The BISSELL Pro Cycling Team is proud to announce the two additions of Julian Kyer and Joe Schmalz. The Tour of Utah will be their first race in BISSELL colors, and manager Glen Mitchell says, “We are very excited with the additions of Joe and Julian to our squad; they will complement the team in building the best possible roster for the high altitude climbing in Utah.”
Julian is a strong developing rider and has just completed the double, with wins in both the road race and time trial at the Elite National Championships. He brings to the team all-around capabilities that suit the demands of tour racing, and has proven he can ride alongside the best with some solid results so far in NRC races. Schmalz captured attention early in the season when he got a stage win at San Dimas and finished second overall. This great result was followed up by a 3rd place road race finish and 7th place overall at the Joe Martin Stage Race NRC event. Schmalz has featured in the top twenty placings at Nature Valley Grand Prix, Cascade Classic, and U23 Elite Nationals time trial and road race.
Schmalz and Kyer will be joining BISSELL’s strong roster in Utah which includes Jeremy Vennell, Ben Jacques-Maynes, Carter Jones, Chris Baldwin, Chris Barton, as well as, the recent addition of Alex Vanias from the BISSELL-ABG-NUVO development team . BISSELL will be racing against some of the top teams in the world and is one of six continental teams competing against 6 pro tour and 5 pro continental teams. “America’s toughest stage race” starts on August 7th. The six day race will be a tough battle at altitude in the Rocky Mountains’ Wasatch Range.
The BISSELL Team had a strong showing at the US Pro Crit Championship, but some bad luck late in the race thwarted plans to defend the title. The eleven man BISSELL squad raced well at Saturday's 64 lap crit in downtown Grand Rapids controlling the front for most of the race. With less than fifteen laps to go, defending champion, Eric Young, went down with about ten others. Young was forced to grab a neutral support bike, and the team reorganized forces in the pack. For the remaining ten laps, BISSELL battled at the front with Optum to take control. The leadout trains swapped between the two for the remainder of the race, but Optum maintained position in the final lap to leadout their sprinter, Ken Hanson, for the win. BISSELL sprinters, Young and Frank Pipp, crossed for fourth and fifth.
The Awbrey Circuit Race marked the final stage of the Cascade Cycling Classic with 5 laps on a 16 mile course. There was an early attempt by twelve riders to escape but it did not hold. On the second lap, a group of eight including BISSELL’s Chris Baldwin successfully escaped off the front and built up a two minute gap. Baldwin was the leader on the road causing uneasiness in the peloton. Competitive Cyclist controlled the front and ramped up the chase. On the fourth lap, the lead group split, and Baldwin and three others rallied on. The four leaders were eventually brought back at the base of the final time up the Archie Bridge climb. With the group back together, attacks flew in the final miles. As the field approached the finish, Optum’s Jesse Anthony got a small gap which he was able to carry to the line. BISSELL’s Frank Pipp crossed on his heels for third.
Carter Jones had an outstanding race to maintain his second place overall and the best young rider classification. BISSELL rode strong as a team to defend his position and were second in the team classification.
BISSELL riders turned in fast times for Thursday’s 16 mile time trial including Jeremy Vennell and Carter Jones who placed 8th and 10th, respectively. Jones’ time of 32:21 ranked him as the best young rider. After stage 2 of Cascade Classic, BISSELL has four riders in the top fifteen of the overall classification with Jeremy Vennell in 4th, Carter Jones in 7th, Chris Baldwin in 12th, and Ben Jacques-Maynes in 14th. Friday’s Cascade Lakes Road Race is a 92mile race with a mountain top finish at Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort.
For the third year, Mckenzie Pass Road Race was a battle at altitude for the riders at Casacde Classic. The 74 mile race included two climbs coming two-thirds of the way through the course and ended on the pitches of the Snow Creeks Snow Park.
The day started out rough for about 40 riders who went down in the opening ten miles. BISSELL's Ben Jacques-Maynes was involved in the crash but was able to chase back after a quick bike change. Three riders escaped early and fought their way up the first major climb. On the demanding climb, one of the leaders was dropped, but the remaining two riders kept a gap into the town of Sisters. On the flat run toward the final climb, the duo struggled and were both reabsorbed before the ascent to three creeks. Four riders including BISSELL's Chris Baldwin ramped up the pace on the climb and were able to get a gap that looked as if it might survive. However the defending champion, Francisco Mancebo, was able to bridge across with two others. The seven leaders fought for the finish with Mancebo taking the win and Baldwin crossed for fourth . Jeremey Vennell, Carter Jones, and Ben Jacques-Maynes came through in the next group back and finished in the top twenty.
Baldwin sits in fourth place overall with BJM, Jones and Vennell rounding out the top fifteen. Thursday's time trial will shuffle the leader board and BISSELL's fast men will look for time today.
The six-day NRC event, Cascade Cycling Classic, kicked off on Tuesday evening with a 2.8 mile prologue. The course was a short loop consisting of rollers, but the 4,000 feet of altitude made it a tough five minutes. BISSELL put five riders in the top twenty and are within ten seconds of the leader. Eric Young and Ben Jacques-Maynes were BISSELL’s fastest with a time of 5:09 and sit in ninth and tenth places, respectfully.
Wednesday’s McKenzie Pass Road Race will be a battle over 74 miles with 2 significant climbs. The riders will again tackle high altitude with points on the course reaching nearly 5,400 feet.
Last year, the race featured some of the best athletes in the sport and 2012 will be no different. After taking first place in the 2011 USA Pro Challenge and the Tour de Suisse, Levi Leipheimer (USA) of Omega Pharma-QuickStep will be returning to the seven-day stage race to defend his title. 2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans (AUS) of BMC Racing Team also will be competing in the race, as well as his teammate and last year’s fifth place finisher George Hincapie (USA). A former three-time national road champion who is currently participating in a record 17th Tour de France, Hincapie will cap off his professional cycling career with the 2012 USA Pro Challenge.
Additionally, Colorado resident Tim Duggan (USA) of Liquigas-Cannondale, who just recently took first in the National Road Race Championships and will be competing in the London Olympics, has committed to participate as well. RadioShack-Nissan-Trek riders Frank Schleck (LUX), third overall in the 2011 Tour de France; Chris Horner (USA), who took first last year in the Amgen Tour of California; and fan-favorite Jens Voigt (GER) who came in sixth overall in last year’s Paris–Nice will be competing, as well as the Slovenia National Time Trial Champion Janez Brajkovic (SLO) from Astana Pro Team. The full team rosters will be announced closer to the race.
“After winning the Tour de France last year and seeing the enthusiasm of the fans, I didn’t think anything could match it, but then I came to Colorado. Seeing the huge crowds that were along the route supporting us at the USA Pro Challenge was remarkable and really motivated us to do our best,” said Evans. “The course and the mountains were beautiful, but incredibly challenging, and I can’t wait to take them on again. I knew last August that I wanted to return to the race in 2012.”
Following is the complete list of teams that will be competing in the 2012 USA Pro Challenge:
Astana Pro Team (KAZ)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Omega Pharma-QuickStep (BEL)
UCI Professional Continental Teams
Champion System Pro Cycling Team (CHN)
Team SpiderTech powered by C10 (CAN)
Team Type 1-SANOFI (USA)
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
UCI Continental Teams
Bissell Pro Cycling (USA)
Bontrager Livestrong Team (USA)
Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA)
Team Exergy (USA)
With six new teams added to the lineup for the 2012 race, returning for a second year are Bissell Pro Cycling, BMC Racing Team, EPM-UNE, Liquigas-Cannondale, Team Exergy, Garmin- Sharp-Barracuda (formerly Team Garmin-Cervelo), RadioShack-Nissan-Trek, Team SpiderTech powered by C10, Team Type 1-SANOFI and UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team.
More information on each team can be found on the USA Pro Challenge website athttp://www.usaprocyclingchallenge.com/teams .
About the USA Pro Challenge
For seven consecutive days, the world’s top athletes race through the majestic Colorado Rockies, reaching higher altitudes than they’ve ever had to endure as they ascend over three mountain passes, each exceeding 12,000 ft. in elevation. After attracting more than 1 million spectators in 2011, making it one of the largest cycling events in U.S. history, the USA Pro Challenge is back for 2012. Featuring a challenging, 683-mile course with more than 42,000 ft. of vertical climbing, the second annual race will spotlight the best of the best in professional cycling and some of America’s most beautiful scenery.
Referred to as “America’s Race,” the USA Pro Challenge will take place August 20-26,2012, a week proclaimed by Governor John Hickenlooper as “Colorado Cycling Holiday,” and travel through 12 host cities from Durango to Denver. More information can be found online at www.USAProCyclingChallenge.com and on Twitter at@USAProChallenge.
BISSELL Pro Cycling will be one of 17 teams racing at " America's Toughest Stage Race". The seventeen teams were announced on Tuesday including six pro tour teams, five pro continental teams, and six continental teams.
For more on the Tour of Utah visit the race website www.tourofutah.com
All other trademarks are owned by BISSELL Homecare, Inc., maker of vacuum cleaners and other home cleaning products.