Rock Racing arrived at the Vuelta a Chihuahua with defending champion Francisco Mancebo amongst its ranks and keen to perform in the race he has been dominant in over the past two season. Countryman and teammate Oscar Sevilla looks to be the man this year however, after an intelligent performance in stage three to take the overall lead.
Sevilla made the right moves during the 152km stage and found himself in front of a peloton that trailed by 7:30. He had Tecos Trek rider Gregorio Ladino for company in the closing kilometres and now finds himself fighting the Colombian for the title.
Glen Chadwick and Francisco Mancebo kept the peloton guessing by putting themselves in the right place, thus allowing Sevilla to strike and make his attack stick. The significance of this didn't evade the Spaniard.
"It was a great day," said Sevilla at the finish in Guachochi. "I rode very well and I had a great team that has helped me. Each and every one of my colleagues did an exceptional job and if my lead is because of their work," he explained.
"We were in attacks and breaks from the beginning," continued Sevilla. "Rock Racing has experienced riders who don't mind working for others; we do everything for each other, because in addition [to being teammates] we are great friends and colleagues and that great atmosphere has helped us enjoy a great season."
Despite his obvious joy at taking the overall lead, Sevilla was remaining cautious about declaring the race won. He knows how good the competition is, and although the list of contenders has been whittled down thanks to the day's selection, Ladino, Rui Costa and Cioni remain a major threat.
With tomorrow's stage the longest of the race at 188km, Rock Racing will have its work cut out. "Nothing is won yet," said Sevilla. "It will be easier [to defend the lead] because there are fewer riders to control but we must be attentive to Gregorio Ladino, Rui Costa and Cioni. Ladino is a great rider and very dangerous and must be controlled," he explained.
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