04 | JAN
(August 7, 2005) - The first weekend of August saw
the Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada Professional Cycling Team competing in varied
events representing both the traditions and the bright future of North American
Bank of America Invitational
Saturday evening's race was the Bank of America Invitational in Charlotte, North Carolina. In only its second year, the race offers the largest criterium purse in the world, with $125,000 on the line for the pro men's race.
Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada's six-man team for Charlotte consisted of Ben Jacques-Maynes, Glen Mitchell, Dan Schmatz, Pete Lopinto, Jackson Stewart and Hayden Godfrey, with both Racing Manager Robin Zellner and Operations Manager Kurt Stockton making the trip as well.
Lacking a marquee sprinter in a sprinter's race, Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada was aggressive throughout, with Jacques-Maynes, Lopinto and Mitchell covering the early moves, Schmatz and Stewart marking the later attacks, and Godfrey featuring in a dangerous group inside the last ten laps.
Stockton said of Jacques-Maynes' performance in particular, "Ben was phenomenal tonight. He rode with the strength of three men and two Bens!"
Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada's attempt to set up Schmatz for a strong finish was disrupted by a crash on the final lap, one of many such pile-ups throughout the race.
Schmatz was the team's top finisher in 19th, crossing the line almost ten seconds after race winner Juan Jose Haedo (Colavita-Sutter Home) - a good indicator of how strung out the field was after the crash.
La Classique Louis Garneau
On Sunday, Dominique Perras represented Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada in one of North America's oldest and longest races - La Classique Louis Garneau, which covers 270km from Montreal to Quebec City.
As the defending winner, Perras knew that he would be a marked man. And
racing without teammates in a field of 220 riders on a flat, tailwind course
for which climbers like Perras are not well suited, the odds were against
a repeat of last year's victory.
Perras planned to cover many of the early attacks, but missed a group of
17 riders that went clear after only 30 kilometers of racing. "I didn't
think they would get away because Jittery Joe's-Kalahari and the French
national team missed the break," Perras explained, "but then [Jittery Joe's-Kalahari
team leader] Tim Johnson crashed, which disrupted the field for a while
and that was it."
Perras gave a committed chase, especially in the last 50 kilometers, but had to settle for 20th place.
Rounding out Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada's weekend, Scott Zwizanski took part in the three-race Tour de Christiana omnium in Pennsylvania, where he placed third in the 10-mile time trial stage on Sunday.
Also on Sunday, Jackson Stewart, Pete Lopinto, and Ben Jacques-Maynes raced
in a post-Charlotte criterium in Concord, North Carolina. Despite a short
course that had the field turning laps of under 40 seconds, no breakaways
stuck and the result was treacherous field sprint with plenty of pushing