04 | JAN
Somerville, New Jersey (May 29, 2006) - In reference
to a Memorial Day weekend that began with the team's first NRC win of the
season and concluded with a well executed team chase and leadout to place
Dan Schmatz third at today's
Tour of Somerville, Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada Racing Manager Jonas
Carney said, "We took a big step forward as a team this weekend."
Indeed, Martin Gilbert's
win at the Leith BMW Downtown Raleigh Criterium
on Friday night was just the beginning of Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada's
successful buildup to Somerville, the 66-year-old New Jersey classic that
Carney himself won five times.
Late in the the 50-mile race, Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada's Jackson
Stewart found himself in a six-rider breakaway but, as Carney said,
"it was not a good combination for us and Jackson didn't make the split."
So, with two capable sprinters in Schmatz and Gilbert, the team went to
the front and and began the chase in earnest to close down the break's lead
of 25 seconds with five laps to go.
Although Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada's chances for the win took a major
blow when they lost Gilbert to a mechanical with four laps left, they continued
the chase, caught the leaders, and set up Schmatz for the finish, where
he led out the sprint but was passed by winner Juan Jose Haedo (Toyota-United)
and Kyle Wamsley (Colavita-Sutter Home).
Still, it was an powerful ride by the team
and an impressive result for Schmatz, who just over five weeks ago survived
a serious run-in with a vehicle while training near the Ford Tour de Georgia.
"I'm not feeling any pain or injuries still, but I am missing some fitness
from the time off the bike. So I'd say I'm about 90%," he said. "Maybe if
I was 100% or if we had Martin for the finish, we would have come out a
little higher up on the podium. But the team did an awesome job today of
executing the plan and setting it up for me at the finish."
On Saturday at the Kelly
Cup in Baltimore, Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada was represented in all
the major breakaways of the day, including the winning move that featured
Jason Allen and barely held
off the field at the finish. Allen finished fourth behind Wamsley, Hilton
Clarke (Navigators Insurance), and Alejandro Acton (Targetraining).
For Allen, it was his best result with Kodakgallery.com/Sierra
Nevada since returning stateside in late April after his winter racing season
with the New Zealand national track program.
Back in the Bay Area on Sunday, Ben
Jacques-Maynes, who won the ST Bikes Cat's Hill Classic on May 13, took
another victory in a NorCal classic at the Five Wire Inc. Mt. Hamilton Road
After wining the KOM at the top of the 20-mile, 4,500-foot climb and closing
down numerous attacks in the closing miles, Jacques-Maynes took the sprint
ahead of Lombardi Sports' Billy Innes out of an 8-rider group.
For pictures, check Ben's
Kodak Gallery Premier page