Rock Racing’s Francisco Mancebo and Oscar Sevilla Solo to Victory in a 1-2 Finish at Tour of Utah
If this was the start of the toughest stage race in the United States, Rock Racing’s Francisco Mancebo and Oscar Sevilla didn’t seem to notice.
Breaking away from a decimated peloton on the final climb of Stage 1 at the 2009 Tour of Utah, Mancebo and Sevilla rode the final kilometers into Salt Lake City alone and crossed the line together 25 seconds ahead of the pack. Mancebo took the win and the yellow jersey from Team BMC’s Brent Bookwalter.
It was a surprise finish to a race that saw the two-man break of Team Ouch’s Bradley White and Team Trek-Livestrong’s Sam Bewley firmly ahead by 3:30 at the base of the final KOM.
Feeling strong on the way up, Sevilla attacked 4 km from the top and Mancebo followed. Catching White on the descent, the duo gained momentum and never looked back. A fragmented chase group tried to close the gap but could shave no more than five seconds off the pair’s 30-second lead.
“From the beginning, our plan today was to just to relax and let BMC work hard,” said Rock Racing Assistant Team Director, Chepe Garcia. “On the final climb, Oscar and Paco were feeling great and decided to go for it. We said why not? Why wait for tomorrow if you can do it today?”
Coming off big results at last month’s Bend Memorial Cascade Classic where Sevilla and Mancebo finished 1-2 in the overall, followed by a team mini-camp in Reno, Nevada Mancebo says the team is even stronger than it was in Bend. “We had a great camp after Cascade which has made a big difference. Our mentality coming into Utah was to be better than we’ve ever been and we feel like we are.”
His first time racing at the Tour of Utah, Mancebo likes what he sees “This is an incredible course and very well-suited to both Oscar and I. It’s going to be hard day tomorrow, but we’re ready.”
Tomorrow’s Stage 2, a 124 km stretch from Thanksgiving Point to Mount Nebo serves up a 20-mile grind to the finish line that rises 4,000 vertical feet to the highest point of the Wasatch Mountains.