Peak performance: Grass Valley junior races to podium, twice
June 17, 2007
No homegrown cyclist has ever won the men’s Pro 1-2 race at the Nevada City Classic, but after the day he had Sunday Bruce Hoffman likely left town with dreams of being the first to do so.
Hoffman, a 17-year-old who was born and raised in Grass Valley before moving to Layton, Utah in the late ’90s, turned in not one but two podium performances Sunday. The Ogden One team member won the Ron Miller Junior Grand Prix and then, about an hour later, took third place in the men’s Category 3 pro race.
“I’m a smaller guy and with all the climbing, that gives me an advantage,” said Hoffman, whose older brother, Cameron, competed in the men’s Pro 1-2 Sunday. “This is the hardest course I’ve ever done. It’s definitely the most technical. You definitely need some special skills for this course.”
Hoffman held off Rocklin’s Jeremy Ferguson, who raced for Team Spine, for first place. Third place went to Auburn’s Dylan Clark, racing for the Victory Velo team.
Men’s Cat 3
After sprinting from behind to take over first place, Waste Management rider Steve Miller nearly started to celebrate a bit too soon as he neared the finish line in the men’s Cat 3 event.
“I threw my hands up, because I was pretty sure I had it,” said Miller, who rides out of Tucson, Ariz. “All of the sudden, I see this guy right behind me.
“I slammed my hands back down on the bars and kept going. In a way, it was a stupid, amateur move, but it worked out.”
Miller, who won in his Nevada City debut, edged Jason Walker of the Reno Wheelman by mere inches for the win, with Hoffman, the junior winner, finishing right behind in third place.
Women Pro 1-2-3-4
Shelly Olds ran away from the competition and won by a large margin in the women’s Pro 1-2-3-4, which meant for the second year in a row a member of the ProMan team won the Classic title.
ProMan’s Helene Drumm took first place in 2006, but finished in fifth place Sunday.
Olds, a 26-year-old racing out of Saratoga, lapped many riders en route to her first win at Nevada City. The victory was her third this current cycling season.
“This is one that goes on the resumé, for sure,” said Olds, who won in her second visit to Nevada City. “To get on the podium or to win this, it’s always great. There’s always great competition here.”
Olds’ teammate Rachael Lloyd of Fairfax took second place, while Rushlee Bucahanan of the Jazz Apple Cycling team out of Alabama finished third.
Masters 35+, 45+
Like the ProMan team owning the past two Classics in the women’s event, the Safeway/GA Communications team found itself back in victory lane for the second-straight year in the Masters race.
Dan Martin could have made a sprint to the finish for a second-straight win the 35-and-over division, but instead he surrendered the win to teammate Michael Hernandez and accepted second place.
Finishing third behind Hernandez of Aptos, and Martin of El Dorado Hills, was Brian Bosch of Clovis and the Central Valley Cycling team.
In the 45-and-over division, Kevin Metcalfe of Pleasant Hill took first place for the AMD-Discovery Channel Masters team. He was followed by Reno’s Bubba Melcher, racing for Team Clover in second place, and Goleta’s Mark Fennell of TGI/Hazards in third place.
To contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4240.
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