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Note: After this report was posted, the team was informed that Jesse Anthony was in fact leading the Best Young Rider standings.

Photo album
Rome, Georgia (April 19, 2006) - After over 100 relatively uneventful miles of racing under wet conditions, Nevada's Ben Jacques-Maynes was in the thick of the action when stage 2 of the Ford Tour de Georgia came alive during the hilly finishing circuits in Rome.

After a 100-mile solo breakaway, Targetraining's Alejandro Acton was caught by the field just before the first of four trips up the 19% grade of Clocktower Hill, and then the race began in earnest.

"We knew that this stage would come down to the finishing circuits, and Ben is our best finisher on a course like this," said Jonas Carney, Nevada's racing manager.

Ben J-M's photos
True to form, Jacques-Maynes moved up steadily through the field until he crested the hill comfortably among the top 15 on the penultimate lap.

"On the last lap, no one was really able to put together enough of a leadout to keep the field strung out and I had to back off a couple times in the corners once everyone started taking all sorts of chances," Jacques-Maynes commented.

The last time up the hill, Discovery Channel's Yaroslav Popovych made a perfectly timed attack to win the stage, and Jacques-Maynes had to settle for 12th.

Nonetheless, he moved up one spot to 8th overall and Carney was happy with his rider's performance, noting that "Ben has a good chance to do well in the overall here, so he was right to play it safe when things got dicey at the end today." Nevada's Jesse Anthony finished 15th and moved up to 2nd overall in the Best Young Rider competition.

Tomorrow's 25-mile time trial from Chickamauga, Georgia to Chattanooga, Tennessee includes significant climbs and technical descents, and will be the first stage to affect the overall outcome of the race.

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