March 7, 2011
BISSELL Cleans Up at Merco
BISSELL continued its domination by taking another stage win in the final day at Merco. Ben Jacques-Maynes wrapped up a perfect race weekend for BISSELL with his repeat victory at the Almond Blossom Road Race and the overall race win. Teammate, Jay Thomson, finished third for the day.
The fourth and final day at Merco was held under cold and wet conditions with winds that increased over the course of the day. The pro men’s race was five laps of a 24 mile circuit, totaling 120 miles on undulating roads. On the opening lap, 2 riders got away but BISSELL was comfortable allowing them a bit of distance. On the back side of the first lap, a huge crash took down a third of the field allowing the lead duo to increase their gap to almost 3 minutes. No BISSELL riders went down in the crash, and the field sat up and allowed everyone to regroup. On the next lap another unforeseen situation developed when the field was neutralized for 4 minutes in order to let the master’s field pass while the lead group pressed on. This allowed the gap to blow up to 11 minutes! Going into the final lap, BISSELL launched the chase and brought the gap back down to 6 minutes. The catch was made on the final rollers leading into the finish. Teammates, Frank Pipp and Jay Thomson, led Jacques-Maynes out for the sprint. BJM jumped across for the win and Thomson took third in a photo-finish.
This final day capped off an outstanding tour for the team. BISSELL swept the GC podium with BJM taking first, Thomson second, and Rob Britton third. Jay also secured the sprint/KOM combination jersey.
March 5, 2011
BISSELL Gets 2nd and 3rd in Crit and Retains Leaders and Points Jersey
In a very difficult and fast criterium, BISSELL held the field in check and came away with 2nd and 3rd for the day. The 9 man BISSELL train stayed in perfect formation at the front of the pack for 49 of the 50 lap race. On the final lap, Ben Jacques-Maynes, Pipp, and Thomson led out sprinters, Bevin and Wamsley. In the last meters, Argentinean sprinter, Ricardo Escuela (Full Circle Sports), got Wamsley at the line by mere inches. Bevin finished a very close third.
Ben Jacques-Maynes retains the yellow jersey as overall race leader and Thomson secured more points in today’s sprints to comfortably hold onto the combined sprinters/KOM jersey. Tomorrow is the final day of the 4 stage Merco Classic. The Almond Blossom Road Race challenges the field with a total of 120 miles comprised of 5 loops of rolling hills.
March 4, 2011
BISSELL Sweeps Again
BISSELL reigned at today’s Merced Boosters Time Trial at the Merco Classic. Jeremy Vennell was the first BISSELL rider to go off, and he set the fastest time for the day. Jeremy scorched the 12 mile course with a time of 24:47. The other BISSELL riders turned in some of the top times with Frank Pipp being clocked with the fastest speed at the finish of 38mph. However, Jeremy maintained his place as fastest man for the stage.
When the dust cleared, BISSELL sat 1-2-3-4-6-7. The Jacques-Maynes brothers filled the remaining podium steps with Andy finishing 2nd and Ben 3rd. The top GC positions continue to be occupied by BISSELL riders, and Ben’s fast time trail puts him into the leader’s jersey.
Going into tomorrow’s Crit, BISSELL holds 7 of the top 10 in GC. Ben Jacques-Maynes is current race leader, and Jay Thomson retains the combined KOM/Sprinters jersey. Another great day for BISSELL!
March 3, 2011
Britton Wins the First Race of the Season for BISSELL
BISSELL took total control of today’s MID Road Race at the Merco Cycling Classic. The team opened its racing season taking 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and the combined Sprint/KOM jersey on the opening day of the four day stage race. The day’s 82 mile course was a great new addition to this well-established race. The spectacular circuit consisted of 12.5 mile loops in the Sierra Nevada foothills and encompassed more than 4500ft of accumulated elevation gain.
BISSELL consistently dominated throughout the day. The KOMs proved to be a decisive point in the day. By the third lap, the lead group was down to 11 riders and BISSELL represented the majority with six on the front. BISSELL showed their climbing prowess where they took the majority of top five places over each of the KOMs with Jay Thomson definitively winning the combined KOM/Sprinters jersey. With two laps to go, the lead group was down to five riders including BISSELL’s Rob Britton, Ben Jacques-Maynes, Paul Mach, Jay Thomson, and Cal Giant’s John Bennett. These five ascended the finishing climb together with Rob Britton crossing the line first and his BISSELL teammates, Ben Jacques-Maynes and Paul Mach, finishing second and third, respectively.
BISSELL Assistant Director, Burke Swindlehurst says, “Regardless of what time of year you win a race, it's always great for the team morale - but to start the season with the top three and have the whole team riding well, everyone would want that kind of a start.”
It has been a perfect opening race for the BISSELL Team and they look forward to tomorrow’s time trial!
March 2, 2011
The Skaggs King's Ridge Loop
The final training ride at this year’s team camp might prove to be the toughest training ride of the season. The BISSELL Team rode the Skaggs King’s Ridge Loop which is the most revered ride northwest of Santa Rosa. The six hour ride took the group of 16 over some of the most beautiful and pristine roads in the area. The ride consisted of hours of relentless undulations followed by a flat and fast return into Santa Rosa along the banks of the Russian River.
After a hard day of riding, the team met for their final dinner where they toasted to a great upcoming season. Thursday brings the first race of the season where nine of the BISSELL Team will rally in Merced, CA for the Merco Classic.