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ELEMENTS SHAPE TOUR DE NEZ'S FIRST DAY; KODAK GALLERY/SIERRA NEVADA SOLID

Reno, California (June 16, 2018) - The first day of the Tour de Nez saw high winds and a fire shape the outcome of the morning time trial in Verdi, Nevada, while cold and altitude were major factors in the evening criterium in Truckee, California.

In typically unique Tour de Nez style, riders started the 5.3km morning time trial in alphabetical order by first name. Strong, gusting winds and some difficult turns were problematic for riders who had not reconnoitered the course and some, like Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada's Russell Hamby, were even blown off the road. Others, like Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada's Glen Mitchell, were delayed several minutes by a house on the course that caught on fire.

In the end, Steven Cozza of the US U-23 National Team was a surprise winner, with Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada's Ben Jacques-Maynes in 5th and Tim Larkin also in the top 10.

Temperatures were in the 40's for the criterium, although the rain fortunately ceased just before the race start. And racing at over 6,000 feet, riders acclimated to altitude had a clear advantage.

Early on, Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada's Pete Lopinto escaped in a breakaway of seven riders, including Health Net-Maxxis' Scott Moninger. As the break was just about to be swept up by the field, Moninger attacked, steadily increased his lead, and eventually lapped the field solo.

Meanwhile, Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada's Dan Schmatz found himself in a group of six chasers along with Zack Walker (McGuire-Langdale), Andy Bajadali (Vitamin Cottage), Burke Swindlehurst (SeaSilver), Aaron Olson (Colavita-Sutter Home) and Alex Candelario (Jelly Belly-PoolGel), who made an impressive solo move to join the chase group.

When the attacks came starting with a lap to go, Schmatz managed to grab fourth place behind Olson, Candelario, and Moninger. Recovered from his early move, Lopinto easily won the field sprint for 8th.

Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada Operations Manager Kurt Stockton commented, "We're happy with two top-tens in each stage. The altitude really affected a lot of guys, so it was good that our Colorado guys, Pete and Dan, were there for us."


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