Merced ready for McLane Pacific Cycling Classic

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.

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