SEATTLE – When he first moved to California for grad school, Paul Mach figured he’d keep right on running.
It had been a perfect fit during his time at Seattle Pacific. Between 2001 and 2005, he captured three conference titles in the 400-meter hurdles, one in the 800 meters, won all three major Falcon team awards – Most Valuable, Most Improved and Most Inspirational – at least once each, and picked up some cross country honors, too.
But Mach soon discovered that the California city of Davis was no comparison to the Emerald City.
At least not from a runner’s perspective.
“Seattle has hills and Discovery Park. Davis is flat farmland,” Mach said. “It has a lot of paved trails but it’s not really fit for running.
“Davis is a cycling city. So I just said, ‘I’ll try riding my bike.’ ”
Now, instead of the rubber of his shoe meeting the road, it’s pedal to the metal – in a manner of speaking. As he works toward his doctorate in applied math at UC Davis, the 27-year-old Mach also has worked his way into a national-caliber bicycle racer for the Bissel Pro Cycling Team.
“Sports and academics have gone together my entire life,” said Mach, a 2000 graduate of King’s High School in North Seattle and a 2005 SPU grad. “The first two years (at UC Davis) were really busy academically. I just rode when I had a chance. My third year, I started riding more – and started getting some good results.”
DOING FINE IN ’09
So far, 2009 has been a great year for good results.
Mach won the Western Collegiate Cycling Conference criterium and was part of the WCCC team time trial champion, both for the second straight year. Mach and three teammates from the UC Davis club also won the team time trial at nationals for the second year in a row.
In April, he won the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic in The Dalles, Ore., also taking the opening stage of that event. And in June, Mach was victorious again in Oregon, this time in the Mount Hood Cycling Classic, in which he also won the first stage.
“Mount Hood was my first big win. That was kind of a turning point,” said Mach, whose strengths on two wheels are climbing and stage racing. “It’s not a huge race (in the overall picture), but there were a few really good riders there that I stacked up well against.”
One of those was Chris Baldwin of Team Ouch, a two-time national time trial champion. In a time trial on the third day of the five-day event, Mach was runner-up to Baldwin, trailing him by just three seconds on a route that covered 18½ miles.
“That wasn’t luck or a team effort. It was an individual effort to ride well,” Mach said. “It was a big result for me to know I can compete with a rider like that.”
Big results are nothing new to Mach – in or out of athletics.
From his SPU days, Mach still owns the overall Great Northwest Athletic Conference record in the 800 meters, both outdoors (1:49.31, set in 2005) and indoors (1:51.49, set in 2004). The outdoor conference meet record in the 400 hurdles (52.91, set in 2003) also remains in Mach’s possession.
He also competed in two NCAA Division II outdoor championship meets, earning All-American status by taking fourth in the 800 meters in 2005. He ran 18th in the 400 hurdles in 2003, and was ninth in the indoor 800 in 2004.
In class, Mach, a computer science/computational mathematics major at Seattle Pacific, was a two-time Academic All-American, a three-time Academic All-District choice, and won an NCAA postgraduate scholarship in 2005.
THE DOCTOR IS IN – ALMOST
Today, Mach puts those academic talents to work in pursuit of his PhD, focusing on research in computational biology.
“It’s applying math tricks to computer programs that apply to biology,” he said. “It’s all three in one (math, computers and biology), which I really enjoy.”
How much longer it takes him to complete his doctorate (he figures 12-18 months) depends on how much time he puts into riding. At this time of year, Mach pedals about 18 hours a week, with additional time for racing and traveling to events. During the fall and winter, it’s about 25 hours a week.
Having earned a spot on the Bissell team, which ranks No. 2 in the country, Mach – who is married to former SPU national-caliber javelin thrower Sara Johnson — intends to do everything he can to keep it. Such spots on Bissell or other pro teams are few and far between.
“There are about 10 big teams, and I sent e-mails to all of them,” Mach said. “I got a response from Bissell first. … It was like, ‘You give me the opportunity, I’m going to jump at it.’ “
As for running? Sounds as if that’s a permanent part of his past.
“I don’t run at all – never,” Mach said. “To get better at it, you have to train harder. I didn’t really have any running goals.
“Switching sports was a good option.”
So Paul Mach figures he’ll keep right on riding.
By Neal Rogers Updated: Jul 29th 2009 2:55 PM EDT
In the latest issue of VeloNews, we reported that three road races held in Michigan and sponsored by Priority Health had been canceled for 2009 — the May 24 Priority Health Tour de Leelanau, which was to be part of USA Cycling’s Professional Tour, and the September 12 Priority Health Grand Cycling Classic and the September 13 Priority Health Ann Arbor Cycling Classic, each part of USA Cycling’s National Racing Calendar.
And while all three events were either canceled or taken off their respective USA Cycling national series calendars due to sponsorship issues, race founder Bob Hughes kept the Grand Rapids event alive by bringing in new title sponsor Meijer.
The new race, held on August 8 on the bricked streets of downtown Grand Rapids, is called the Meijer Grand Cycling Classic.
Amway is sponsoring a children’s race (free helmets will be given to the first 150 kids), while Herman Miller is sponsoring the women’s race. In all there will be a $12,000 purse.
Hughes said the date change was, in part, to keep the event “in crit season,” between the July 31-August 2 Tour of Elk Grove, held near Chicago, and the August 16 national criterium championships, also held near Chicago, in Downers Grove.
Rob Laybourn at Arlington Sports, the man behind the CSC Invitational and the U.S. Air Force Cycling Classis, is managing the event.
The Meijer Grand Cycling Classic is not part of the 2009 NRC series, however Hughes said he hopes to have the race back on the national calendar in 2010.
BISSELL's Cascade Classic: 2 stage wins, Day in Yellow, and Day in Green
The final stage of Cascade was another scorcher with a 5 circuits totaling 133K. There were early breaks initiated by BISSELL, BMC, Felt-Garmin, and Team Type 1; however, Rock kept the tempo high to bring back all the early moves. On the 3rd lap just after a decisive climb, a 9 man break got away and included BISSELL’s Omer Kem. The cohesive break worked together to build up a 3 minute gap. While most were striving for the finish, there were also intermediate battles going on for the KOM. Chris Baldwin (OUCH) and Peter Stetina (Felt-Garmin) fought on the climbs with Stetina capturing enough points to secure his lead in the KOM competition. Unfortunately, the breakaway captured all sprinters points available for the day so Ben couldn’t grab the few he needed to recapture the green jersey from Raymond Kreder (Felt-Garmin). The pace in the main group continued to escalate and gaps formed in the steeper sections of the feed zone. The day’s successful breakaway made it to the finish and Anthony Colby (Colavita) jumped ahead of his break mates on the final climb to take the win. BISSELL’s Jeremy Vennell finished in the next group and moved up to 6th in the final GC. Cascade Classic lived up to its reputation as being one of the best domestic races and BISSELL came away with great results including 2 stage wins, and BJM’s days in yellow and in green.
Saturday’s Cascade Classic flat crit course set up an unpredictable night of racing. The final 2 turns were especially dicey causing riders to bunch up and required monstrous accelerations. The new Rock Racing rider, Ivan Dominguez, took the win after being back in the US after months of racing in Europe for the Fuji-Servetto Team. The first 40 minutes of the 90 minute crit was fairly standard until a mid-race 4 man break got away. The group was able to build up close to a minute gap and nearly lapped the field. OUCH came to the front to close the gap and the final rider from the break was eventually reabsorbed with one lap to go. With the group back together, the riders charged for the finish. Dominguez (Rock Racing) took the win with Colavita’s Alejandro Borrajo taking 2nd and OUCH’s Andrew Pinfold getting 3rd. BISSELL got through the frenzied crit in one piece and one BISSELL rider, BJM, was especially glad to get the stage behind him. “I’ll be a new man from now on, I made it through the crit that ended my season last year,” says Ben who suffered a broken collarbone in a crash here in 2008.
AGGRESSIVE RACING BY BISSELL PUTS BEN IN GREEN
The BISSELL Team shook things up on Friday’s 133k stage 4 of the Cascade Classic. The queen stage started out with a brutal 15 mile opening climb. Climbing specialist, Moises Aldape (Team Type 1), initiated the first move of the day and the break grew to 6 riders including BISSELL’s Tom Zirbel. Rock assumed their place as race leader to bring back the group and a well-timed attack by Tom and Burke Swindlehurst established the next breakaway. Tom and Burke were joined by Brent Bookwalter (BMC) and the threesome shattered the field. Rock got a taste of the pressure to come and several times race leader, Oscar Sevilla (Rock Racing), was forced to bridge moves on his own. After causing a considerable sting to the chasers, the threesome was eventually brought back. In great team form, Ben Jacques-Maynes launched the next attack which would become the decisive move of the day and 6 riders went with him. The break worked well together and put significant pressure on Rock. The gap grew to 3 minutes and BJM was the virtual race leader. At 100K there was some dysfunction in the break, and BJM came through to drive the group. His incredible vigor resulted in him taking full sprint points for the day. Sevilla made huge efforts on the closing 10k ascent up Mt. Bachelor to reel in the break and set up a big group for the finish. Aldape crossed the line alone for his second consecutive win of Cascade’s queen stage and Phil Zajicek (Fly V) took the bunch sprint 13 seconds behind him. Burke, Tom, and Jeremy also finished in this group and BJM came away with the green jersey. The BISSELL Team showcased some outstanding racing to shape a very exciting day.
Cyclingnews bills Zirbel as “the Fastest US Domestic Time Trialist”
Once again, Tom Zirbel thundered his way to victory in the Cascade Classic stage 3 time trial. The 25k course was out-and-back with the initial part of the course uphill and a downhill return. Tom mastered the race in 32:05 with 11 seconds over 2nd place Ian McKissick (BMC) and 44 seconds over 3rd place Oscar Sevilla (Rock Racing). Rounding out the top five were BMC’s Jeff Louder and BISSELL’s New Zealand time trial champion, Jeremy Vennell. There was a bit of shuffling in the overall GC with Sevilla holding his place in the lead, but Louder bumping Mancebo (Rock Racing) down to third. Ben and Jeremy remain in the top ten and Ben is within 2 minutes of Sevilla. Friday’s Queen Stage is 132k beast finishing at the top of Mt. Bachelor and will surely provide opportunity for the powerful BISSELL climbers.
BY: REGISTER-PAJARONIAN STAFF
Watsonville’s Ben Jacques-Maynes won the opening stage of the Cascade Classic cycling event Tuesday in Oregon, then took 20th in Wednesday’s second stage.
Jacques-Maynes, who races for the Bissell Pro Cycling Team, is currently in seventh place in the overall standings, 1 minute, 18 seconds behind leader Oscar Sevilla, who won the second stage.
According to CyclingNews.com, Jacques-Maynes made his winning move one kilometer before the finish line.
“Winning solo is the only way to do it when there are so many sprinters in the group,” Jacques-Maynes told CyclingNews.com. “I want to dedicate this victory to Chris Hipp. He was a close friend of mine who died of an embolism one week ago suddenly while he was out riding his bike. It is very tragic. I have been thinking of him a lot this week and he meant a lot to me.”
Race Recap by Andy Jacques-Maynes
The Pinarello GF was a mix of disaster and redemption. We drove the course a day before to see the climbs, and they were mind-blowing: Switchbacks inside tunnels, 14% pitches, tiny narrow roads with rock overhangs, and long climbs up to ski areas: this course threw everything at you!
We were lucky to line up towards the front, because there were about 1700 angry Italians behind us chomping at the bit. Once we rolled out of town, everyone was jostling for position and you could smell the impending doom. Sure enough, two guys touched wheels at the front of the pack and the entire field hit the deck. I think the crash started from 6th wheel, right in front of team BISSELL! Graham went right, barely missing tumbling riders, Joao went left, also just squeezing through. Mark and I had nowhere to go but into the pile. Someone swerved into my front wheel and I was tossed to the ground at 35mph. I slid to a stop and was buried under three more riders. After untangling myself and my bike, I gave it a cursory check and started chasing. This was 5km into a 205km day, not a good way to start!
I got back to the front group after 15 minutes of solid hammering. My rear shifter was not functioning perfectly, and I could only use my 14 cog. I tried to get it working, with some small success, and I pulled up to Joao saying, "I'm back, ready to race." he took one look at me and said, "no you're not, your top tube is broken!" I guess another rider had fallen onto my bike and the frame was almost severed in the middle of the tube! Massive disappointment.
I pulled to the side and stopped, then waited for the entire field to fly by. 1700 riders takes quite a while to come through! I limped back to town and our hotel, cursing my luck. Upon entering the lobby, a collegue of Joao's was also coming in, he had breathing problems and turned around before the mountains started. It turns out he rides my size, so I took his bike and was back in the game!
I rolled from the hotel 2 hours after our start, determined to get some riding in. I intended to follow the course and try to catch the back of the field through the mountains. Because of creative (read: missing) course markings, I eventually got lost. I found the course again, but I was going the wrong way, backwards! This was fine, as I would be guaranteed to meet my team mates if I proceeded. Aside from lots of looks from riders (I don't know how to say "you're going the wrong way!" in Italian, but I'm sure that's what they were saying), I had an awesome ride. After 90km of being a salmon going upstream, I found Mark and Joao and rode with them to the finish.
Big props are due for the big man, Mark Bissell, for toughing out 200km with crash damage to his whole left side. Mark not only rode the whole distance, he rode STRONG all the way to the finish. Very, very impressive.
Race Recap by Graham Howard
I'm back in GR now after being in Italy for the Pinarello Granfondo. I flew in to Pisa, Italy a little more than a week ago to adjust to all things Italian in hopes of having a good showing at the Pinarello Granfondo held on July 19th. From Pisa I met up with Joao and we drove to a small town in Tuscany where he has friends that were able to put us up for a few days before we headed to Treviso for the race. I've never been to Italy before and was pretty excited about the chance to see and experience it. Joao and I, along with another friend of Joao's, Thomas, who was also in Italy for the Pinarello Granfondo, spent three days in Tuscany, riding and eating before packing up our bikes and heading to Treviso. We met up with Andy Jacques-Maynes and Mark Bissell at the race hotel on Friday and went to preview the course. The course was 205k of lots of up and down. It contained large major roads, small cobbled streets and alleys through villages, tiny goat path climbs through mountain tunnels and little bike path descents on the edge of mountains. Everything about this event promised to be a new experience. Granfondo's, for the most part, are unknown to Americans, and rather difficult to explain. They are not races in the traditional sense that we have them here, nor are they organized group rides. They contain elements of both. They are mass start, single category races. This event had more than three thousand participants.
Treviso, along with being the location of the race is also the home of Pinarello. Being there a few days before the event gave us the chance to see the original and current Pinarello location along with the famous bicycle and jersey of Pinarello's founder, Giovanni Pinarello. Following finely hosted dinners by Pinarello on Friday and Saturday night, we woke up bright and early on Sunday for an eight a.m. start. We all lined up at the front of the race hoping to stay out of trouble, but unfortunately, a handful of the Italians threw back a few too many espressos that morning and there was a horrible wreck at the front of the field as excited, jittery Italians collided not 5k into the day. Joao and I managed to squirt clear, but both Andy and Mark went down hard. Mark got up, dusted himself off and soldiered on, but Andy was forced to abandon with mechanical problems. Joao and I stayed out of trouble and he was able to deliver me to the first major climb at the front with fresh legs. Thanks to our course recon, we knew that the courses major climbs all occurred within the first 100k, so our hope was to follow wheels and make it over those climbs with the front group, then look for opportunities on the flatter second half of the course. I managed the first part of the plan, making it over the major climbs with the front group, but my legs failed me on one of the courses lesser climbs. I was stuck in no man’s land for the remainder of the day until the final climb at 170k, where I was caught and overtaken by the second group. I descended and rode the last 15k alone, finishing in 51st. I was a little disappointed after having made it over the courses tougher climbs to be popped on one of the smaller ones, but still happy to have finished my first Granfondo in one piece. Sunday night Pinarello again treated us to a fine dinner and Monday morning we were off back to the states.
I enjoyed my first Granfondo immensely. I’d like to thank Pinarello for inviting and hosting us and also for sponsoring such a fine event. I hope to see more if Italy in the future and would like another crack at the Pinarello Granfondo in 2010.
Cascade Classic stage 2 was an 80 mile day which brought the notorious climbing that Cascade is known for. The day contained 2 sprints, 1 mid-race KOM, and a brutal 10 mile climb to the finish. BISSELL entered the day with the goal of defending yellow: however, the brutal terrain and the climbing prowess of some of the riders made Wednesday a tough battle. Again, racing was fast and aggressive from the start and BISSELL did a great job of controlling the race and keeping the breaks to a containable size. The team had great reactions to moves by BMC, Colavita, and Garmin. Swift accelerations on the final climb of the day by some of the best altitude climbers in the sport dropped many riders off the back. Tom Zirbel, Paul Mach, Burke Swindlehurst, Jeremy Vennell, and Ben Jacques-Maynes did their best to respond to accelerations by Oscar Sevilla (Rock Racing) and Peter Stetina (Felt-Garmin). At the end of the day, BJM dropped to 7th in the GC and Jeremy to 15th but both remain in striking distance of the leaders. The team looks forward to Thursday’s 16 mile TT and will be riding, for the first time in many stages, on the offensive. Following stage 2, Director Eric Wohlberg said, “the guys can rest tonight after a great team effort and are all looking forward to turning up the heat for the remainder of the race.”
By Kathie Reid
Under a blazing high desert sun in Central Oregon, the 30th Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic opened Tuesday with the 71-mile Smith Rock Road Race.
This season’s breakout woman, 26-year-old amateur Evelyn Stevens (Webcor Builders), took the bunch sprint ahead of Tina Pic (Colavita-Sutter Home) and Chrissy Ruiter (ValueAct Capital).
In the men’s race, Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell) soloed away from a break to cross the line 10 seconds before Jeff Louder (BMC) and Francisco Mancebo (Rock Racing) in second and third.
For the men, eventually, a successful break
While attacks came early and often from the 184-strong men’s field – the largest field in the race’s history – it was a break of eight that stuck just after the KOM at mile 33 that really set things rolling.
Seven teams were represented, and riders included Steve Bovay (BMC); Darren Lill and Matt Wilson (Team Type I); Chris Baldwin (OUCH-Maxxis); Jeremy Vennell (Bissell); Peter Salon (Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin); Anibal Borrajo (Colavita-Sutter Home); and Victor Hugo Pena (Rock Racing).
Just after the first feed zone around mile 35, a group of 15 riders bridged to the break, expanding the number of teams represented to 10 with California Giant Berry Farms, Trek-Livestrong, and Land Rover-Orbea joining.
BMC facilitated the bridge, and Louder, who was second overall at Cascade last year, explained that he was initially nervous when the break got away – “I was panicking a little bit. I didn’t like it because I knew Baldwin was there, and there was a Rock rider there. There were a bunch of good riders there” – so they started chasing prior to the KOM, located roughly a mile prior to the feed zone.
“We were chasing pretty hard because we wanted to get the move back,” he said. “We went through the feed zone, and just the mayhem of the feed zone, I think, basically split the group up. It wasn’t our intention to split the group through the feed zone, but basically that’s what happened. It was pretty obvious what we were doing, we were chasing all out, so I don’t have any guilt about that.”
With the success of the bridge, a variety of GC contenders were not only present in the 23-man break, but had substantial support now, such as Louder who was accompanied by teammates Ian McKissack, Tony Cruz, and Bovay; Lill and Wilson, joined by Chris Jones; Baldwin, accompanied by Cameron Evans and Rory Sutherland, another GC contender; and Jacques-Maynes, supported by Vennell. Rock Racing had the greatest numbers, as four teammates joined Hugo Pena that included Nicholas Sanderson, Mancebo, Oscar Sevilla, and sprinter Ivan Dominguez.
Once solidly together, the break increased its gap to a maximum of 3:45 by mile 66, and the men of Rock Racing did a fair amount of the work on the front. Former Spanish national champion Mancebo explained that Rock brought a strong team and intended to go for the overall as well as stage wins. Their objective was to try to get away from the group at the end to put some time on other GC contenders, while Dominguez would be able to take care of himself in a bunch sprint.
With roughly six miles to go, riders from Team Type 1 initiated a flurry of attacks and counter-attacks that began splintering the break over a succession of small rolling hills. Jacques-Maynes explained that, with about 2k to go, there was a group of about five off the front. “Baldwin took a hard pull … I came over the top of him, and took a hard pull,” he said. “I pulled for about 10 seconds or so, and looked back, and (had a) gap. I turned back, and it’s the 1k to go sign, and was like, alright, if you’re going to hand me a 1k time trial, I’m going to make the most of this situation. Just put the head down, put it in the 11, and try to (get) the bike across the finish line.”
He did just that, and dedicated his win to Chris Hipp, a friend and competitive cyclist who died on a ride in Menlo Park, California last week.
With time bonuses, Jacques-Maynes will start Wednesday’s stage 2 Three Creeks Road Race in yellow with 14 seconds on Louder; just 20 seconds separate the first 11 riders on GC.
Women: full of surprises
With USA Cycling’s Elite Road National Championships scheduled next week in Bend, it’s no surprise that the women’s field at Cascade is filled with the country’s best female racers. What is a bit of a surprise, though, is that when the finish came down to a bunch sprint, it was Stevens, a New Yorker who bought her first bike just one year ago and entered her first cat 4 race just 10 months ago, who emerged victorious – right in front of five-time US National Criterium Champion Pic.
The record-breaking 101-strong field of women started just 10 minutes after the men, and raced the same course. While a number of riders said the pace in the first half of the race was fairly mellow, current NRC points leader Alison Powers (Team Type 1), who wore the orange jersey as the leader in the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series, said the second half of the race was “way hard” as attacks – many from Team Tibco – came fast and furious. “It was getting really hard and strung out, and it looked like a group was gonna stay off,” she said, “but nothing did.”
Pic said her team’s goal coming into the day was to keep things together and to take the sprint win. Coming into the final meters of the race, though, as teams were setting up their lead-outs, she was caught off guard by Stevens’s power, as well as how quickly the finish seemed to come.
“Suddenly, it was like 200 meters,” she said. “I just mistimed it. It came up really fast.”
Pic gave credit to Stevens for her timing and strength. Stevens, who won the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic as a guest rider with Lip Smackers and who is guest riding with Webcor Builders at Cascade, said she was trying to set up Canadian teammate Gina Grain for the win.
“I jumped to try to get the lead-out for Gina, and I think I just went a little too hard,” she explained with a laugh. “I’ve never really done too many lead-outs. I think a ValueAct girl was on my wheel, and I saw 200 to go, so I just kicked.”
The ValueAct girl was Ruiter, who was also taken off-guard by Stevens’s kick. She was on the right side of the road attempting to lead out Martina Patella, when she saw Stevens come from the left and quickly create a gap.
“She just jumped and then, I was like, well I need to go. She created such a big gap … I just held on, and as soon as we had 200 to go, I stood up to sprint, and that’s all I had. (Pic) came around me right at the very end.”
With time bonuses, Stevens will start the second stage in yellow with 4 seconds on Pic and 6 seconds on Ruiter. The bunch sprint resulted in just 10 seconds separating riders down through 74th place, so the overall winner at week’s end could still be a surprise.
BJM Dedicates his Cascade Win to Friend, Chris Hipp
The Cascade Classic kicked off on Tuesday with a new stage over 71 miles of rolling terrain with 1 KOM. It was expected to be a course suited for the sprinters with a flat, fast finish, but Ben Jacques-Maynes rode a brilliant race which capitalized on his abilities to take the solo win.
The race was fast from the start with average speeds of 50kph over the first hour. Jeremy Vennell and Omer Kem covered the early moves but a group of 10 got away just before the KOM. The split quickly grew to 30 seconds but teams not content with their numbers in the break organized a chase to bring down the gap.
Accelerations over the KOM reduced the gap which allowed a group of 15 to quickly bridge up to the break. BJM and Jeremy covered the move and BISSELL had 2 riders in the front group. The new lead group of 23 had diversified composition including overall contenders and sprinters. Slipstream led the chase and held the gap to 30 seconds for awhile. However without help from other teams, the chase group eventually sat up and the gap increased to 4 minutes.
BJM and Jeremy forced the sprinter’s teams in the break to do the work to set up their sprinters for the finish. Cross winds and accelerations split the break in half with BJM and Jeremy both in the front group. The BISSELL duo continued to cover the accelerations and alternate attacks.
With 1k to go, BJM broke free to the finish and took the win solo. He leads the GC by 14 seconds over Louder (BMC) and 16 seconds over Mancebo (Rock Racing).
Jeremy finished in the select front group 20 seconds back. The top 20 are within 1 minute of BJM’s time, but the rest of the field sits 4:41 back.
Ben dedicated his win to his close friend and fellow cyclist, Chris Hipp, who died of an embolism while out riding last week.
BISSELL sits in great position and looks to ride aggressively over the next 5 stages. "I hope we are able to have a good time trial here," says BJM. "But we aren't fully depending on the time trial anymore as we did the last couple of weekends. We want to come out here to race aggressive and have a good one."
Riders to Watch: BC Superweek gets rolling tonight with impressive field
BC Superweek gets rolling at the Tour de Delta tonight as an impressive field headlined by Canadian cycling star and European ProTour rider Dominique Rollin launches itself down a huge steel ramp into a 3-km time trial lap through the streets of North Delta that will see more than 130 riders reach speeds of 60 km an hour at the MK Delta Prologue.
Race details, including start times and start-finish lines, for the entire weekend of racing are included below as the $25,000 Tour de Delta continues with the Brenco Criterium in Ladner on Saturday night, and the White Spot Road Race on Sunday morning.
Rollin is the headliner, but his first racing since a bout of mononucleosis forced him to take a break from competing in Europe in late April won’t be easy. The field for this year’s BC Superweek is among the best ever, including Canadian National champions and Olympians as well as riders from the top North American professional teams. Here is an outline of the Riders to Watch at the 2009 BC Superweek:
#82 Dominique Rollin (Cervelo TestTeam)
Rollin is one of only five Canadians making a living on Europe’s ProTour peloton, racing in Europe for a Cervelo TestTeam that includes reigning Tour de France champ Carlos Sastre and Thor Hushovd, who won his seventh stage at the Tour de France Thursday, and was also the green jersey winner as top sprinter in 2005. Rollin, whose resume includes six Canadian championships and a huge stage win ahead of Tour de France veteran George Hinacapie at last year’s Tour of California, had his first Protour podium finish in Belgium shortly before getting Mono in late-April and is making his return to competitive cycling at the Tour de Delta before rejoining his Swiss-based Cervelo team.
#62 Zach Bell (Kelly Benefit Strategies Pro Cycling)
After his second Tour de Delta overall title last summer, Bell represented Canada on the track at the Beijing Olympics, and later returned to China to win silver at a World Cup points race, and then added another silver at the World Championships in Poland. He returns to BC Superweek as a member of Kelly Benefits, having just won the 50th annual Longsjo Classic, joining a list of victors that includes Lance Armstrong. Bell is joined
by Kelly Benefits teammate – and fellow ex-Symmetrics rider – Ryan Anderson (#61).
#5 Andrew Pinfold (Ouch Pro Cycling presented by Maxxis)
Pinfold won the Tour de Delta Road Race, and criteriums at Gastown, Burnaby, and Tour de White Rock last year. And while he won’t have Symmetrics leading him out in sprints this year, he is bringing Ouch teammate and top pro Roman Kilun (#6) for support.
#1 Kirk O’Bee (BISSELL Pro Cycling)
This two-time US Criterium Champion moved to North Vancouver six years ago and, despite racing for several of North America’s top teams, regularly makes BC Superweek a part of his race calendar. The 32 year old will be looking to add to a trophy case that contains the winner’s jerseys from almost every race in the BC Superweek series.
#84 Will Routley (Jelly Belly Pro Cycling)
Another ex-Symmetrics rider, Whistler’s Routley is having an impressive first season with the US-based Jelly Belly Pro team, finishing top-10 in every stage race he’s entered, and was 11th in the NRC individual standings despite the fact many of his goal races are yet to come. Routley returns to Superweek before flying to China for UCI races with Jelly Belly, which already raced in Malaysia and at the biggest North America events.
#10 Roman Van Uden (Land Rover ORBEA)
The talented 20-year-old from New Zealand beat the largest pro men’s field in the 23-year history of the criterium stage at the Tour Of The Gila in New Mexico, finishing ahead of both Lance Armstrong and eventual overall winner Levi Leipheimer, who are both currently positioned in the top-five at this year’s Tour de France on Astana.
#45 Rob Britton and #46 Jamie Sparling (Trek Red Truck)
After nearly sweeping en route to the overall title in Spring Series races around the lower mainland through March and April, and podium results at big stage races in the Pacific Northwest, including overall victory for Britton at the Tour of Walla Walla, Trek Red Truck broke through with a pair of eye-opening stage wins at Oregon’s Mt. Hood Cycling Classic in June. Britton beat a field of top North American teams to take the third stage, and Sparling followed that up with victory in the final stage the next day.
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Andy Jacques-Maynes' Favourite Ride
Due to Copyrighted material we could not post the news article here but follow the link to http://www.roadcycling.co.nz.
Road Cycling is New Zealand's premier cycling magazine. Check out their article where BISSELL's very own Jeremy Vennell talks to Pinarello. Click on link below to read article.
NZ TT Champion Jeremy Vennell talks Pinarello
By VeloNews.com Updated: Jul 6th 2009 5:38 PM EDT
Bissell’s Tom Zirbel, one of the very best domestic time trialists, is showing he is well-rounded enough to lead the National Racing Calendar, thanks to recent top performances in stage races.
Zirbel, who was second to Garmin’s David Zabriskie at last year’s U.S. professional time trial championships, recently led the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic for three stages, eventually finishing third on the GC. Zirbel also led the Nature Valley Grand Prix for several stages, finishing second on GC.
Zirbel’s team is in second in the NRC men’s team standings.
On the women’s side, team Type 1’s Alison Powers remains on top of the standings, a position she has held most of the season. Powers was second at Fitchburg. Her team also remains atop the women’s team NRC standings.
After almost 250 miles of racing over 4 days, the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic came down to the last 3 miles. The BISSELL Team was under full attack throughout the day with teams looking to take Zirbel’s narrow hold on the leader’s jersey. A move of 8, driven by Tony Cruz (BMC) and Mike Friedman (Garmin Slipstream), got away on the 10th of the 55 laps. BISSELL kept the gap manageable and was savvy at the front of the peloton knowing that Kelly Benefits would also try to protect their position in the GC. Eventually, BISSELL did get help from Kelly to bring back the break. The final 8 laps saw a lot of reshuffling of the group. With 3 laps to go, Zach Bell (Kelly Benefits) saw an opportunity to attack trying to get the decisive time bonuses. Bell was able to hook onto the back of a small breakaway which worked well together to the line. Charles Dionne (Fly V) sprinted for his 2nd consecutive stage win and the time bonuses from the two days were enough to move him into 2nd overall. Zach Bell’s late attack moved him into the overall lead by 9 seconds over Tom who fell to 3rd. The Fitchburg Longsjo Classic was an aggressive race with BISSELL standing on the podium every day.
Team Work Pays Off Big!
Saturday’s 110 mile road race saw amazing riding from the BISSELL Team under incredibly aggressive racing conditions. The strong winds and significant climbing made the 10 laps of the 11 mile circuit even more grueling. O’Bee, BJM, and Mach controlled the race early on and marked all moves. On the fourth lap, they allowed a group of 4 to go. At that point in the race, responsibility fell to AJM, Frank Pipp, and Morgan Schmitt to feather the gap which they kept at a controllable level. The pace continued to increase throughout the day with the last two laps being brutally fast. The pressure on the group resulted in many riders falling off until the lead group was down to 30. Tom, BJM, Kirk, and Paul followed all accelerations through the most difficult sections of the course. On the final uphill 500 meters to the finish, Charles Dionne (Fly V) attacked the group for the win. Tom finished in the lead group 27 seconds back and retains the lead with 6 seconds over 2nd place, Zach Bell (Kelly Benefits). The BISSELL Pro Cycling Team took the pressure and defended yellow.
Team Bissell took its second consecutive stage win in the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic Friday. Its sprinter Kirk O'Bee out-paced his mid-race escape companions Darren Lill (Team Type 1) and William Dugan (CCB Racing) to the top of the State College circuit's finishing climb.
"If I didn't win I was going to be in trouble, I was the insurance card up there," said O'Bee. He had the luxury of sitting on the back of the break while overall race leader Tom Zirbel struggled at the front of the peloton to reduce the time margin.
"Lill attacked the break with one to go and I got on him so I knew I had good legs. My plan was to go through the last corner and start my sprint from the bottom."
One of Kelly Benefit Strategies three classification threats, Zach Bell, jumped from fourth place into second by finishing ahead of the peloton in the escape. Bell trails overall race leader Tom Zirbel (Bissell) by a 21 seconds. His teammate Scott Zwizanski moved into third place, 32 seconds back. Stage winner O'Bee added some Bissell padding to the overall classification by moving up into fourth place, 36 seconds back.
"We had something to gain and no one was sitting on but me," said O'Bee. "Zach was the danger-man with the most to gain. My teammates kept it steady from the peloton and let the gap go up to a minute."
Timing miscalculation advantageous for Bissell
Rain poured buckets over top of the men's peloton at the start of stage two's State College, 24-lap circuit race that totaled 120 kilometres. Bell made his move at the storm's worst moment with 11 laps to go. Barely able to see the roads they were riding on, Bell was followed by Tim Johnson (OUCH p/b Maxxis), Thomas Soladay (Mountain Khakis), Tony Cruz (BMC), Derrik St-John (Garneau Club
Chaussures) along with Dugan, Lill and O'Bee.
"We wanted to apply some pressure on the field to see how Bissell responded," Bell said. He became the virtual race leader and was surprised the others cooperated with him in the escape.
"It was evident that I wasn't saving for the sprint. I drove the group to get as much time as possible. The other guys were in it to get a good result."
Bissell organised a chase as soon as the escape went clear. However, the eight strong breakaway riders continued to put time into the peloton each lap until the reached a maximum of 1:10.
Bissell began to fade with four laps to go and they counted on a lead-out from the sprint team Colavita-Sutter Home.
Colavita "saw that we weren't going to be able to bring it back alone," Zirbel said.
Colavita-Sutter Home let up when it realised it was not going to be able to close the gap to the break before the finish line sprint.
Zirbel continued to put pressure on the front of the field to protect his leader's jersey. "I really thought it was going to come back," Zirbel said. "I think we should have started working together, sooner, with seven laps to go."
The race continues tomorrow with a stage to Mount Wachusett ski resort. The event had to eliminate the notorious mountaintop finish due to construction. It will now finish at the top of the notable 'feed zone' climb outside the Princeton Centre. The men will race 10 laps totaling 176 kilometres.
Pic wins State College hill sprint; Stevens takes over Fitchburg lead
Tina Pic capitalized off her Colavita-Sutter Home team's organized lead-out to take a convincing sprint victory ahead of Jen McRae (Team Type 1) and Evelyn Stevens (Lip Smackers) on a short but steep finishing climb that had the sprinters begging for the finish line.
"That race is always crazy fun and my teammates were so awesome," Pic said. "Stacey Marple closed in on the last breakaway once it looked like it was coming back and then Carmen McNellis and Rachel Heal pinned it down the hill and into the last corner for me. I think I just sprinted from the base of the climb and then by the time I hit 200 meters to go, I felt like I was croaking. It was so painful I almost fell over."
Stevens took the overall lead away from Alison Powers (Team Type 1) by one second after capturing the third place time bonus in the stage two final sprint. Stevens started the stage four seconds behind Powers, and while the three-second time bonus was not enough to solidify the lead, Pic's powerful sprint caused a split in the field giving Stevens the additional 2 seconds needed to move into the overall lead.
"Evelyn moved in very close behind me," said Powers who originally thought she had kept her lead. She expressed being grateful for her teammate McRae who was there to sprint for second place time bonuses. "She [Jen McRae] was my hero today. That's exactly why you need a team with all round riders and she was amazing - I'm so happy she's on my team."
Times are tight between the top five overall contenders and with more time bonuses offered at the finish line of the next two stages, the overall race winner is far from sewn up. "I'm totally worried about the overall," Powers said. " I had no idea who Evelyn was before this race. But it's so nice to see new talent coming up. She is definitely close to the overall now and I'm not comfortable, not one bit. We can't be defensive, I just have to go after the win."
The women's peloton continued the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic at stage two's power-sucking State College circuit race. The two-kilometre course wore down the some 110 starters with 100 feet of climbing on each of the 11 laps, through the start finish line. "It was only 34 miles but it was a hard one," Powers said. "People were racing hard, little breaks would go away. Lip Smackers was very aggressive."
Queen of the Mountain sprints were located on five of the 11 laps at the top of the short but steep climb. Kelly Benjamin captured the lead in the points competition after some fierce opposition from Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Verducci), Amanda Miller (LipSmackers) and Joelle Noumainville (Kenda).
After a highly aggressive race a break set sail on the last lap containing all of the heavy hitting GC riders Powers, Stevens, Jeannie Longo (Vital Plus), Catherine Cheatley (Colavita-Sutter Home), Kristin LaSasso and Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom). "I thought it was going to stay but we were chased down with one kilometer to go.
Everyone but Value Act Capital was represented in the break. The California-based team lead by Robin Farina chased with help from many of the strong local teams and individuals motivated to bring the breakaway back before the final effort up the hill to the finish line. "Colavita had a super amazing lead-out and we sat on that because we didn't have too many teammates left at that point," Powers said. "It was a sprint and Tina won by so much."
By Rich Garven
WESTMINSTER - The spirit of Arthur Longsjo was alive and well as the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic, the cycling race that bears the name and hometown of the former two-sport Olympian, got underway for the 50th time yesterday.
Tom Zirbel, an ex-collegiate distance runner, was a runaway winner in the men’s pro/1 division time trial, while fellow Colorado resident Alison Powers, a former World Cup skier, finished first in a competitive women’s pro 1/2 field.
Powers had the hottest set of wheels in unseasonably cool - but all too familiar - conditions that saw dense fog give way to light mist. The Team Type 1 rider covered the 8.89 miles of the out-and-back course in 19 minutes 54.89 seconds.
That was good for a lead of four seconds over up-and-coming Evelyn Stevens, the only other cyclist in the field of 113 to go under 20 minutes.
“The fog was awesome,’’ Powers said while rhythmically pedaling a stationary bike during a postrace cool-down. “I’ve never raced in conditions like that before.’’
Powers, 29, grew up in Winter Park, Colo., learning to ski at her hometown resort. She harbored legitimate Olympic aspirations before shattering her left kneecap in 2001. Powers returned to racing two years later, but quit for good midseason in ’04.
“I was scared,’’ she said. “And when you’re going 70 miles per hour downhill, being scared isn’t a good thing.’’
An avid mountain biker before the injury, Powers found that type of riding to be hard on her rehabbed knee. So she switched to the road, turned pro in 2006, and, remarkably, won the US national time trial championship last year in Irvine, Calif.
The Longsjo, as always, has a nice international flavor to it. Canadian Anne Samplonius of Team Lip Smacker was third (20:03.63), renowned Frenchwoman Jeannie Longo fourth (20:08.27), and defending champion Catherine Cheatley of New Zealand 15th.
They’ll all be back out there today for the circuit race, the second test of this four-day stage race.
On the men’s side, Zirbel was 10th out of the chute, but none of the 161 riders to follow came close to touching the Bissell Pro Cycling rider’s time of 17:15.16. Scott Zwizanski was nearly 23 seconds back with Kelly Benefits Strategies teammates David Veilleux and Zach Bell grabbing third and fourth, respectively.
“I’ve worked on my time trial position a little bit - it’s all about how aero you can get, and our equipment is second to none,’’ Zirbel said. “Those two things contribute to a good time trial and I have those things in my favor right now.’’
Zirbel is aware there’s a lot of racing to go. He also made it known he isn’t here in search of a single stage win.
“I assume we’re going to play our cards and try to stick with the goal of a general classification win,’’ Zirbel said. “I’m fortunate, I feel, to have the best team here and they’ll do their best to protect me.’’
Zirbel, a former runner, and Powers, an ex-skier, produced the best efforts on Day 1, efforts Longsjo, a star bicyclist and speed skater, would be proud of.
BISSELL Doubles the Excitement with GC Lead and Stage Win
BISSELL fought hard in Friday’s Fitchburg State College Circuit Race to defend Tom Zirbel’s lead in the GC and came away with a double victory when Kirk O’Bee took the stage win. Half way through the stormy 24 circuits, Zach Bell of Kelly Benefits initiated a move. Due to a deluge of rain at that point in the race, the riders had significantly reduced visibility adding to the confusion in the peloton. 7 riders including BISSELL’s O’Bee joined Bell’s move and the group got away. Kirk did an outstanding job in the break to minimize the momentum and keep tabs on Bell who was the biggest threat in the break to Tom’s GC position. At its maximum point the gap grew to 1:10, and BISSELL’s Morgan Schmitt, Frank Pipp, and Andy Jacques-Maynes rode strong to reduce the gap. The strength of the breakaway made the chase suffer. BISSELL did look to the sprinter’s teams to help bring back the break. When it was apparent that the break would succeed, full responsibility for the chase came back to BISSELL. On the final lap, Darren Lill (Team Type 1) attacked the break and O’Bee and William Dugan (CCB Racing) responded. O’Bee powered up the tiered climb to the finish and took the win ahead of Lill and Dugan. Tom continued to pound the peloton, and Ben Jacques-Maynes and Paul Mach rallied to support Tom’s campaign. Tom was able to reduce the gap and maintain his lead in the GC with a 21 second lead over 2nd place, Zach Bell. Scott Zwizanski (Kelly Benefits) dropped to 3rd and Kirk O’Bee’s stage win elevated him to 4th, overall.
Zirbel Thunders in Stormy Weather
The 24 hours leading up to the start of the 50th anniversary of the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic was far from ideal, but the BISSELL Pro Cycling Team came through in solid form with all 7 riders in the top 25 after the stage 1 TT. Poor weather conditions on Wednesday, the team’s travel day, into Boston led to flight delays and cancelations. The 8 man BISSELL roster lost Jeremy Vennell early when his flight was completely canceled. Winner of stage 1, Tom Zirbel (BISSELL), arrived at the team hotel in the middle of the night and went onto win the stage with little sleep. Ben Jacques-Maynes and Andy Jacques-Maynes rolled into town just minutes before the start of Thursday's race. The team regrouped - for some in borrowed kits due to lost luggage – and came out strong on the 14k undulating out-and-back course. The weather that had been shrouding the race continued and dealt the riders more bad conditions of thick fog and poor visibility. Tom was the 11th off scorching the course with a time of 17:15 in his first time at Fitchburg. The team continued to light up the pavement throughout the day with BJM in 7th, Paul in 13th, Frank in 15th, Kirk in 21st, Morgan in 22nd, and AJM in 25th. The day finished off much better than it began with a great awards ceremony and community dinner where the Tom signed autographs and auctioned off a bicycle (see attached pictures). The team hopes to defend their lead in the 4 day NRC race.
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