Ben Jacques-Maynes lit it up for 3rd
at the Tour of California Prologue
photo courtesy of Mike Norris
Video Interview with Priority Health's Ben Jacques-MaynesAt 28 years-old, Ben Jacques-Maynes is one of the best cyclists on the U.S. domestic race circuit known as the NRC (National Race Calendar). The former national cyclocross champion and winner of the 2004 Nature Valley Grand Prix hopes to parlay his excellent early season form and time-trial skills into stage race victories across the country this coming year for his new team, Priority Health. So far, he's off to a great start. This past weekend he claimed the second NRC event of the year, the Central Valley Classic, winning the tough Stage 1 road race by attacking the break with 5k to go and barely holding off Eric Wohlberg. He then went on to win Stage 2 in his best discipline, the individual time trial, before sealing up the overall title with a pack finish during Sunday's criterium won by Henk Vogels.
Well known among the racing community in his home state of California, Ben gained many new fans across the country and world with the time-trial prowess and sportsmanship he exhibited during last month's Tour of California. He accomplished a personal goal of a podium finish on the first day with his 3rd place finish in the prologue. If not for a controversial, special exception ruling after the Stage 1 crash in Santa Rosa, he would have found himself in the Golden Jersey for a few days -- something he and his UCI Continental Team, Priority Health would have dearly relished. He was in the news again at the end of the Stage 5 Solvang TT when he was the the only UCI Continental (domestic) rider to crack the Discovery Channel and CSC dominated top ten. If that weren't enough, he then made the main break on the final day's circuit race at Long Beach gaining more exposure for himself and Priority Health. He wants to continue racing in the U.S. to stay close to his growing family, but with ProTour teams knocking at his door, Europe may be too hard to resist some day.
Before Ben headed down to the Central Valley Classic last Thursday, I recorded a lengthy video interview with him and discussed the Tour of California, his new cycling lease on life and the state of cycling. Also, check out his personal site: jacquesmayniacs.com which he updates regularly. Disaffected bike racing fans will appreciate his web link to doperssuck.com — Steve, March 13th, 2007.
|Selected clips from my interview with Ben Jacques-Maynes:
Clip 01: Tour of California Prologue
(camera and sound quality are better in subsequent clips)
Clip 02: Stage 1 - Descending Mt Tam
Clip 03: Stage 1 - The Santa Rosa Finishing Circuits
Clip 04: Stage 1 - The Controversy
Clip 05: Stage 3 - Trying to bring it home to San Jose
Clip 06: A Top 10 at the Solvang TT
Clip 07: Stage 6 - The hardest day of the Tour
Clip 08: Stage 7 - Making the main break on the last day
Clip 09: Last season's injuries and tough decisions
Clip 10: His UCI Continental team, Priority Health
Clip 11: The state of cycling
Clip 12: Bike sponsor: Pinarello
Clip 13: His contract and staying home
Clip 14: This year's expectations
Clip 15: Rubbing elbows with Bettini
Clip 16: Prize money and the ToC costs