Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell) took the early lead of the Cascade Classic six-stage race after a solo victory in the opening stage on Tuesday.The California native is hoping that a new set of tactics will bring his squad an overall title after Sunday’s finale in Bend, Oregon.
"I hope we are able to have a good time trial here," Jacques-Maynes said. "But we aren’t fully depending on the time trial anymore because that has bitten us in the ass the last couple of weekends. We want to come out here to race aggressive and have a good one."
Jacques-Maynes took a strong early lead in the overall by virtue of a 10-second margin over a chase group being combined with the time bonuses allocated at the finish line. He heads into stage two with a 14-second advantage over Jeff Louder (BMC) and a 16 second cushion to Francisco Mancebo (Rock Racing).
Jacques-Maynes teammate, Tom Zirbel, leads the National Racing Calendar (NRC) series after an impressive string of time trial victories. However, the overall title has eluded the specialist, who placed second in the Nature Valley Grand Prix and third in the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic. The Bissell squad will no doubt leave a lasting impression at the stage 3 time trial, with Zirbel's presence bound to play a big factor.
The Bissell squad racing this week includes Jacques-Maynes and Zirbel along with New Zealand national time trial Champion Jeremy Vennell, Paul Mach, Omer Kemp, Kirk O’Bee, Morgan Schmitt and Burke Swindlehurst.