Manager Kurt Stockton, "but we have a responsibility to our sponsors not to just mail it in afterwards. That's why we chose to race both Bermuda and Arkansas this weekend, and the Univest GP last week. And getting Dominique [Perras] to World's turned out to be a nice surprise!"

With the momentum of their strong rides earlier in September, Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada's Glen Mitchell took third and second in the two Mercy races, while Scott Zwizanski placed second overall in Bermuda.


Dan Schmatz braves the rain on Saturday
Despite running two 90-minute criteriums on identical courses, the Mercy Celebrity Classic in Van Buren, Arkansas offered two dramatically different races - with steady rain and mild temperatures on Saturday and oppressive heat and humidity on Sunday. Glen Mitchell, Dan Schmatz, and Russell Hamby represented Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada, while pro rivals Health Net p.b. Maxxis and Jelly Belly-PoolGel also fielded three riders apiece.

On Saturday, Mitchell, Mike Sayers (Health Net) and Alex Candelario (Jelly Belly) got away after only 10 minutes of racing and were joined soon thereafter by Scott Moninger (Health Net) and local Bryan Jensen. The group of five held a steady gap of around 30 seconds for most of the race and stayed together until the finish.
Candelario took the win, followed by Sayers, Mitchell, Jensen, and Moninger. Schmatz and Hamby took 10th and 15th.

Saturday's race was, according to Mitchell, "faster and more aggressive right from the start", but Moninger soloed away from the pack after only a few minutes and lapped the field.

Mitchell then took the initiative as part of a four-man group with Moninger, Sayers, and amateur Bill Stolte (HRRC). The quartet soon lapped the field - except for a six-rider chase group that included Schmatz, Candelario, and US Elite Criterium Champion Brad Huff (Mercy Cycling).

At this point, it was only 25 minutes into the race, but with Mitchell and two others up a lap and Moninger up two, Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada's Russell Hamby and Healt Net-Maxxis' Mike Jones had the responsibility of riding temp on the front of the field.

So it went until the finish, where Mitchell won the sprint for second behind Moninger and Schmatz took the sprint among the chasers, earning a fifth place finish.

Noting that five professionals accounted for eight of the ten possible top-five places, Mitchell commented, "There were a lot of really motivated amateurs here, but I guess that's why we're pros. Still, it was a very well organized race. There was a great atmosphere and everyone enjoyed us being here."


Scott Zwizanski
Pete Lopinto, Jackson Stewart, and Scott Zwizanski flew the Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada flag at the four-stage Bermuda Grand Prix, which began on Thursday with a 45-minute criterium in Hamilton.

After Stewart and Lopinto covered the early moves and took the first two primes, Zwizanski went off the front with Ivan Stevic (Aerospace Engineering-VMG) and Tim Johnson (Jittery Joe's-Kalahari). The trio was caught with 8 laps to go, but not before Zwizanski racked up $1,500 in primes.

With only half the field remaining, Subway's David Richter jumped the group with half-a-lap to go and held on for the win. Lopinto tried to set up Stewart for second, but he was beaten at the line by Stevic.

Friday evening's race was a 1.1km uphill time trial, where Stewart took 6th, Lopinto 8th, and Zwizanski 15th.

Even at a relatively short 100km, Saturday's road race was the "Queen Stage" of the Bermuda Grand Prix and Zwizanksi got away in a 9-rider breakaway on the third of ten laps.

As the pouring rain that marked the first half of the stage dried up, the breakaway was whittled down to Zwizanski, Stevic, and Brit Dean Downing from the SPENCE team.
On the last lap, Downing snuck away and won the stage by 11 seconds, while Zwizanksi took second ahead of Stevic. Stewart took second in the field sprint for fifth place on the stage, 1'13" behind the stage winner.

So after three stages, Zwizanski held second overall, 15 seconds behind Stevic and 13 ahead of Downing. Stewart and Lopinto were sixth and seventh, 1'23 and 1'26 behind Stevic.

Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada's objective on Sunday was to protect Zwizanski in a criterium which featured four sets of three-place time bonus sprints and that Lopinto described as "crazy technical."

The team was up to the task and shut Downing out of all three intermediate sprints. At the finish, Lopinto jumped away on the bell lap and held off the pack for third place behind a two-rider breakaway and finished 6th place overall after Stewart punctured after the end of free laps and did not finish.

"It was really good racing and just a great time," Lopinto described, "Scott's going really well right now and it was a great way for us to end the season."


As reported late last week, Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada's Dominique Perras was a last-minute call-up to represent Canada at the World Championships after Michael Barry (Discovery Channel) pulled out due to illness.

Despite the toll of his suboptimal travel schedule, which had him taking a redeye flight from Montreal on Friday night, Perras soldiered through almost all of the 170-mile race before dropping from the field during the eleventh of thirteen laps.

Nonetheless, it was a solid effort on a course that proved to be far more difficult than advertised.


Mercy Celebrity Classic - Day 1
1. Alex Candelario (Jelly Belly-PoolGel)
2. Mike Sayers (Health Net p.b. Maxxis)
3. Glen Mitchell (Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada)
4. Bryan Jensen (HRRC)
5. Scott Moninger (Health Net p.b. Maxxis)

Mercy Celebrity Classic - Day 2
1. Scott Moninger (Health Net p.b. Maxxis)
2. Glen Mitchell (Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada)
3. Mike Sayers (Health Net p.b. Maxxis)
4. Bill Stolte (HRRC)
5. Dan Schmatz (Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada)

Bermuda Grand Prix - Stage 1
1. David Richter (Subway)
2. Ivan Stevic (Aerospace Engineering)
3. Jackson Stewart (Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada)
4. Karl Bordine (Helen's RPM)
5. Emile Abraham (Aerospace Engineering)

Bermuda Grand Prix - Stage 3
1. Dean Downing (SPENCE)
2. Scott Zwinzanski (Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada
3. Ivan Stevic (Aerospace Engineering)
4. Tim Johnson (Jittery Joes)
5. Jackson Stewart (Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada)

Bermuda Grand Prix - GC
1. Ivan Stevic (Aerospace Engineering)
2. Scott Zwinzanski (Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada
3. Dean Downing (SPENCE)
6. Pete Lopinto (Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada)

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