Jelly Belly p/b Kenda riders saw the year’s hard work pay off in a big way at the Nature Valley Grand Prix.
Serghei Tvetcov grabbed the yellow jersey in the Stage 1 time trial, beating U.S. National Champion Tom Zirbel by four seconds. Tvetcov held onto the jersey for two more stages.
Sean Mazich posted the team’s other stage win at Nature Valley with a victory in the Cannon Falls road race, arguably the biggest win of his professional career. As he crossed the finish line after breaking away near the end of the finishing circuits, Mazich covered his face in his hands.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Mazich told reporters. “I did the work, and I just finally caught a break.”
The same could be said of the whole Jelly Belly squad.
“We’ve been on the verge of big results all year, and in this race it all came together,” team director Danny Van Haute said. “Everyone played a part in our success at this race.”
In the final GC, Freddie Rodriguez was seventh, Morgan Schmitt was 10th, Mazich 13th and Tvetcov 16th. Jelly Belly p/b Kenda finished second in the team GC, and Ricardo Van der Velde took home the blue jersey as the best sprinter. While they weren’t on their bikes, the riders visited Cannon Falls library for a talk with first- and second-graders.
Next up for the team is the tour of America’s Dairyland in Wisconsin, June 20-30.
“We can’t wait to get back in the hunt,” Van Haute said.