The opening race of the U.S. national calendar is the McLane Pacific Cycling Classic, which will run over the March 5-6 weekend. Once again, the small town of Merced in California will host the racing, which is always well received by local cycling enthusiasts.
Ben Jacques-Maynes from Mountain View, California, was 2004 Nature Valley GP champion, and is a returning rider to McLane for the newly combined Ofoto/Sierra Nevada Pro Cycling Team. "For me, the McLane Pacific Foothills Road Race is the epitome of the spring season," said Jacques-Maynes. "Merced offers a great course, the best competition in the country, and good community support. I'm looking forward to the opening of the season - and it all starts in Merced." Four-time returning rider Kate Maher, of Ford-Basis Cycling Team recognises the good chemistry that exists between the riders and a racing town like Merced. "The support from the town is just amazing," says Maher, who just completed her PhD program in geo-chemistry at UC Berkeley. She is even applying for post-graduate work at UC-Merced, based on her positive experiences at McLane Pacific in years past.
The racing will begin on Saturday, March 5, with the Downtown Grand Prix. This will pit the sprinting elite against one another on a fast loop in downtown Merced. The Foothills Road Race on Sunday, March 6 will provide the battleground for the first NRC competition of the year.
More information: www.mclanepacificcyclingclassic.com