DEC 18 | JAN
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."