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McLane Pacific Spring Classic
By Vaughn Trevi
Date: 2/28/2006
McLane Pacific Spring Classic

 McLane Pacific Cycling Classic
One week to the NRC Central Valley Opener... Pro teams fresh from the Tour of California to meet in Merced to contest the first NRC points of the season March 4th and 5th.

  McLane Pacific Cycling Classic, March 4-5th
Toyota/United Team Goes Toe-To-Toe with NRC Champs Team Health Net

Former teammates become official rivals for the first time during two exciting days of criterium and road race competition at the 13th Annual McLane Pacific Cycling Classic in Merced, California. North American Pro Teams, Health Net/Maxxis, Toyota/United Pro, Jelly Belly, Nevada, AEG, among others pro teams will merge on  Merced in one week to take the first shot at the NRC team and individual titles.

The McLane Pacific Cycling Classic has gained a tremendous reputation for the quality of its race, and is honored and much-anticipated as the first non-stage race of the year on the National Racing Calendar. USA Cycling's NRC is designed to provide a ranking system for all Elite level cyclists,
whether Amateur or Professional.

McLane has been for years the race to win and the race to watch because it is the first competition on the calendar after camp, says longtime MPCC organizer Doug Fleutsch. Now with the buzz about Toyota-United in its first year and full of proven talent, the Foothills Road Race and Downtown Grand Prix outcomes will be headline news.

Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team is in its inaugural year and has plucked some big-name talent for its powerhouse roster. A few riders have traded in their Health Net/Maxxis jerseys and will be competing against former team mates.
Current US Pro Road Champion Chris Wherry in his first appearance in the USA Championship Jersey as a Toyota/United Pro is joined by another former HealthNet rider, Pan Am Games champion Ivan Dominguez.

J.J. Haedo (formerly of Colavita/Sutter Home, winner of last years Spring Classic opener the Foothills Road Race at McLane is fresh off two stage wins at the Tour of California. The four time Argentinian Road champ edged out last years reigning champion Health Nets Gord Fraser.

Colavita drives the sprinter train with Health Net in attendance 2004 Merced Criterium.

Last year Gord Fraser Canadian Road Champion and 4 time winner of the Merced Criterium beat J.J. Haedo into second after his Colavita team drove the peloton to the finish the last two laps of the criterium.  Haedo returned the favor at the Road Race the next day running away in the final metres to deny Fraser a repeat "Double" in both the Merced Crit and the Classic as he did in 2004.

U.S. Olympian and former Discovery Channel team member Tony Cruz has family ties to Merced. Returning to McLane Pacific this year with Toyota-United, he adds, "I love having my family at the races and racing my heart out for them. They give me the extra motivation it takes to win."

Look for fierce competition from all male and female pro teams represented at the McLane Pacific Cycling Classic in Merced the weekend of March 4-5th. The hard core battles for the pros begin with the Downtown Grand Prix. Saturday, March 4th.  Internationally acclaimed cyclists will scream around a.8 mile downtown track in full view of the crowd for the first NRC Criterium contest of the season

Sunday, March 5th, the Foothills Road Race will test the teams and riders on a demanding 24 mile circuit and 120 miles that is often affected by the unpredictable California central valley weather.

Merced is a bike racing town, with numerous scenic trails snaking their way through its quaint location 70 miles southwest of Yosemite National Park. It boasts a number of young top and amateur racers on the cycling circuit, including Jason Klikna and Justin Hale, both representing BMC team this year.

$20,000 in Cash
In all, over 3000 riders are expected to make their mark in Merced and take home over $20,000 in cash prizes at the McLane Pacific Cycling Classic.
Cycling enthusiasts of all ages will come out Saturday, March 4th for the Family Fun Day and cycling events. There will be a picturesque Summerton Homes Foothills Century Ride for cycling enthusiasts of all size and skill level.
The Downtown Grand Prix will be the main attraction for spectators all morning long. Families will enjoy the Educational Employees Credit Union Breakaway Zone stocked with bounce houses for kids, the Kiwanis Bike rodeo, Firehouse Brewpub beer garden, vendors, music, and more. Small cyclists love the opportunity to ride like the pros in their very own Merced Sun-Star Pee Wee Classic Parade that afternoon.
For registration and more information, please visit


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