04 | JAN
(March 12, 2006) - The Kodakgallery.com/Sierra 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 Kodakgallery.com/Sierra 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."
Kodakgallery.com/Sierra 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, Kodakgallery.com/Sierra 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, Kodakgallery.com/Sierra 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 (Successfulliving.com).