The USA Pro Cycling Challenge kicked off today with a 5.5 mile prologue in Colorado Springs. In an ironic twist to a race which is known for its climbing, today's stage was a downhill plunge out of the Garden of the Gods with a plethora of hair-raising bends and turns. The fastest time of 8:27 was clocked by Patrick Gretsch (HTC-Highroad). BISSELL had four riders in the top fifty. Jay Thomson turned in the team's best time and is twenty three seconds behind the leader. Frank Pipp and Rob Britton had a time of 8:53 and Jeremy Vennell stopped the clock at 8:59.
Tomorrow's stage from Salida to Crested Butte will entail some treacherous climbing over Monarch Pass and end in an uphill finish at Mt. Crested Butte.
The USA Pro Cycling Challenge starts today with an 8.2k opening prologue in Colorado Springs. The first rider goes off at 1:15. The field of 130 riders will race at 1 minute intervals until the final 10 who are spaced 2 minutes apart. The 8.2k course is a bit longer than a traditional prologue which could lead to sizable time gaps even on the first day. Frank Pipp is BISSELL's first rider off and he races at 1:21. He is followed by Paul Mach, Chris Baldwin, Rob Britton, Jeremy Vennell, Jay Thomson, and Andrew Dahlheim. Ben Jacques-Maynes will be BISSELL's final rider racing at 3:16. The projected high temperature is 88 degrees with a thirty percent chance of thunderstorms.
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Frank Pipp 1:21
Paul Mach 1:35
Chris Baldwin 1:50
Rob Britton 2:07
Jeremy Vennell 2:24
Jay Tomson 2:41
Andrew Dahlheim 2:58
Ben Jacques-Maynes 3:16
On a day full of unpredictable situations, the BISSELL Pro Cycling Team kept calm focus and delivered their man, Eric Young, to the line to take the USPRO National Criterium Champion title. The day started under looming skies, but the 80k race kicked off as planned. The race stayed generally in tact for most of the day with the exception of a few attacks in pursuit of race primes. BISSELL kept tight control at the front and all was under control going into the final 30 laps; however, the skies darkened and lightning was spotted off in the distance. With 25 laps to go, race directors reduced the race down to 10 laps in hopes of finishing before the storm hit. With 5 laps to go, chaos broke as wind blew over tents, race fencing, and the start/finish sign fell down on the course. Race personel immediately neutralized the race, and all took cover. The race was delayed for less than an hour as the worst of the storm passed and the course was cleared. Riders remounted their bikes and resumed aggressive racing for an additional 30 laps on the rain soaked brick roads. Following the storm, the dynamics of the race changed drastically as the slippery roads swallowed up riders at every turn. BISSELL consistently maintained riders at the front and held their position against a charging Kelly Benefits train. With 2 laps to go, Eric moved closer to the front with the outstanding support of his BISSELL teammates. He was positioned at the front of the group going into the final lap. In a massive effort, Young took the win inches ahead of Brad Huff (Jelly Belly) and Luke Keough (United Healthcare).
Eric's brilliant victory is most definitely the best of his young pro career which began in May. In that short time, Young has had 2 NRC wins and now becomes the USPRO National Criterium Champion. This victory not only belongs to Young, but also to his outstanding team, sponsors, and fans!
ARLINGTON, VA, August 19, 2011 – As the nation’s top professional cyclists compete for USA Cycling’s
Men’s Pro Criterium National Championship in Grand Rapids this Saturday, Aug. 20, nine BISSELL Pro
Cycling riders will represent the hometown sponsor as they race for the title.
The 5th annual Herman Miller Grand Cycling Classic will serve as host to the 2011 national championship
event where nearly every US-based pro team will compete. The BISSELL roster will include:
Frank Pipp Andy Baker Kyle Wamsley Ben Jacques-Maynes Andrew Dahlheim
David Williams Andy Jacques-Maynes Shane Kline Eric Young
BISSELL pros have won the Grand Cycling Classic for the past two years, with Patrick Bevin capturing the title in
2010. Bevin, who hails from New Zealand, will not be competing in the US National Championship on Saturday, but
the strong BISSELL roster promises to be ready to defend his Grand Cycling Classic title.
The 171k final stage of the Tour of Utah from Park City to Snowbird lived up to its reputation as one of the hardest stages in North America. The first contest of the day was a battle for the sprint jersey. Roman Van Uden (PureBlack) won both intermediate sprints to retake the sprint jersey, and BISSELL’s Jay Thomson was 2nd in the second sprint. The first climb of the day came over ninety kilometers into the stage and is where the peloton was shattered. The close battle for yellow between Levi Leipheimer (Radio Shack) and Sergio Henao (Gobernacion) escalated the race with a barrage of attacks and counter attacks. BISSELL riders Chris Baldwin and Paul Mach made the select lead group. Gian Palo Ghuela (Geox) attacked on the second KOM and was followed by Javier Acevedo (Gobernacion). The two riders fought it out between the mountains, but the group came back together as the final climb began. However, it was every man for himself on the climb to Snowbird. The two GC leaders, Leipheimer and Henao, finished the day together with Henao taking the stage win and Leipheimer securing overall victory. Chris Baldwin was BISSELL’s top finisher in 28th and got a solid 21st in the overall. It was a very difficult and exciting race among the world’s best and BISSELL was in the thick of things.
On the only truly flat stage of the Tour of Utah, the riders were again greeted to hot temperatures. Winds also played a role on the159k course from Lehi to Provo. Still feeling aggressive from yesterday, Jay Thomson was the first to launch an attack but was quickly reeled in. A series of attacks flew from there including one by Jeremy Vennell. Only 20k into the stage, the day’s break took off, and Patrick Bevin was one of the seven in the move. The dynamics of the break were good, and they gained a maximum of 3:20 on the field. Under pressure from the chasing field, the break was eventually caught and in the process the field was split. As riders grasped to hang on, another series of attacks occurred. The next major move was a four man break including Rob Britton. This dangerous group provoked a massive chase and the group came back together. Approaching the second intermediate sprint, riders vying for points set off. The latter half of the race took on this cat-and-mouse chase but the majority of the field came together in the final kilometers. Only 7k from the finish, there was some confusion about course direction which caused a massive pile-up. Again at 3k to go, a few more riders went down. Fortunately, no BISSELL riders were effected by these crashes. Sprinters teams set up for the line with Liquigas and United Heathcare being the predominant ones. However, it was Jack Bauer from Endura Racing who took the win. BISSELL crossed safely in the front group with Patrick Bevin coming across in 17thplace.
For the latest photos from the Tour of Utah click here
Wednesday’s tough day of climbing was made even more arduous by the hot temperatures, but that didn’t stop BISSELL’s Jay Thomson from launching off early. Just 4k into the stage, a breakaway of 5 riders formed. They worked very well together over the next two 61k laps. On the second lap, a solid chase group developed; however, they were reeled in and eventual stage winner, Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefits), launched his attack. Anthony gradually worked his way closer to the lead group which was shattering under the pressure. BISSELL’s Thomson continued to push ahead, and he was the solo leader for a considerable part of the last lap. Jay continued his lead heading into the final climb, but Anthony passed him on the slopes. Anthony eventually joined forces with a strong chase group, but he went on to win the stage ahead of his break mates. The next group crossed 2:35 back and contained BISSELL riders Chase Pinkham, Chris Baldwin, and Paul Mach.
Chase’s great day of racing got him the Best Utah Rider and the Best Young Rider for the day, and moves him closer to the overall in both categories. Jay Thomson got a very well-deserved Most Aggressive Rider for his powerful day of racing. Great day of racing BISSELL!
The brutal 1.3 mile opening prologue in the Tour of Utah certainly set the stage for the explosive riding to come. The uphill course climbs immediately out of the chute as it parallels the Olympic bobsled course. The fastest time of 4:05 was set by Columbian Sergio Luis Henao whose relatively unknown team in the US, Gobernacion de Antioquia-Indeportes Antioquia, put two riders in the top five. BISSELL riders had a good start with Paul Mach and Chris Baldwin setting a time of 4:25 and sit in 24th and 26thplaces, respectively. Chase Pinkham is in good position for the Best Utah Rider competition with his time of 4:31. With the mountains to come, these time gaps can be quickly eliminated.
Wednesday’s stage 1 will take riders a total of 116 miles and includes three ascents up the North Ogden Pass Road.
Today, BISSELL kicks off the 2011 Tour of Utah. This year, the tour has upgraded to a UCI 2.1 status which has opened it up to Pro Tour teams. BISSELL is one of five continental teams to be invited to the race and is the only continental team to receive race invites to all three of the top US races: Amgen Tour of California, Tour of Utah, and USA Pro Cycling Challenge. BISSELL is set to race against the best in the sport including Levi Leipheimer (Radio Shack), Dave Zabriskie (Garmin Cervelo), Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad), and George Hincapie (BMC).
BISSELL’s eight man squad includes Chris Baldwin, Chase Pinkham, Jeremy Vennell, Jay Thomson, Paul Mach, Rob Britton, Andy Baker, and Paddy Bevin. Tuesday’s opening prologue will be a 2k uphill individual time trial in Park City. The race will hit the climbs on stage 1 where they will face the North Ogden Pass three times. The second stage could possibly set-up for the sprinters and BISSELL’s Paddy Bevin will be aggressive on the 161k course from Lehi to Provo. Miller Motorsports Park will again host the individual time trial and Jeremy Vennell is focused on continuing his success on this stage where he placed third in 2010. Saturday’s 131k circuit race in Salt Lake City will undoubtedly offer aggressive racing around the capitol building. Finally, the queen stage from Park City to Snowbird will close out the six days of racing covering over 400 miles and will be a decisive day of racing.
BISSELL’s goals for the tour are to be very aggressive in breakaways, to thrive as the best domestic team, and to place the team’s specialists in a good position to achieve their goals. Utah native and U23 rider, Chase Pinkham, strives for the best young rider award. Jeremy Vennell again looks to race hard against the clock and have an all-around solid tour. Chris Baldwin with his high altitude capacity and climbing ability is the team’s GC hopeful. While BISSELL will be riding in support of each other, they will strive to gain exposure for the team and its sponsors
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