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Central Valley Classic - Men's Report
By Vaughn Trevi
Date: 3/14/2007
Central Valley Classic - Men's Report

Central Valley Classic - Men's Report
Three days in the Valley. Ben Jacques-Maynes tops the final podium picking up 2 of the 3 stages. Henk Vogels lets the thunder roll and the drought is over.

Ben Jacques-Maynes race leader shaded by the podium girls during race introductions on Stage 3. Photo c. Mark Adkison Ph.D.

Stage 1 Raymond Granite Road Race
This road course is new to the Central Valley Classic for 2007. It is a 34 mile (54.4 km) circuit with two uncategorized climbs with 2500 feet of climbing per circuit or a total elevation gain of 7500 feet for the men. Time Bonuses: 15 seconds for 1st, 10 seconds for 2nd, and 5 seconds for 3rd

Central Valley Classic Results
Stage 1 Raymond Granite Road Race
Men's Pro/Elite Results
102 miles - 163 km
1 Ben Jacques-Maynes Priority Health Cycling Team 3:58:20
2 Eric Wohlberg Symmetrics Cycling 00:06
3 Rory Sutherland Health Net/Maxxis 00:14
4 David Vitoria BMC Professional Cycling Team 00:19
5 Dominique Rollin Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada 00:19

6 Chris Baldwin Toyota/United 00:19
7 Cesar Grajales Jittery Joes 00:19
8 Ricardo Escuela Successful 00:57
9 Russell Downing Health Net/Maxxis 00:57
10 Ivan Stevic Toyota/United 00:58 

Half the field coming in 15 minutes down on the leaders with another chase group at 30 minutes. 30 riders over the time limit or did not finish.

Alejandro Acton with BJ-Maynes on his wheel. Photo c. Mark Adkison Ph.D.

Stage 2 Belmont-Piedra Time Trial
16.5 mile (26.4 km) individual time trial. Flat for 8 miles, then gently rolling terrain, with a moderate 1 km climb to the finish.

Stage 2 Belmont Piedra ITT
Men's Pro/Elite Results
26.2km - 16.5 miles
1 Ben Jacques-Maynes Priority Health 0:35:02  
2 Rory Sutherland Health Net/Maxxis 00:04 
3 Tom Zirbel Priority Health  00:08 
4 Brian Buchholz BPG/ Montano 00:17  
5 Chris Baldwin Toyota/United pro 00:20  

6 Ivan Stevic Toyota/United pro  00:58 
7 Jeff Louder Health Net/Maxxis 01:02  5
8 Karl BORDINE 5 Star Fish 01:02  20
9 Garett Peltonen Priority Health   01:05
10 Eric Wohlberg Symmetrics Cycling  01:09

Men's G.C. After Stage 2
1 Ben Jacques-Maynes Priority Health Cycling 4:33:22
2 Rory Sutherland Health Net/Maxxis  00:18  
3 Chris Baldwin Toyota/United pro  00:39 
4 Tom Zirbel Priority Health    01:06
5 Eric Wohlberg Symmetrics Cycling   01:15
6 Brian Buchholz BPG/ Montano Velo  01:15  
7 Cesar Grajales Jittery Joes  01:32  
8 David Vitoria BMC Professional Cycling   01:46
9 Ivan Stevic Toyota/United pro    01:56
10 Jeff Louder Health Net  Maxxis   02:00

Sprinters into the wind with 100 meters to go... Photo c. Mark Adkison Ph.D.

Victory!!! Henk Vogels!!! Acton on left, Escuela on right on stage 3.
Photo c. Mark Adkison Ph.D.

Stage 3 Tower District Criterium
The time tested 0.9 mile (1.45 km) five-corner course with one 180-degree turn, one chicane. Men's race timed 80 minute event.

Flash fast event breaks away, but none allowed to stick with Toyota/United's Aussie ironman Henk Vogels capping off the three days at the CVC with a return to his winning ways. Vogel's cracked the whip at the finish line besting Alejandro Acton of Colavita/Sutter Home who finished second, and Argentine newcomer Ricardo Escuela third from the Successful squad.

Podium: Alejandro Acton, Henk Vogels and Ricardo Escuela
Photo c. Mark Adkison Ph.D.

Stage 3 Tower District Criterium
Men's Pro/Elite Results
1 18 Henk Vogels Toyota/United Pro cycling team
2 45 Alejandro Acton Colavita/ Sutter Home/Cooking Light
3 147 Ricardo Escuela Successful

4 3 Russell Downing Health Net/Maxxis
5 16 Ivan Stevic Toyota/United Pro cycling team

6 112 Kyle Wamsley Navigators
7 9 Rory Sutherland Health Net/Maxxis
8 48 Luca Damiana Colavita/ Sutter Home/Cooking Light
9 81 Cesar Grajales Jittery Joes
10 104 Josh Thornton Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

11 102 Cody O'Reilly Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
12 27 Daniel Schmatz BMC Professional Cycling Team
13 103 Dominique Rollin Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
14 63 Andrew Crater Team Wheel and Sprocket
15 148 Dusan Ganic Successful

The G.C. settled out with Priority Health's Ben Jacques Maynes on the top step, Health Net's Rory Sutherland in second and Chris Baldwin of Toyota/United third. Results below (time gaps for the G.C. were not available at this time, but the link is there to check back later.)

G.C. Podium: Sutherland, Jacques-Maynes, Baldwin and podium lasses.
Photo c. Mark Adkison Ph.D.

Men's General Classification (Final)
1 129 Ben Jacques-Maynes Priority Health Cycling Team
2 9 Rory Sutherland Health Net prsented by Maxxis
3 10 Chris Baldwin Toyota/United Pro cycling team

4 127 Tom Zirbel Priority Health
5 155 Eric Wohlberg Symmetrics Cycling

6 31 Brian Buchholz BPG/ Montano Velo
7 81 Cesar Grajales Jittery Joes
8 29 David Vitoria BMC Professional Cycling Team
9 16 Ivan Stevic Toyota/United Pro cycling team
10 20 Karl BORDINE 5 Star Fish
11 5 Jeff Louder Health Net/Maxxis
12 126 Garett Peltonen Priority Health
13 53 David McCann Colavita/ Sutter Home/Cooking Light
14 1 Tim Johnson Health Net/Maxxis
15 143 Ben Kneller Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

16 18 Henk Vogels Toyota/United Pro cycling team
17 19 Chris Wherry Toyota/United Pro cycling team
18 37 Michael Telega California Giant/Specialized
19 125 Edward King Priority Health
20 13 Jose-Manuel Garcia Toyota/United Pro cycling team
21 147 Ricardo Escuela Successful
22 12 justin england toyota-united pro cycling team
23 103 Dominique Rollin Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
24 135 Mariano Friedick Rock Racing

25 61 Guy EAST CRCA/Sakonnet Technology U25
Complete Men's Race Results

Henk Vogels: Back in the Winner's Circle
Chris Baldwin’s Third Place Finish Overall Leads Toyota/United on GC
Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team’s Henk Vogels won his first race in nearly four years Sunday when he captured the third and final stage of the Bentley’s Central Valley Classic Stage Race in Fresno, CA. Vogels easily won the field sprint at the end of the 80-minute Tower District Criterium to give Toyota-United its fifth victory of the season and its second in two weeks in a National Race Calendar event. Last year, Toyota-United won 24 NRC races and scored 55 victories overall.

Iron Aussie, Henk Vogels. Photo c. Veronika Lenzi

“It was a big relief to be able to throw my hands in the air and finally get that monkey off my back,” Vogels said. “I’ve been pretty much working for other sprinters the past couple years so it was nice to get back in the winner’s circle.”

Vogels had not tasted victory since winning the Stage 1, 136-mile road race from Augusta to Macon in the inaugural Tour de Georgia on April 23, 2003. Later that year, he nearly died following a high speed crash in the third stage of the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic. Descending at more than 60 mph, Vogels made contact with a rider in front of him and crashed horrifically. He suffered severe head, spine, and ankle injuries and was unable to walk for more than two months.

“This is a huge win for Henk,” Toyota-United Team Director Kirk Willett said. “He’s had other top 10 finishes since his major accident, but to get to the top step of the podium after what he’s gone through is just a great day for him.”

Vogels’ win slightly overshadowed an outstanding performance by teammate Chris Baldwin, who finished third overall. Baldwin placed sixth in Friday’s opening 102-mile (163 km) road race and fifth in Saturday’s 16.5-mile (26.4 km) individual time trial. His time trial moved him into third place behind Ben Jacques-Maynes (Priority Health Cycling Team) and Rory Sutherland (Health Net presented by Maxxis) heading into Sunday’s final stage, which had no effect on the final three places overall.

“I think justice was served,” Baldwin said. “The two strongest guys in the race got first and second.”

Toyota-United, which stood second in the National Race Calendar team standings heading into the event, had five riders in the top 20 overall after the first two stages of the race. “The guys are riding really well,” Willett said. “We’re off to a great start. It’s a long season, but we need to chip away every week at our season-long goals.”

Unselfishness was the name of the game all weekend for Toyota-United as rider after rider sacrificed their own chances to help Baldwin – and later Vogels – succeed. In Friday’s road race, Jose Manuel “Chepe” Garcia, Chris Wherry, Burke Swindlehurst, Caleb Manion and Stefano Barberi each took turns chasing down breakaways.

But the spectacular teamwork was most evident in Sunday’s criterium. Several times, Manion covered breakaways up front while his Toyota-United teammates joined with Priority Health behind to make sure the race would end in a field sprint. When it came time for the final lap, Wherry ramped up the speed to string the peloton out into single file. Stevic took over the pace making with two corners to go and guided Vogels through the chicane that led into the finishing straight.

Vogels passed Stevic (who finished fifth himself) and won by enough of a margin that he had time to give the traditional two-arm victory salute. Vogels said he thought of something Stevic had said Saturday night as he crossed the finish line.

“I had mentioned to him (Stevic) that I had not won in three years and that I was very motivated for today’s race,” Vogels said. “The idea was to have him come around me in the last corner. But Ivan told me after the race that he sacrificed for me so I could win.”

About Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.: Toyota established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants, including one under construction. There are more than 1,400 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in the U.S. which sell more than two million vehicles a year. Toyota directly employs more than 32,000 people in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $13 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.

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