Joe Schmaltz won the 100.1-mile Menomonie, Wis., stage of the North Star Grand Prix on Saturday. Schmaltz, 25, of Lawrence, Kan., is relatively new to serious road racing.
"My grandfather owns a bike shop, so I grew up around the sport," Schmaltz says on his web profile. "It wasn't until about three or four years ago that I realized if I put forth enough effort that I had the option to make my passion for cycling a career."
He took third place in the Elite nationals road race in 2013 and represented the U.S. in the World Cup races in Belgium several year ago as well.
Schmaltz and two other riders, Michael Sheehan and Hincapie Racing teammate Jon Hornbeck, all finished in 3 hours, 49.35 seconds on Saturday.
In the second pack of riders on this stage was Tom Zirbel, the 2012 champion, who moved into first place overall by finishing 10th.
Zirbel, 36, is from Clear Lake, Iowa, and rides for Optum Pro Cycling-Kelly Benefit Strategies. He has a 23-second lead over Mac Brennan of Hincapie Racing going into the fifth day of this tour, which is part of the North Star Bicycle Festival.
The final stage will be held in downtown Stillwater on Sunday. The 23-lap Stillwater criterium for the elite races will start at 1:30 p.m.
Two amateur races are scheduled for 10:45 and 11:45 a.m., respectively, and a kids fun race for 12:45 p.m.
Besides Brennan, 24, of East Jordan, Mich., five other riders are also within a minute of Zirbel, who won the first day time trial on Wednesday.
"There's always a little bit of pressure coming into this race," said Zirbel, a former U.S. time trial champion, after his win that day. "[Our team has] won here the last four years."
The others close behind Zirbel are Nicolae Tanovcitchii (28 seconds back), Morgan Schmitt (30), Hornbeck (33), Heath Blackgrove (37) and Kaler Marshall (41).
Aussie Ben Hill, who was the overall leader going into Saturday, dropped out of the top 10.
Park Rapids man wins 5K
Aaron Pike, a native of Park Rapids, Minn., won the U.S. championship in the men's 5,000 meters (T54 class) on Friday as the U.S. Paralympics track and field national championships opened at Hamline University.
Pike finished the race in 10 minutes, 50.50 seconds. Pike also was third in the 800 (1:39.24), while Paul Nitz of Minnetrista finished second in the 200 (T52 class) in 32.85. Mark Braun of Mounds View (T54 class) took third place in the 200 (28.06) and sixth in the 800 (1:45.79).
Other Minnesotans competing Friday included Josh Cinnamo of Apple Valley in the F42-44, 46 class javelin (fourth, 130 feet, 9 inches) and Eric Johnson of Montevideo in the T44 class 200 (14th, 26.94) and long jump (13th, 17-¾).
In other events Friday, Cassie Mitchell set an unofficial world record of 44.17 in the women's 200 (T51 class), and Angela Madsen set an American record in the women's javelin (F56 class) with a throw of 53-8. The meet continues through Sunday.