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Bissell put four riders in the top 10 as Peter Latham won the kickoff to the Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove on Friday.
Four previous overall winners lined up for the MTI Construction time trial: Hilton Clarke (2006) and Karl Menzies (2009), both racing for UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis; 2007 winner Michael Friedman (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda); and 2008 victor David Veilleux (Kelly Benefit Strategies).
Also present was Chris Horner (Team RadioShack), just back from finishing 10th at the Tour de France and racing without teammates.
Bissell’s Jeremy Vennell was the third racer to attack the flat, technical 4.5-mile circuit and set a blistering time of 8:33, which remained the time to beat until Friedman finished a second faster.
But it was Latham rode his way to the top step of the podium and the leader’s jersey, nudging Friedman into second with a time of 8:32.56. Vennell hung on for third at one second back while teammates Andy and Ben Jacques-Maynes made it a Bissell foursome in the top 10, finishing four seconds back in sixth and seventh, respectively.
On Saturday, the women will get their first taste of the Tour of Elk Grove, racing a 50-minute criterium on a 1.2-mile course.
The pro men, meanwhile, will tackle the 96-mile AXA Equitable road race. With the top 16 riders within 10 seconds of the lead, there will be lots of opportunities for a break to steal valuable time via intermediate sprints as the riders cover 10 laps of a 9.5-mile course laid out with 26 turns.
The Tour of Elk Grove concludes on Sunday with another 50-minute crit for women and a 71.5-mile crit for men.
- 1. Peter Latham (NZl), Bissell, 8:32
- 2. Michael Friedman (USA), Jelly Belly Cycling Team p/b Kenda, same time
- 3. Jeremy Vennell (NZl), Bissell, at 0:01
- 4. Karl Menzies (USA), UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team p/b Maxxis, at 0:02
- 5. Luis Amaran (Cub), Jamis-Sutter Home p/b Colavita, at 0:03
- 6. Andy Jacques-Maynes (USA), Bissell, at 0:04
- 7. Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA), Bissell
- 8. Chris Horner (USA), Team RadioShack, at 0:03
- 9. Bernard Van Ulden (USA), Jelly Belly Cycling Team p/b Kenda, at 0:04
- 10. David Tanner (USA), Fly V Australia, at 0:08