The riders fired off attacks from the start of the final stage of the Amgen Tour of California. Sunday’s four circuits through Thousand Oaks and Agoura Hills totaled 134km.
The Rock Store climb was the chosen spot for the attacks of the day. A few early moves put the riders under great pressure and resulted in significant splintering of the group. The moves were all eventually neutralized before the day’s break formed just past the first mountain sprint on lap 2. The group of 7 included BISSELL’s Jeremy Vennell, Yaroslav Popovych (Team Radioshack), Sebastian Langeveld (Rabobank Cycling Team), George Hincapie (BMC Racing Team), Oscar Pujol Muñoz (Cervelo Test Team). They built up a gap of nearly 3 minutes, and the group was intently pursued by Garmin who was trying to get enough bonus points to move their man, Dave Zabriskie, into the lead.
With a lap to go, the break was down to 1:45 and the chase was in full pursuit. Vicious attacks came from the chasers as Zabriskie and Leipheimer (RadioShack) dealt rapid blows to leader, Michael Rogers (Columbia HTC). The GC, however, remained intact as Rogers matched his aggressors.
In the lead, only Hincapie, Pujol, and Barredo survived from the original break. Counterattacks out of the chase group resulted in Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin) and Chris Horner (RadioShack) bridging up to the leaders. These 5 would go to the line together with Hesjedal taking the win.
It was an exciting finale to a brutal week of racing, and BISSELL was again in the center of the action!
Saturday’s time trial confirmed that Michael Rogers (Columbia HTC) is in control of this year’s Amgen Tour of California. The 33km course consisted of 2 laps including 2 short, but steep, climbs. Columbia's Tony Martin clocked the best time with 41:41 while his teammate and GC leader, Rogers, finished with the 2nd best time at 42:03.
Jeremy Vennell, BISSELL’s top GC rider, finished in great form with the 12th best time of the day. Vennell’s impressive time also helped him improve his GC position to 25th.
Sunday’s final stage of the tour is made up of 4 circuits totaling 134km and includes 1,000 ft of climbing in each lap. With the top 3 in the GC spaced out with 9 and 25 seconds, respectively, the final podium seems set. However, we expect a lot of attacks on Sunday as riders look for a stage win.
Friday’s queen stage up to Big Bear was reported as the toughest day of racing on American soil. With 7 categorized climbs and over 6 hours of riding, the race at 7,000 feet elevation was literally breathtaking.
A threatening 8 man move came only 29km into the stage and contained several GC contenders, as well as, some looking for a stage win. The group stayed clear for most of the stage with Thomas Rabou (Team Type 1) taking all of the KOM points and solidly securing his hold on the mountains classification. The final climb eventually took its toll on the lead group and the gap began to fall. The day of hard climbing and constant attacking out the peloton led to a strung out group of riders and significantly diminished the field.
A group of just over 20 riders dueled it out for the win with Peter Sagan (Liquigas) claiming his second consecutive win. Pete Latham and Jeremy Vennell were BISSELL’s top finishers of the day at 28 minutes back.
With the GC still very open, Saturday’s time trial will be the day of determination.
CyclingNews.com Video with Bissell's aggressive rider
"I'm here to race my bike," declared Paul Mach (Bissell) after the stage 5 finish at the Amgen Tour of California. Mach was the leader virtuel on the road after breaking away with Grischa Niermann (Rabobank), Kurt Hovelynck (Quick Step), Mark Renshaw (HTC-Columbia), Benjamin Day (Fly V Australia) and William Dickeson (Jelly Belly-Kenda). Unfortunately for Mach, he and his five companions were caught before the finish in Bakersfield. Here, in this exclusive video he talks about the stage break and his aggressive racing style.
Click on Link to view video of Paul Mach
Mach Does It Again
The pace was fast from the start of today’s 195km stage. An early crash caused disarray, taking out several riders including BISSELL’s Daniel Holloway and Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) who were forced to abandon. The peloton was able to reorganize and things started to shake up just after the 2nd intermediate sprint. BISSELL’s Paul Mach saw the initial action transpire and jumped on the move. A bit after the break formed, the peloton sat up allowing the lead group to take off. Over the course of the day, the group built up over a 6 minute time gap.
For much of the day, Paul was the leader on the road as highest man in the GC out of the 6 riders in the break. Paul tackled both the KOMs of the day winning the first and taking 3rd on the second which added 8 points to his mountain classification.
In the last 20km of the race, as the lead group headed into Bakersfield, there was a lot of cat and mouse play between the guys in the break causing them to lose some time. Riders from the break gradually dropped off; however, breakaway rider, Ben Day (Fly V), made a final attack and had a good gap before eventually being caught on the final lap.
It was a very close battle to the line with best young rider, Peter Sagan (Liquigas), taking the win and Michael Rogers (Columbia HTC) taking 2nd to inch Dave Zabriskie (Garmin) out of the GC lead by less than a second. BISSELL’s Jeremy Vennell and Ben Jacques-Maynes finished in the group and got the same finishing time. Jeremy is BISSELL’s highest rider in the GC at 18th place. Tomorrow is sure to be the critical stage of the tour as much can happen on course with over 10,000 feet of climbing. Saturday’s time trial in Los Angeles will further shape the GC.
Video with US Continental team's moustachioed crew
Keen observers will have noticed Bissell Pro Cycling team's riders have been sporting a little more facial hair than usual throughout the 2010 Amgen Tour of California. But the funky array of moustaches are not just about making a bold fashion statement, as the hirsute squad aim to raise awareness for the Ronald McDonald house charities. In this exclusive video, Ben Jacques-Maynes, Paul Mach and Jeremy Vennell explain the motivation behind their moes.
Follow Link to view video from CyclingNews.com - US Continental team's moustachioed crew
Video from stage three at the Amgen Tour
Cyclingnews’ Chris Leavell spent stage three of the Tour of California in the Bissell team car. The team had a man in the day’s break and this footage shows the frantic driving from within the convoy as they move up to break, passing cars and riders on either side.
Follow Link to view video from CyclingNews.com
By: Kirsten FrattiniPublished: May 19, 10:50
Bissell targeting strong performance in Los Angeles ITT
Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell) made a lengthy bid for a hometown win at the Amgen Tour of California’s stage three finish in Santa Cruz on Tuesday. The local pro muscled over the day’s three climbs with a five-man break only to get caught at the base of the decisive final ascent up Bonny Doon Road.
"This was huge, it is my brother Ben and my hometown and we ride these roads every day," Jacques-Maynes told Cyclingnews. "It was so big to have the biggest race in the country ride down our local roads. We definitely have local knowledge. The cycling community in Santa Cruz is so huge and fitting that a hotbed of cycling gets a stage finish. The crowds were amazing."
The strong-man used his knowledge of the course to sneak away from the peloton 50km into the 182km stage. His four companions included Ryan Anderson (Kelly Benefit Strategies), Davide Frattini (Team Type 1), Eric Boily (SpiderTech p/b Planet Energy) and Will Routely (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda).
Jacques-Maynes did is fair share of work to get over the first three King of the Mountain climbs located on Tunitas Creek Road, CA 84 and Pescadero Road, saving enough energy in hopes of making it over the fourth and final climb over Bonny Doon Road.
Last year, Jacques-Maynes had been eager to win the equivalent stage into Santa Cruz, however, he crashed into a parked car on the flat section before Bonny Doon Road and was taken away in an ambulance. He had similar bad luck in Monday's rainy stage two when he crashed on the slick descent off to Trinity Road and rolled down the side of a cliff.
"We were just off the back of the front group over the crest of the last climb on Trinity yesterday," Jacques-Maynes said. "We were trying to chase down a wet road and that was a big mistake for sure. I just went over the edge about 10 or 15 feet, not too bad. I grabbed my bike and hauled in back up. The seat was gone and I broke my bike so I had to wait for a new one.
"We were all crashed up this morning so we needed to see how things went before going into a break today," he added. "I wasn’t too stiff from the crashing so I wanted to give it a try."
The Bissell squad is well-known on the US domestic scene for its time trialling ability. Ben Jacques-Maynes placed third in the race's 2007 time trial and inside the top-15 in the past two editions of the Amgen Tour of California time trial. The team hopes to perform well in this year’s stage seven time trial, which will be held in downtown Los Angeles.
"We will be looking for opportunities to make it to the end and set up for a good finish," said Jacques-Maynes regarding his team’s race ambitions. "Ben has always been in the top-ten [sic] in the time trial here and he will be giving it everything. Jeremy Vennell is a former New Zealand time trial champion and he will want to ride hard. The time trial has been our specialty so we will want to go for a high placing there."
Britton Battles in the Breakaway for Over 4 Hours
Wednesday’s 195.5km stage took off from San Jose with 2 intermediate sprints and 2 categorized climbs on tap for the day. Immediately following the 3km neutral roll out, the day’s breakaway took off. BISSELL’s Rob Britton was joined by Lars Boom (Rabobank), Jurgen Van de Walle (Quick Step), Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly), Ryan Anderson (Kelly Benefits), Scott Stewart (Team Type 1), and Davide Frattini (Team Type 1).
The toughest climb of the day, up Sierra Road, started at only 4.4 miles into the race. The potent pace up the 5.9km ascent was tough to match, causing Frattini and Stewart to fall off the back. The lead group, which was now down to 5, was able to build up a 4 minute gap over Sierra Road and by the time the group reached the first intermediate sprint the advantage was up to 6:30. On the Sierra Road KOM, Rob matched the pace set by Anderson to take 2nd on the KOM. However just after the top of the climb, Anderson dropped off the group leaving the break down to 4 riders.
As the dwindling break neared Modesto there was significant attacking and gaps temporarily formed; however, Rob did extraordinary work marking each move. The leaders continued shuffling throughout the first two circuits in Modesto. In the final circuit these riders were eventually reabsorbed leaving a perfect scene for the sprinters. Liquigas’ Francesco Chicchi took the win and BISSELL’s Daniel Holloway came across the line in 13th. Six BISSELL riders crossed in the main group with the same finishing time.
It was another amazing day for BISSELL who relied on great team work and its strong, well-balanced roster to continue to keep BISSELL in the spot light.
Blue skies greeted the riders at today’s start which was a great relief after the rain soaked roads that wreaked havoc yesterday.
Despite a flurry of attacks from the start, the peloton stayed together through the first of two intermediate sprints. As the race departed the coast, five riders broke away including BISSELL’s Andy Jacques-Maynes, Ryan Anderson (Kelly Benefits), Davide Frattini (Team Type 1), Will Routley (Jelly Belly), and Eric Boily (Spider Tech). The group battled it out for the KOM points and built a lead over 4 minutes.
As the race headed toward Bonny Doon, the group was eventually reabsorbed. Chris Horner (Radio Shack) was the first to attack up the climb, but Levi Leipheimer (Radio Shack) took the big dig with only Dave Zabriskie (Garmin) and Michael Rogers (Columbia) able to follow along. Leipheimer led the threesome over Bonny Doon. Cervelo and Liquigas led a furious chase on the descent; however, the leaders were able to make it into Santa Cruz at 2km to go with a 20 second gap. Zabriskie attacked for the win with Rogers taking 2nd and Leipheimer 3rd.
BISSELL’s Jeremy Vennell was in the chase group of 24 only 17 seconds back. Paul Mach (BISSELL) was in the next group of 10 riders at 1:41 behind the winning time, and Ben Jacques-Maynes led the subsequent group through at 4:36 back.
By: JULIE JAG
SANTA CRUZ -- Andy Jacques-Maynes makes his living as a professional cyclist. He rides for the Bissell Pro Cycling team that is competing this week in the Amgen Tour of California, an eight-day stage race that includes such esteemed competition as Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and Mark Cavendish.
He is not the kind of guy who hits parked cars, or light poles.
Well, maybe he is that guy. A crash into an isolated metal light pole during a cyclocross race three years ago, and the debilitation that followed, led to Jacques-Maynes' decision to become a pro road racer. And last year, he sailed headfirst into a parked car during an otherwise minor crash along Highway 1 on Stage 2 of the Tour, which ended in Santa Cruz. Suffering a concussion and retrograde amnesia, the Corralitos cyclist wound up being the first racer to arrive in Santa Cruz, just as he'd dreamed. Except, in his dream, he wasn't in an ambulance.
That's just his luck. It also seems to be his luck to come back stronger after such setbacks.
Today, Jacques-Maynes and his compatriots in the 800-mile, eight-stage tour between Nevada City and Thousand Oaks will again pedal down Highway 1 toward Santa Cruz. Stage 3 begins in San Francisco at 11:15 a.m. and the leaders are expected to arrive in front of the Beach Boardwalk around 3:30 p.m.
Perhaps Jacques-Maynes will be among them.
"This year the motivation is super high because I feel stronger," said Jacques-Maynes, 31. "I'm just looking for my opportunity."
Bissell brought on Jacques-Maynes mostly as a domestique, whose main purpose is to help get his twin brother, Ben, a five-time Tour of California racer, to the podium. But plans can change during the course of a race, and if Jacques-Maynes finds himself in a breakaway group near the finish, he could get the green light to try to chase down a win.
Ben said he is confident his brother can fill whatever role he is called upon to do, accident or not.
"He's really one of the go-to guys and has been leading up to and after that crash last year," Ben said. "He's the guy the team pivots upon. He never slouches in that role. And he certainly knows how to come back. To bounce back from such a small [accident], for him is like water off a duck's back."
Compared to the cyclocross accident, in which Jacques-Maynes broke 15 bones, including 10 on his spine, bruised both lungs and punctured one and suffered a torn ligament in his hand, a concussion and a black eye, he barely suffered a scrape during the Stage 2 pileup.
Because of the amnesia, Jacques-Maynes doesn't remember exactly what happened. However, in a post-race blog post, Team Liquigas' Kjell Karlstrom describes it this way: "I was taking a water bottle from my teammate Brian Vandborg, so I only had one hand on the handle bar. Then, I hit a huge pot hole and went down. I took about 15 or 20 other riders down with me! ... [Jacques-] Maynes was the worst off, as he went to hospital with an injury. I am OK, but bruised and sore. I don't think it will affect my ability to keep riding though. I think I'll be OK."
Jacques-Maynes also thought he was OK at first. His mechanic rushed him a replacement bike -- his was wrecked -- and he was back on the road in no time. But when the medics caught up to him -- mid-ride -- Jacques-Maynes couldn't remember how he had gotten hurt, or even that he had been in a crash. At that point he pulled himself from the race.
A little more than a week after the crash, Jacques-Maynes returned to racing. Still, Ben said his brother has struggled to shake the disappointment of missing his homecoming.
"I think it was a bit of a blow to him," said Ben, who was named the Stage 2 Most Courageous Rider last year for his effort in trying to chase down stage winner Thomas Peterson and eventual Tour winner Leipheimer on the excruciating climb up Bonny Doon Road. "It's hard to have to deal with yet another setback like that. Luckily, he was not so badly hurt that he had to do another recovery period. He came back with form and ambition a few weeks after that. ...
"It's the mental hit on the day of wanting, dreaming, wishing and hoping and having that ripped out quickly. That is difficult. It's something you have to get over. It's a part of racing, it's just unfortunate that he had a couple of these troubles."
Jacques-Maynes said he is ready to put them behind him. But burying the hatchet during the Tour of California, the largest cycling race in America, is a tall order. Not only are the 128 cyclists among the best in the world, including 11 current national champions and seven Olympic medalists, but they are all in near prime shape since organizers moved the race from February to May and the heart of Tour de France training.
"It's going to take quite a bit of luck," Jacques-Maynes said.
But, he added, he has plenty of motivation.
"I don't want to be known as the guy who always crashes."
By: Kirsten FrattiniPublished: May 17, 03:38, Updated: May 17, 06:08
Bissell rider takes early lead in KOM classification
Bissell rider Paul Mach rode into the early lead of the King of the Mountain competition following the opening stage of the Amgen Tour of California on Sunday. According to the US domestic pro, it will be a dream come true to start the stage two road race wearing the red jersey of best climber in his hometown of Davis.
"It's kind of like a dream in a dream," said Mach. "I wasn't guaranteed to do this race from the beginning, so just to start it was kind of a big goal of mine for the year. Now that I have a jersey and to get in a breakaway at the biggest race in America is kind of a big achievement for me. To start with a jersey in my hometown tomorrow is even better. It is unreal, still sinking in."
Bissell started the star-studded event with the realistic goal of making the early breakaway during the race's lengthy and mountainous routes. The first stage was predominantly downhill for 168km from Nevada City into Sacramento and Mach wound up in the early breakaway at the 10km mark. His companions included Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank), Chad Beyer (BMC) and Marc De Maar (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis).
"I don't know if riding into the break was to get into a jersey but it was to ride aggressively, to make the race and try to get into a breakaway," explained Mach. "That was goal number one for us and it worked out."
Mach and De Maar separated themselves over the day's decisive climb on Old Auburn Forest Hill Road, the sole KOM ascent, located 75km into the stage. Mach attacked De Maar to take full points towards the KOM competition and the four riders regrouped at the top. They were caught by a field primed for the sprint near the finishing circuits after spending more than 150km off the front together.
"The KOM competition is far from over," Mach continued. "I consider myself a climber but it's a world-class field here and you just have to see what happens. We worked well together. It was inevitable that it was going to come back so we just tried to give it our best shot. Realistically, we didn't think it was going to happen."
The Bissell riders are quickly becoming recognised for sporting well-manicured mustaches and beards at the Amgen Tour of California this week. The men are hoping to raise awareness for the Ronald McDonald House Charities, whose mission is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and wellbeing of children.
"We have a little inter-team competition; the official word is that there will be a vote [for the best mustache] on the website, on our facebook page, at the end of the Tour of California and there will be a prize giveaway," Mach said. "We are also doing to raise awareness for the Ronald McDonald House, which is an important sponsor of ours and we encourage you to check them out."
Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California was 177km with 4 KOM and 2 intermediate sprints. The stage started out relatively flat, but was complicated by strong cross winds and rainy conditions.
An early and unexpected break was made 5km from the first intermediate sprint, which came at 22km after the start. This break of 5 riders successfully battled for the 4 KOM and 2 intermediate sprints. HTC and Radioshack controlled the main group, while breakaway rider Menzies (United Health-Care) claimed the intermediate sprint points. The majority of the KOM points were won by Rabou (Team Type 1). The break slowly disintegrated leaving Menzies and Rabou to crest the Trinity Road KOM alone. However, the two were soon caught by a Radioshack and Garmin led chase group just over the top. This new lead group consisted of 26 riders, one of which was BISSELL’s Paul Mach.
As the riders began to descend the Trinity Road climb, the rain began to pour and chaos ensued. Among the many resulting crashes, 5 BISSELL riders were taken out by the treacherous winding roads and harsh conditions. After several bike exchanges and significant road rash, the BISSELL boys all made it to the finish line in Santa Rosa.
The lead group of 26 maintained their position through the finish, although Menzies crashed in the final kilometers. Upon crashing, Menzies relinquished his potential claim of the leaders jersey that would have resulted from his intermediate sprint bonuses. Brett Lancaster of Cervelo took the field sprint for the finish and grabbed the yellow jersey. Finishing in the lead group, Paul Mach retained his 7th place overall, only 8 seconds behind the leader. It was a very tough day for the majority of the BISSELL riders and we will hope for a quick recovery going into tomorrow’s stage 3.
By Brian Holcombe Updated: Aug 4th 2010 4:39 PM EDT
In 2005, former All-American 800-meter runner Paul Mach showed up to his first group ride in Davis, California. Five years later, he returns to City Park Monday morning wearing the red and yellow King of the Mountains jersey at the Amgen Tour of California.
The second-year pro jumped into the day’s long breakaway 20 kilometers into stage 1 Sunday. When he crested over the only KOM in the 104.2-mile route from Nevada City to Sacramento, the 2009 Mt. Hood Classic overall winner secured him team’s first classification lead of the race.
“The goal was to ride aggressively and get into a break,” Mach said.
When his Bissell team convened for its February training camp in the stage 2 finish town, Santa Rosa, Mach was uncertain of his place in the California roster. He rode his way onto the squad, however, with a place on the final podium at the San Dimas Stage Race in March and two stage wins at the Bissell Show, otherwise known as the Sea Otter Classic.
“It’s kind of a dream within a dream,” Mach said. “I wasn’t guaranteed to even get [into the race]. So to be here in the biggest race in America and get a jersey — and then to start in a jersey in my hometown — it just keeps getting better. It’s still sinking in.”
Before stage 1, Mach said Bissell would be hoping to find the sharp end of the peloton early in the Amgen Tour of California.
“We’ll be trying to make the breakaways, trying to animate the race as much as possible,” he said.
The 28-year old found the tip of the race early when he bridged across to a three-rider move in the rolling terrain that led the peloton away from Nevada City. When Marc De Maar (UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis) jumped away on a short ramp, Mach followed Chad Beyer (BMC) and Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank) up the road.
“We worked well together,” said Mach. “We had a good time out there. It was inevitable that it was going to come back.“
Before that inevitability played out, however, the group rolled through two sprint points and one KOM. When the foursome approached the KOM at CA 49 with a five-minute advantage, Mach realized that the jersey was a possibility and he took the opportunity.
Mach’s first day on the world stage came just five years after picking up the sport at the age of 23.
“I started cycling when I moved to Davis five years ago,” he said.
His second day on that stage will come Monday in front of the community that brought him into the sport as a collegiate cyclist.
“All those guys, the Davis Bike Club and the cycling community in general, that’s been the people I’ve ridden with all the way through,” Mach said. “Coming back with the jersey, the KOM jersey from a big race, everyone’s already pretty excited to have a hometown boy in the race and now to have a jersey, it’s a special moment to be able to represent the community there.”
When his name is called at the start of stage 2, that hometown boy will roll to the line under a thunder of applause that will likely rival the headliners of the sport
BISSELL’S Paul Mach Starts Stage 2 Wearing the KOM Jersey in His Hometown of Davis
128 riders started the first stage of the Tour of California today in Nevada City. The 104 mile day proved harder than expected with 2 sprints, 1 KOM, and a considerable amount of downhill riding.
BISSELL planned to start strong knowing that pro tour teams would not object to letting a small contained group get away (since the sprinter’s teams would bring everyone together for the finish). An opportunity presented itself 20k into the stage as BISSELL’s Paul Mach created and motivated a great 4 man move. Paul, Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank), Chad Beyer (BMC), and Marc De Maar (United Healthcare) held the break for 2/3 of the day with a 5 minute gap. Paul got 2nd in the first intermediate sprint, eased his way through the second, and then unleashed his furry to win the first KOM of the tour. In doing so, Paul won BISSELL’s first jersey of the 2010 Tour of California.
As expected, several teams came to the front and started to ride the time gap down. Realizing that a field sprint was inevitable, Paul backed off a bit in anticipation of the tough second stage from Davis to Santa Rosa.
Back in the peloton, BISSELL moved their sprinters, Daniel Holloway, Cody O’Reilly, and Andy Jacques-Maynes, into position for a fast and furious finish. The whole field remained intact for the first of 3 finishing circuits. However, there was a horrible crash on the final lap which took most of BISSELL out of position. Fortunately, the 3km rule applied and the group was given the same finishing time.
Paul will proudly start stage 2 in his hometown of Davis, CA wearing the KOM jersey and sitting 7th in GC. It will be a difficult 110 mile stage with 4 categorized climbs.
By: Greg JohnsonPublished: May 14, 00:33, Updated: May 14, 04:34
Junior champion joins American squad
Under19 New Zealand and Oceana Road Champion Patrick Bevin has been signed by American squad Bissell. Team manager Glen Mitchell described Bevin as a promising sprinter when announcing his signing.
“Patrick has shown outstanding results as a junior rider, and his transition to the elite level has been very promising,” said Mitchell. "We first took note of his abilities while racing against him in the Tour of Southland last year, and we have been watching him closely since then.
“The opportunity to bring him to Bissell presented itself and we are very excited to have signed him to the team,” he added. “His strength in the sprint finish is a welcomed skill and one that we will target for improvement, as he integrates into the team and the professional level of the sport.”
Bevin caught Mitchell’s eye when the team traveled to New Zealand for the Tour of Southland. His stage and overall victories at the Cherry Blossom Cycle Classic and fifth placing on a SRAM Tour of the Gila stage since arriving in the United States of America helped convince the team to sign him.
Bevin will join two other New Zealand riders at the Bissell squad in the form of Peter Latham and Jeremy Vennell.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., May 13, 2010 –The BISSELL Pro Cycling Team announces today that New Zealand’s Junior Champion, Patrick Bevin, has signed with the team. Bevin comes to BISSELL from the U.S. amateur team, Rubicon-Orbea. He also holds the U19 New Zealand and Oceana Road Champion titles in his home country. In 2009, Bevin won the U19 Road Championships in Australia, and he boasts career highlights from top New Zealand races such as the Tour of Southland and the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge. Since coming to the United States this year, Bevin has dominated the early season races, proving himself as a well-rounded rider who can also sprint with the best. Bevin’s strong results in New Zealand this summer launched him into January’s Singapore International Criterium, where he finished 6th. Recently, Bevin won two stages and the overall at the Cherry Blossom Cycle Classic and placed 5th at Tour of Gila, Stage 4.
"Patrick has shown outstanding results as a junior rider, and his transition to the elite level has been very promising," says team manager, Glen Mitchell. "We first took note of his abilities while racing against him in the Tour of Southland last year, and we have been watching him closely since then. The opportunity to bring him to BISSELL presented itself and we are very excited to have signed him to the team. His strength in the sprint finish is a welcomed skill and one that we will target for improvement, as he integrates into the team and the pro level of the sport."
Ben Jacques-Maynes shares the ups and downs of elite road racing
Local cyclists have a love-hate relationship with climbing Bonny Doon Road, off Highway 1, in northern Santa Cruz County. Riders value the training benefits of the uphill slog, but, at the same time, they detest punishing sections of the heart-pounding and hamstring-burning ascent. This climb was pivotal in 2009’s Tour of California and it’s expected to be critical again this year for determining not only the leaders of Stage 3, but also the overall rider standings in the eight-day race.
On Tuesday, May 18, professional road bike racer Ben Jacques-Maynes, 31, of Watsonville, will tackle the mountainside that he knows so well from years of training rides. This is the fourth time Jacques-Maynes will be racing the Tour of California (TOC). During this event, known as a stage race, he will push himself to the limit while biking nearly 800-plus miles. He and his twin brother, Andy Jacques-Maynes, of Corralitos, both race on the Bissell Pro Cycling Team. They are especially stoked for Stage 3, the 113.3-mile race from San Francisco to Santa Cruz. In this interview, Ben Jacques-Maynes, a UC Santa Cruz graduate, reveals the challenges and rewards of his demanding job as a professional bike racer. He’s been racing for the past 10 years.
GT: What is your mindset when you compete in a stage race?
Ben Jacques-Maynes: I wake up and treat every race day like a brand new beginning. I have trained my body for this so I am going to be confident I am going to give 100 percent, whether it is me working for my teammates or them working for me.
Do you get nervous racing with some of the world’s best cyclists?
All the big names are out there. I’m lucky: I get to line up beside Lance Armstrong. How many people would die to do this just once in their lives? Many others are race leaders, too. But, for me, I need to look at them as another body with a target on their chests and just do my utmost to beat them. If you are a fan, you are not racing them.
Using your 2009 TOC as an example, walk me through what your day will look like for Stage 3, the race from San Francisco to Santa Cruz.
I’ll go to bed early the night before at a pretty nice hotel. When the alarm goes off, it’s all business—no dallying. Every morning it’s go time. I have to eat within a certain window. I’m out of bed in 10 or 15 minutes and at a huge buffet with all the cyclists and race staff.
What do you eat?
There is so much food laid out and each cyclist knows exactly what he needs. I have oatmeal, some eggs, a bunch of fruit and a bagel or piece of toast. If I have a 10 a.m. race start, I will eat at 7 a.m. As the race goes on, my stomach shrinks significantly and it’s harder to eat. By the end of the race, my metabolism is on fire.
What else happens before your race?
I stretch, talk with people, and collect my thoughts for the day. The race meeting was the night before where the team strategy was laid out. We are shuttled to the race site to arrive an hour ahead of our start time. We are already dressed in complete cycling kits and are immediately ready to start media interviews, handle requests and sign in for the stage.
Do you have last-minute, pre-race rituals?
Not really. I stick food in my jersey pockets—from First Endurance— and double check that the radios work well. [Riders wear radio headsets during the race for communication.] It’s time for all the little odds and ends like making sure my rain bag in the car is packed with a rain jacket, clothes, a warm jersey and spare shoes. I don’t pack much because I can collect what I need from the team car during the race. Then there’s the national anthem, the gun goes off and we are on our way.
What do you feel at the start line?
Anticipation! I almost never have nerves at the start line. I’m in a competitor frame of mind. I compete so much, I get used to it. I don’t waste extra energy on nervousness—mental clarity is a key goal that I am training for. I am already confident in the team and my own performance.
This is the second time that Santa Cruz has been selected to be in the TOC. How is that for you?
It’s really inspiring to drop down into my town to ride the streets I know so well. To have one day in Santa Cruz feels like I’m participating in a parade. Suddenly, you are in the middle of a street where you don’t normally go and everyone’s watching. It’s a pretty special experience.
For Stage 3 when you cross into Santa Cruz County, is there more support from fans?
I can hear my name called even when we are whizzing by at 40 miles an hour. I can’t smile, wave and turn, but I can see and hear every person along the way. It gives me strength. It’s an unreal experience to have so much support. People are lining the entire route, believing in you and your ability. That makes me even more motivated than before.
Will you get to see your family—wife, Goldi, and kids Chase, 4, and Chloe, 2, at the finish line?
I usually get to see them, pretty briefly. Just because the race is over doesn’t mean we are done. I have to put myself back together for the next day for the same thing, but it will be harder because of muscle fatigue and mental fatigue.
What do you do right after the race?
I immediately look for my Team Bissell van and chairs, food, towels to clean up, managers and soigneurs [assistants responsible for feeding, clothing, and escorting riders. They also massage riders.] They are the heart and soul of the bike team: the soigneurs do to the racers what the mechanics do to the bikes. Then, it’s time for anti-doping tests, media requests, report to the podium, attend the press conference. You have to put yourself together after five hours of gladiator-style battle.
When do you get to relax?
When we get to the hotel, the bike mechanics are waiting—our bags are already in our rooms. We are brain dead. I shower, eat food, get a massage, some times nap before the dinner buffet. As the stage race goes on, your body becomes more efficient and requires less food. Right after dinner, we have a team meeting to review the day, discuss the next day and go over the course and other details.
Then, at last, you can sleep?
I go back to my room after that, and pin my numbers. [He removes the race number from his uniform and puts on a fresh one, the same number that identifies him throughout the race]. It’s the last thing I do. It cleans me of that day. If I have been mad or riled up, when I re-pin the number that day is done and I am starting fresh. Even if it went perfectly and I won the race, I say, today was a good day, time to start afresh. Then it’s straight to bed and I just pass out pretty quickly.
That’s a tough schedule. What makes it worthwhile?
I have lots of motivation to train and race. I see my kids happy and playful and feel excited and blessed to support my family doing something I love.
Karen Kefauver, karenkefauver.com, is a Santa Cruz-based freelance writer and avid cyclist who specializes in stories on adventure travel and endurance sports.
BJM and Vennell on Final Podium at JMSR
Ben Jacques-Maynes and Jeremy Vennell capped off the Joe Martin Stage Race with 2nd and 3rd place in the overall classification while the rest of the BISSELL team helped them to secure a win in the team classification. However, it came with great loss as Kyle Wamsley went down in a bad crash that resulted in a broken collarbone.
The final stage consisted of a 90 minute crit on a 1.4 mile course which had been updated for 2010. With only 3 seconds separating BJM from the current race leader, Luis Amaran (Jamis), it was a close and hard fought battle. Teams vying for a stage win combined with a very dangerous corner led to a typically aggressive criterium. Throughout the day this corner took out several riders including BISSELL’s Kyle Wamsley, who went down attempting to bridge a 4 man breakaway.
Ben and Jeremy finished the race to secure their places in the overall and the GC was unchanged. Kyle was taken by ambulance to the hospital where x-rays revealed a broken collarbone. Congratulations to the team on a hard fought battle and support goes out to Kyle for a good recovery.
By: Cycling NewsPublished: May 7, 19:50, Updated: May 7, 19:57
Jacques-Maynes to lead US team
The Bissell Pro Cycling Team has named Ben Jacques-Maynes as its leader for the upcoming Amgen Tour of California.
The US team will also field Paul Mach, Rob Britton, and Jeremy Vennell to support Jacques-Maynes in the mountains. The three have posted strong starts to the season, with Mach taking two wins at Sea Otter, while Britton claimed second on the final stage of the Tour of the Gila monster. Vennell also claimed a victory in Sea Otter and was a key mountain domestique in Gila.
The team will also have a group for the bunch sprints, with Kyle Wamsley being supported by Pete Latham, Andy Jacques-Maynes, and Daniel Holloway.
Manager Glen Mitchell has been honing the team with the Amgen Tour as the biggest target of the early season. "With the current race form we have on the team, we are excited about both the hard climbing stages and the bunch sprints," says Mitchell. "It is an honor to race in the biggest tour in the US and the Bissell team is ready to race with some of the world's best teams and riders."
The opening stage of Joe Martin was a 2.5 mile hill climb time trial. The flat course was a perfect opportunity for BISSELL’s Pinarello TT rocket ships to deliver 6 BISSELL riders to the top 20. Ben Jacques-Maynes was BISSELL’s top finisher with the 3rd best time of the day. Jeremy Vennell also had a strong TT with a 5th place result and BISSELL’s sprint man, Kyle Wamsley, came in with a great ride at 8th. Paul Mach who has been dealing with some stomach issues, Andy Jacques-Maynes, and Rob
Friday’s road race was filled with threatening breaks. Within 70K, a significant lead group of 18 had developed. Jeremy Vennell, Rob Britton, and Paul Mach were BISSELL’s riders in the break. BJM was also able to work his way into this lead group which eventually built up a gap of more than 2 minutes. BISSELL and Jamis were the main activists in the lead group while Fly V, United Healthcare, and Giant Strawberries sat on and conserved energy. The move stayed clear to the finish with Salzberger (Fly V) winning the stage and Ben crossing for 4th. The GC was significantly jumbled and BJM moved to 2nd and Jeremy to 3rd, overall.
The third stage of JMSR was a hard 92 miles consisting of 3 tough circuits. BISSELL’s strategy for the day was to keep the pressure on Jamis. A strong and significant break got away and rolled to a 3:20 time gap. BISSELL assumed control of the peloton and gradually brought them back. Once back in the fold, BISSELL was aggressive and launched a barrage of attacks. Very high speeds at the finish hindered any solo moves, so BISSELL lined up to support its sprinters, Daniel Holloway and Kyle Wamsley. The BISSELL train delivered Daniel to the line for a very close 2nd on the day.
Going into the final stage at Joe Martin, BISSELL’s BJM and Jeremy Vennell are 2nd and 3rd respectively. Special accolades go to Team Director who kept a keen eye on stage 2 time gaps and protested to defend BISSELL’s positions in GC. Well done by the entire BISSELL Team!
Britton Tames the Monster
The Gila Monster was the final queen stage of the Tour of Gila. It was 107 miles with close to 10k of climbing. The cold, wind, and snow made Sunday’s race even more treacherous. BISSELL was aggressive from the start and forced a 14 man split containing Paul Mach, Jeremy Vennell, Rob Britton, and other significant threats to the GC. The initial gap held at 45 seconds for several miles but the group drove it to 5 minutes by the start of the Gila Monster climb which came at 47 miles into the stage. Jeremy set a hard tempo and led the group down a tough descent made even more threatening by snow. United Healthcare riders and ex-BISSELL rider, Burke Swindlehurst now riding for Teamgive, put added pressure on the group but Paul and Rob hung tough. The elevation was a major factor and Paul felt the effects at about 7500 ft when he fell off the group. Rob held the pace and rode a great mental and physical race to contend with the GC leaders and the stage contenders in the group. Darren Lill (Fly V) went solo at 10 miles out and maintained the gap for the win. Rob finished the day off with a well timed surge to the line for an outstanding 2nd place finish.
It was an excellent performance at this epic high altitude race for the BISSELL Pro Cycling Team with 2 days on the podium. Congratulations BISSELL and safe travel to Arkansas and the start of the Joe Martin Stage Race on Thursday!
Saturday’s criterium was in keeping with the other challenging Gila courses. The 40 mile crit contained 1 mile laps which were quite technical with a tiered hill from the start followed by a fast off-camber downhill. The 160 riders on course going full out added to the excitement. A nice move with 10 laps to go had a number of BISSELL riders; however, the move was brought back with 3 laps to go. David Phinney (Trek Livestrong) won the sprint and BISSELL riders, Cody O’Reilly and Jeremy Vennell, came in 9th and 10th, respectively.
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