Francisco "Paco" Mancebo will lead the 5-hour Energy presented by Kenda Racing Team at the 2013 Tour of California, starting on Sunday, May 12. Fresh off winning the final stage of the Gila Monster Road Race and finishing third overall, Mancebo is a two-time NRC champion.
"Both the team and I are very motivated to race against the big ProTour teams and leave it all on the road," said Mancebo. "My goal is top 10 in the general classification, especially after seeing how tough the stages and time trial will be. I really like the second stage with finish in Palm Springs due to the distance and difficulty, also stage 7 with finish on Mt Diablo, but you need to be strong from the first day. I believe the 5-hour Energy team is capable of winning a stage and doing well in the general classification."
Team Directeur Sportif Frankie Andreu said, "The Tour of California is one of the highlights for the team. The new route covers some exciting new ground and includes some very difficult obstacles that will suit our team. Many of our riders are familiar with Palomar Mountain, the Tramway in Palm Springs, and Mount Diablo, and we can utilize our team's strengths on these epic California climbs. This will be a great opportunity to race against the world's best cyclists, showcase our sponsors, and interact with our fans. The event continues to grow each year and we are excited to take part in the race in 2013."
The 5-hour Energy squad will include seven American riders: Max Jenkins, Nate English, Jim Stemper, and David Williams.
The Tour of California is a home race for the team's two California riders, English and Jenkins. English grew up in Berkeley, California, and is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley.
"The Tour of California will be a special race to me, not just from a sporting point of view, but also personally," said English. "I started racing in the San Francisco Bay Area and know a lot of the local riders who will show their support by lining the roads and rooting for me and my team. I would really love to give my best effort with my best fitness and see how I stack up. At Cali, it'll be special."
Jenkins is originally from Novosibirsk, Russia and became a US citizen in 2007. He currently resides in Citrus Heights, California and is also a graduate of the UC Berkeley.
"Racing the Tour of California is a very exciting opportunity for me, especially since stage 7 finishes on top of Mt. Diablo, which is where I first started cycling," said Jenkins. "I know that road like the back of my hand and it will be exhilarating racing up there. I expect to have a ton of friends and family cheering me up that climb, so it's going to be an experience I'll treasure forever. This is going to be my second time doing the race and so I have some idea of what to expect. I know it is going to be a challenging race, but our 5-hour Energy pb Kenda is the strongest team in the US and we will be able to hold our own."
The squad is currently the number-one ranked team in the NRC standings.
5-hour Energy presented by Kenda Racing Team for Tour of California: Nate English, Max Jenkins, Francisco "Paco" Mancebo, Shawn Milne, Taylor Shelden, James Stemper, Bobby Sweeting,