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(May 7, 2006) - With Jesse Anthony and Martin Gilbert riding well in the USA Crits series in the Southeast and Mike Dietrich nearly stealing stage 3 at the Teleperformance Tour of the Gila, three of the Nevada Pro Cycling Team's first-year pros showed their potential over past week of racing.

Jesse Anthony
Anthony, 20, rode constantly at the front of the six USA Crits races and finished atop the series' under-23 classification, just ahead of Priority Health's Tommy Nankervis.

"I played my role for the team, covering breakaways and helping our sprinters in the finishes. But I also tried to finish as high as I could, and I was consistent enough to take the overall," noted Anthony, who at one point led the GE Best Young Rider competition during the Ford Tour de Georgia in April.

Making his first start with Nevada since the Amgen Tour of California in February, Gilbert, 23, improved steadily during the series, finishing 9th, 5th, and 9th in the final three races and 11th overall despite crashing out of the series opener, the Athens Twilight on April 29, on the second lap.

Other highlights for Nevada in the USA Crits series were Scott Zwizanski's extended solo break in the Greenwood, SC race, along with Ben Jacques-Maynes and Jackson Stewart finishing 13th and 15th overall in the series, which concluded on May 6 in Anniston, Alabama at the Sunny King Criterium.

Mike Dietrich
Meanwhile in New Mexico's high desert, Dietrich, 24, fought through a steady headwind for nearly three hours with John Tarkington (Vitamin Cottage) during the Tour of the Gila's stage 3 Inner Loop Road Race, only to be caught in the last 25 meters by Health Net-Maxxis' Gord Fraser and Scott Moninger.

Dietrich's effort to hold on for third place in the stage earned praise from teammate Dominique Perras, who said, "Mike rode with a lot of courage. It was a tough day, very windy, and he almost pulled it off."

Perras himself finished 11th overall after placing 9th unofficially in the race's notorious final stage, the 100-mile Gila Monster Road Race.

"We ended up a group of 12 at finish, and I tried to jump with 500 meters to go and cramped a little bit. I'm fairly happy that I could follow the best climbers, especially since almost everyone who does well here lives at altitude," added Perras, who also pointed out teammate Skyler Bishop's hard work in a support role during the five-day race.

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