Canyon Bicycles Pro Cycling Team announced today it has signed Francisco Mancebo for the 2017 season, with the former Spanish national champion set to compete with the US Continental team at next week’s Tour of the Gila.
“I’m excited to be returning to the States with Canyon Bicycles Pro Cycling," Mancebo said in a statement released with the team’s announcement. “It’s a great team and I’m very happy here.”
Mancebo previously competed in the US with various teams from 2009 through 2013 before moving to the Skydive Dubai Team, where he raced through last season. Mancebo previously raced for the Canyon Bicycles team as a guest rider when it was an amateur club team.
He first competed with the team at the 2010 Tour of Utah, where he attempted to defend his 2009 title there but finished second to Levi Leipheimer. Mancebo returned to the US in 2015 and competed as a guest rider with the Canyon team at the Cascade Classic, where he won a stage and finished 10th overall.
“We’re quite pleased to have Paco back,” said Mike Pratt, team owner and primary sponsor. “He’s been a good friend of the team and myself. We are hoping he will help us repeat our Tour of Utah success again this year.”
In his previous run through the US circuit, Mancebo won the overall USA Cycling National Racing Calendar [since renamed the Pro Road Tour] in 2011, 2012 and 2013 as well as numerous races on the North American circuit, including the Tour of the Gila, Redlands Bicycle Classic, the Joe Martin Stage Race, Cascade Cycling Classic, Tour of the Battenkill and the Tour of Utah. Mancebo raced in North America last year with Skydive Dubai at the Tour of Alberta, where he won the final stage.
Mancebo’s European career was interrupted in 2006 when he was implicated in Operación Puerto, the Spanish police investigation into the organized doping ring of Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. He was one of several riders pulled from the 2006 Tour de France before the race began. Mancebo disappeared from racing for the rest of the season and turned up in 2007 with Relax–GAM.
The 41-year-old earned the jersey for best young rider at the 2000 Tour de France and finished fourth in the 2005 edition of the French Grand Tour.