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Ben Jacques-Maynes
FRESNO (March 12, 2006) - The Nevada Pro Cycling Team spent the weekend in Fresno for the Central Valley Classic, where Ben Jacques-Maynes placed 2nd in Friday's individual time trial.

That morning, race organizers had opted for a flatter course at lower and dryer elevation after winter storms and frigid temperatures rendered impassable their planned hill-climb time trial. Over the 16-mile replacement course, Jacques-Maynes' time of 36:43 was just 2 seconds off the pace set by Heath Blackgrove (Toyota-United).

However, the decision to change courses led to some uncertainty about teams' use of follow vehicles, which would have been prohibited on the intended hill-climb course. In the end, Toyota-United followed Blackgrove while Jacques-Maynes rode without the benefit of time splits and encouragement from Nevada's general manager, Robin Zellner.

Zellner said afterwards, "If we had been able to follow Ben, I think we could have coaxed another three seconds out of him and won the race." Nevada's Jackson Stewart and Scott Zwizanski placed 10th and 12th, respectively.

Bad weather was also a factor in Saturday's Kearney Park Circuit Race as cold temperatures gave way to rain - and then hail - near the end of the 120-mile affair. As conditions worsened, Nevada's Jackson Stewart came down in a crash, escaping with a bruised knee but without any more serious injuries.

The cold snap continued through Sunday's Tower District Criterium, where Dan Schmatz placed 7th and Pete Lopinto 13th in a field sprint won by Gord Fraser (Health Net p.b. Maxxis).

Meanwhile in Murrietta, Nevada's Dominique Perras finished 2nd on Sunday in the Tour de Murrieta's second stage, a 60-mile circuit race won by Curtis Gunn (

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