Ben Jacques-Maynes
DOB 09-22-78
Resides in Watsonville, CA
Likes: Gardening, MTB riding, Drum and Bass, climbing trees with my kids
Dislikes: people in a rush, worms in apples, mis-shifts
Family: Married to Dr. Goldi Jacques-Maynes, D.C. with 2 children, Chase Orion (3) and Chloe Lorien (1).
My Story
Hmmm, Who is Ben? I have some things that I use to identify myself: family man, twin, and competitor, to name a few. How about adjectives? Some I would use would be Friendly, quiet, focused, driven. But what made me this way? Here’s some of my story.
I grew up in Berkeley, California with my twin brother Andy as my constant companion. We were very active, but our outlets were adventurous rather then competitive: hiking, seeking, exploring, observing.  We knew every which way around the East Bay Regional Parks’ trails, and were constantly about them with local youth groups.  
Andy and I, in our activities, had always used our bikes as transportation, getting to and from the local park to play, etc.  When the time came to get new bikes, the mountain bike seemed like a chariot to adventure, enabling further explorations on the dirt roads of Tilden Park as well as the ability to get anywhere in town. We were hooked, and rode our bikes as much as we could.
Having a companion to grow through all of these changes together meant that my brother and I were pushing each other to expand our abilities at a rate that could not happen if we were alone.  Every hilltop became a race, very downhill corner a passing opportunity If the other bobbled.  This synergy has continued, as I still feel its effects when I train with my brother.
As teenagers, we caught the MTB bug, and were racing as much as we could.  From the time I was 14 on, I lived for the singular purpose of becoming a professional mountain biker.  The bicycle became more then a vehicle or piece of athletic equipment, but a path to greater things (as well as a tool, for I worked as a messenger and mechanic to get my money). Evolution, however, continued to work its magic on my adolescent thoughts, as a series of crashes, sponsor issues, and disenfranchisements made me reconsider my dreams. By the time a set off to college I was no longer enjoying competition and what it had become to me.  
Luckily, the story did not end there.  I was enrolled at UC Santa Cruz, home of some of the (still) most bombastic MTB trails in existence, as well as a healthy cyclocross scene.  I was enjoying riding again soon enough, and the ‘cross reminded me of what I loved about mountain biking to begin with: low key racing as an excuse to hang out with your friends.  A few years of that and I was ready to give ‘cross a real try, and in 1999 I started racing at the national level again this time in the Cyclocross Super Cup and with far better results. I joined the National Team as a wide-eyed Espoir in Europe for the 2000 World Cyclocross Championships, and my brief experience there revitalized my dream and ultimately, turned it into reality.
2000 was my turning point, as I had seen how hard I could work, how hard I should work in order to see true success.  By the end of 2000 I was a US National Champion, had gotten my cat. 1 upgrade on the road (from not owning a road bike that spring!), and was once again prepared to make whatever sacrifices were necessary to get a pro contract.  I had a good season on the road in 2001 and that fall signed my first pro contract with Sierra Nevada.
Now, I need to back up and say that in 1998 I had dropped out of college in order to pursue this dream.  It was very important to me to finish what I had started, and so I re-enrolled at UCSC in 2002.  While there a few friends and I rejuvenated the collegiate cycling program, turning it from a group of 8 of us into a self-sustaining club with over 80 members.  Along the way I won 3 national titles. I recommend collegiate cycling as a great avenue into cycling and also a worthy cause to support if given the opportunity.
Over the last 7 years I have learned invaluable lessons from teammates and competitors alike, little tidbits that have helped inform my racing and have helped me grow into the cyclist I am today.  Likewise, I have received endless motivation from the fans who cheer me on from the sidelines or just offer a good word out on a ride. I feel very fortunate to be able to do something I love and I know I would not be where I am today without the support of my family, friends, fans and team. To everyone I’ve met along the way and to those of you out there I have yet to meet, thank you for your continuing support. I hope to make you proud in my efforts.