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Tour de Nez

Reno, NV

June 22-24, 2006

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June 22 Verdi Time Trial - RESULTS

Eighty three competitors participated in the Verdi Time Trial, held from 9am-10am, in Verdi Nev. Racers left at thirty-second intervals to pit themselves against a stopwatch over a three-mile course. The winner was Tom Zirbel of Priority Health with a time of six minutes, two seconds.

June 22 Truckee Criterium - RESULTS

The Truckee Criterium, a one hour timed race taking place over a 0.6 mile course featuring six turns snaking through historic downtown Truckee, was featured for the second year as part of the Tour de Nez. The 46 lap race started off fast and furious_ - the pack was split apart within the first 15 minutes by a series of accelerations instigated by riders from the powerful Health-Net Presented by Maxxis and Toyota-United teams, leaving a group of about 50 riders left off the back. Twenty minutes later, a breakaway consisting of Karl Menzies (Health Net Presented by Maxxis), Tony Cruz (United Pro Cycling Team) and Andy Bajadali (Jelly Belly Pro Cycling Team) attacked off the front of the main group and solidified a 30+ second gap. Gordon McCauley (Successful Living), the New Zealand National Champion, attempted to bridge up to the leaders but found himself in no-mans land, about ten seconds adrift of the lead trio, but still solidly in fourth place ahead of the field. The final sprint for the top spots came down to a battle of nerves between Cruz and Menzies, with Menzies prevailing for the win.

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June 23 Tahoe Road Race - RESULTS

Toyota-United Team Member and 2005 US Pro Champion Chris Wherry Makes it a Solo Win in Grueling Stage 4 Tour de Nez Road Race

Suffering temperatures that reached over 90 degrees Fahrenheit on a hilly course that ranged in altitude from 5,800 to 7,200 feet Chris Wherry (Toyota-United) made the decisive move after 80 miles of racing to ride away from a breakaway group that had led the 108-mile race since mile 8.

The Tour de Nez course took riders 3 times over a 36-mile course that featured 2 significant climbs; starting in Tahoe City, California, the course meandered along Lake Tahoe to the small town of Kings Beach, turned to go over 7,200-foot Brockway Pass, went down to the historic town of Truckee, and then up a steady 14-mile uphill, past historic Squaw Valley - home of the 1960 Winter Olympics - back to the Tahoe City start/finish.

Long-time racing veteran Michael Carter (Team Einstein's Cycling) started the action early, just nine miles into the race, with a solo attack before the start of the first Brockway Pass climb; this was the move that would dictate the rest of the race. After a strong solo effort, and a number of attempts from the field to bridge, a group of 12 riders, including Carter, formed off the front. By the time they reached Brockway Pass again, the 12 had 6:40 minutes on the field.

Having shaken a few riders, the lead group was down to eight riders when they made their way through Tahoe City for a second time where riders Alex Candelario (Jelly Belly) and Aaron Olsen (Saunier Duval Pro Cycling Team) made a two-man get-away. The two stayed off until the final Brockway climb where everything came apart. By the time they reached the top, Wherry had gone clear of the rest of the riders and only Olsen, Candelario, Carter, and Roman Kilum (Health Net presented by Maxxis) made up the main group of the breakaway. After several attacks from the final four attempting to chase down Wherry, the final climb to Tahoe City saw Wherry out front alone - building his lead to over three minutes by the finish - followed by duo Olsen and Carter, and then Candelario. Kilum got absorbed by the chasing lead pack to finish in 15th place, while his teammate and race leader, Karl Menzies, finished second in the pack sprint to Tom Zirbel (Priority Health) to retain the overall leaders jersey. Olsen bested a severely cramping Carter at the line for second with Candelario coming in alone for fourth.

Tomorrow the Tour de Nez wraps up with a one-and-a-half hour criterium in downtown Reno.

June 24 Mighty Tour de Nez Classic Criterium - RESULTS, FINAL OMNIUM

Taking race predictors and even himself by surprise, Curtis Gunn (Successful Living) took the victory at the Reno Criterium in a two-man sprint against Christian Valenzuela (Monex). Indeed, neither of these riders were predicted to be the strong men in this race which featured some of the strongest teams and best professional bike racers in the country. It was Gunn’s most prestigious victory to date.

Today’s race featured a .8-mile course, which wound through downtown Reno. Each lap, riders negotiated ten turns including the downhill chicane that lead into the final straightaway to the finish-line; a notoriously treacherous area, it would again claim its victims today.

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From the gun, the race was fast and strung out. Within 30 minutes into the one-and-a-half hour event, the field had been whittled away to roughly 45 riders due to the speed and a several crashes; it was at this point that the Gunn/Valenzuela duo moved away from the field. A crash at the front of the main pack another half-hour later and a steady effort by team Health Net presented by Maxxis to keep the group together to protect overall omnium leader, Karl Menzies, sealed the deal; the gap between the breakaway pair and the group stayed at a steady 40 seconds to a minute for the rest of the race.

Coming into the final sprint, Gunn made a mighty effort before the chicane to get a gap on Valenzuela and held it off for the win. In the field, big-man Menzies came blazing first through the final chicane only to puncture his rear wheel, and in doing so, he took out Alex Candelario (Jelly Belly) who was sitting in second position. This opened the door for fast-man Cruz to take the field sprint and third in the race.

Cruz’s finish put him in first place overall for the omnium. Tazmanian Menzies, even after not finishing today’s race, took second and consistent finisher and current National Time Trial Champion, Chris Baldwin (Toyota-United) took third.

Today wrapped up the Tour de Nez’s three days of racing. In addition to featuring the nation’s top professional riders, many other fun and fabulous cycling-related events are on the schedule including kid’s races, clunker classic races, a bike swap, fun rides, and more. For complete information about the Tour de Nez, visit

Race reports, results and photos provided by Abbi Holtom, Tour de Nez


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