The Rock Racing squad dominated the first mountain top finish at the BMC Cascade Cycling Classic. Its climbing prowess vaulted Oscar Sevilla and Francisco Mancebo into the top two places on general classification. Sevilla is eyeing the overall victory on Sunday in Bend, Oregon - salivating over the mountainous stages to come.
The Spaniard displayed his climbing pedigree when he soloed to the stage two victory atop Three Creeks Snow Park, a 16-kilometre ascent. Battling Peter Stetina (Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin) until the final kilometre, Sevilla kicked over the closing 1000 metres to finish ahead of Stetina and teammate Francisco Mancebo, who nipped Chris Baldwin (OUCH p/b Maxxis) at the line for third.
Sevilla recently placed fourth overall at the Vuelta a Madrid, also capturing the polka dot jersey in the three-day Spanish race. He and several teammates, including Mancebo, travelled more than 20 hours overseas to make it to the start of the Cascade Cycling Classic that began on Tuesday.
"After the racing in Madrid and a lot of travel we are a little tired," said Sevilla. "But today, on a climb like this, I was fine. We were always attentive. The whole day was very fast and the last climb was not too steep. I always kept my rhythm and saved a little bit extra for the last kilometre."
Sevilla moved into the overall lead, 27 seconds ahead of his teammate Mancebo and 35 seconds ahead of Baldwin heading into the stage three time trial. "I think all the teams are very strong right now but we have riders who can continue to win stages," said Sevilla who also moved into the KOM leader's jersey. "I have been near the top of the results for all of the time trials this year and I think I can have a good time trial tomorrow, too."
Rock Racing's eight-man line up includes Sevilla and Mancebo along with Victor Hugo Pena, Freddy Rodriguez, Nick Sanderson, Glen Chadwick, David Vitoria and Ivan Dominguez.