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Drive for five

There’s something about the course in Nevada City that agrees with Scott Moninger.

Moninger is not only the defending champion of the Nevada City Classic’s Pro 1-2 race, but a win this year would put him into a tie for the most Classic wins of all time.

Bob Parsons currently holds the record at five while Moninger won his fourth last summer.



“I’ve always enjoyed the venue there,” Moninger said in a phone interview from Colorado. “It’s a very straight-forward course. If you’re not having a good day, you know it quick. If you are, you’ve got a good chance to do well.”

Record could be tied




While securing win number five would be feat for the veteran racer, he said it could be difficult.

“History is not on my side on this one,” Moninger said. “I’ve never won it in back-to-back years. I mean, 1994 was my first year.”

Moninger followed with wins in 1997, 1999 and again in 2006. His route into the history books is much different than Parsons, who won five straight back in the 1960s.

Still Moninger, 40, doesn’t see any reason why he couldn’t contend for the title this year – especially with his new BMC teammates in attendance.

“It helps to have a couple strong teammates,” Moninger said. “That race usually isn’t sorted out until past the halfway point.”

As for tying for the most wins, Moninger said breaking records isn’t very high on his list of priorities.

“I’ve never really been that enamored with records,” Moninger said. “I’m always about just trying to get out there and win the race. If it’s the fourth time or the second time or whatever, that’s just a bonus.”

Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond also won the Classic three times, meaning Moninger passed him with last summer’s win.

“I never really thought about that as it was happening,” Moninger said. “It’s nice when you can be compared to someone like LeMond, but I don’t think there’s any added pressure.

“My main focus isn’t to try to break the record.”

New team, fresh start

With so much experience, Moninger said joining the BMC (Bicycle Manufacturing Corporation) team was an easy choice.

“They had a lot of added funding and, through word of mouth, they found I was looking for a change,” Moninger said. “It’s been a fun year. We have a lot of young talent on this team, a lot of rookies, so we have a good mix of guys and it’s a lot of fun.”

As the most experienced rider on the team, Moninger often finds himself in a leadership role.

“Most of them knew me by name recognition,” he said. “They tend to respect what I’ve done. If I see something they need to do, there typically isn’t a lot of question.

“But, there’s a lot of give-and-take, too. I get an appropriate amount of feedback.”

According to Nevada City Classic organizer and promoter Duane Strawser, who also owns the Tour of Nevada City Bike Shop, the younger racers on Moninger’s team are likely happy to have someone of his caliber on that team.

“Scott is always in the top two or three or four in the country,” Strawser said. “He won the overall points several times. To get a veteran like Scott is a dream come true for those younger kids.”

Not ready to hang ’em up

Surrounded by younger cyclists, however, hasn’t slowed Moninger or his desire to compete. Talk of retirement has yet to seriously enter the picture.

“I think there’s always times during the course of the year you think about walking away,” Moninger said. “But that was true 12 years ago. You go through a bad stretch and wonder how long you want to do this.

“But then two weeks later you win one. That keeps you going.

“Sometimes it’s harder to maintain that level of fitness, and these young guys are always raising the bar, so year after year you have to see how it plays out. But experience definitely helps, too, and not just for myself but to pass on to my teammates.”

Also scheduled to compete …

A team of four New Zealand women forming the development squad are slated to join the fun as well as the Waste Management team.

Rushlee Bucahanan, Malindi Maclean, Susy Pryde and Lauren Webb are making the trip from around the world.

Bucahanan was a silver medalist in the points race of the Junior World Cycling Championships and a national team representative of the 2007 Road World cup Geelong Australia.

Maclean was a Junior Worlds representative while Pryde is an Olympian along with many other notable accomplishments.

The Waste Management team of Ron Jensen, Sean Mazik, Tim Doud, Zach Coolman, Steve Miller, Andrew Jorganson, Matt Briefer and Brian Cornelious.

Jensen returned to the United States after training for two years in Europe.

ooo

To contact Sports Writer Ross Maak, e-mail rossm@theunion.com or call 477-4244.

Nevada City Classic

past champions

2006 – Scott Moninger

2005 – Burke Swindlehurst

2004 – Justin England

2003 – Eric Wohlberg

2002 – Tony Cruz

2001 – Ernesto Lechuga

2000 – John Peters

1999 – Scott Moninger

1998 – Levi Leipheimer

1997 – Scott Moninger

1996 – Chad Gerlach

1995 – Mike Engleman

1994 – Scott Moninger

1993 – Alexi Grewal

1992 – Mike Engleman

1991 – Chris Huber

1990 – Nate Reiss

1989 – Mark Caldwell

1988 – Todd Gogulski

1987 – Gerrais Roux

1986 – Todd Gogulski

1985 – Jeff Pierre

1984 – Greg Demgen

1983 – Dale Stetina

1982 – Toby Power

1981 – Greg LeMond

1980 – Greg LeMond

1979 – Greg LeMond

1978 – Bob Cook

1977 – Rick Baldwin

1976 – Mark Pringle

1975 – Bill Wild

1974 – Ed Parrott

1973 – Keith Vierra

1972 – Dave Walters

1971 – Fred Fisk

1970 – John Howard

1969 – Bill Wild

1968 – Dave Brink

1967 – Bob Parsons

1966 – Bob Parsons

1965 – Bob Parsons

1964 – Bob Parsons

1963 – Bob Parsons

1962 – Bob Tetzlaff

1961 – Bob Tetzlaff

47th annual Nevada City Classic

Sunday

Kids parade 12:30 p.m.

Ron Miller Junior Grand Prix 1 p.m.

Masters (35+, 45+) Pro 1-2-3-4 1:55 p.m.

Women Pro 1-2-3-4 3 p.m.

Senior Cat 3 Men 4 p.m.

Men’s Pro 1-2 5:05 p.m.

2006 results

Men’s Pro 1-2

1. Scott Moninger

2. Gordon McCauley

3. Tony Cruz

4. Aaron Olson

5. Andy Jacques-Maynes

6. Edmond Overend

7. Roman Kilun

8. Andres Gil

9. Christian Kearney

10. Drew Miller

11. Adam Livingston

12. Kayle Leogrande

13. Shane Peltonen

14. Jesse Moore

15. Jon Baker

16. Eric Riggs

17. Adam Switters

18. Stephen Dey

19. Matthew Willinger

20. Skylor Bishop

Women’s Pro 1-2-3-4

1. Helene Drumm

2. Kim Anderson

3. Amber Rais

4. Karen Brems

5. Cat Malone

6. Cynthia Corroll

7. Stella Carey

8. Kristin Drumm

9. Shelly Olds

10. Jenni Tafya

11. Sarah Kerlin

12. Maria Monica

13. Brianne Burgess

14. Molly Van Houweling

15. Ginger Buller

Men’s Elite 3

1. Aren Timmel

2. Jonz Norine

3. Jason Walker

4. David Yakaitis

5. Christiopher Coble

6. Peter Dinolfo

7. David Vuilleumier

8. Jason King

9. Chad Timmerman

10. Paul Carter

Juniors

12 years and under

1. Josef Nygaard

13-14

1. Davis Bentley

15-16

1. Taylor Kuphaldt

17-18

1. Micah Herman

Men’s Masters 35+ 1-2-3-4

1. Dan Martin

2. Jeff Angermann

3. Brian Bosch

4. Nathan Parks

5. Rich Thurman

Men’s Masters 44+ 1-2-3-4

1. Larry Nolan

2. Henry Kramer

3. Patrick Tafoya

4. Ken Watkins

5. Craig Lindberg


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