Mancebo wins Tour of the Battenkill

Anthony, Vennell round out podium behind Spaniard

Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team) took a narrow solo victory at the Tour of the Battenkill, a demanding 200km parcours on both asphalt and dirt roads in rural upstate New York.

The 36-year-old Spaniard attacked his two breakaway companions approximately 600 meters from the finish line on the streets of Cambridge, New York. Jesse Anthony (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) outsprinted Jeremy Vennell (Bissell Pro Cycling) for second place, two seconds behind the Spaniard.

"I attacked because my legs were dead and no good for a sprint," said Mancebo. "I was with fast riders, more so than me, so I needed to attack."

Vennell had been on Mancebo's wheel in the endgame of the UCI 1.2-rated event, the first UCI-sanctioned race on US soil this season, but a moment's hesitation and a look back at Anthony after Mancebo jumped just prior to the final right hand turn was all the gap the canny Spaniard needed.

"I was looking for Jeremy to hold the wheel and he was looking at me to close the gap, so we played a little too much looking at each other," said Anthony. "I didn't want to lead-out the sprint..."

"And neither did I," Vennell interjected with a laugh. "You've got to play the game and Mancebo won."

For Anthony it was the second straight runner-up finish at the Tour of the Battenkill. He had finished 11 seconds behind Brett Tivers in 2011 after the New Zealander bridged to and attacked a solo Anthony in the closing kilometres.

"I raced to win, I was in the position and I didn't get it," said Anthony. "It's tough to swallow.

"The whole team did awesome today," continued Anthony. "At least I was there, looking on the bright side. The podium's always good and this is a really cool race. It's hard to win races, especially a race like this."

The three-man break from which the race was decided emerged from ten riders that arrived together at the base of the 16th and final dirt sector, the stair-step climb of Stage Road, with just 10km remaining. Caked in grit and grime from a day of dusty roads and, later, intermittent showers, the elite selection included Mancebo, Anthony, Vennell, Joey Rosskopf (Team Type 1-Sanofi), Mike Friedman (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), Jeff Louder and Ben Day (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling), Bruno Langois (Garneau/Quebecor Cycling Team) and John Murphy (Kenda/5-Hour Energy p/b Geargrinder). The 10-strong group immediately detonated once the dirt road kicked upwards as Mancebo, the former European Grand Tour stalwart, launched a strong attack to which only Anthony and Vennell could respond.

Joey Rosskopf (Team Type 1-Sanofi) claimed the sprint for fourth place from a five-man group which crossed the finish line 25 seconds after Mancebo.

"I did all I could to try and stay with them (Mancebo, Anthony and Vennell), but that didn't happen," Rosskopf told Cyclingnews. "Over the top of the climb five of us re-grouped and came to the line together. After that hill I didn't think anybody was going to catch them so I just waited for the sprint."

A balmy, dusty day of racing

The Tour of the Battenkill's marquee professional invitational is comprised of two laps of a 100km circuit starting and finishing in Cambridge, New York in front of the venerable Cambridge Hotel on Main Street. In addition to being a UCI 1.2-rated event, the race is also the second round of USA Cycling's National Racing Calendar (NRC), with series leader Phil Gaimon in attendance along with a strong roster of Kenda/5-Hour Energy p/b Geargrinder teammates.

Today's Tour of the Battenkill was its eighth edition, but only the second time it featured a UCI-ranked race as the headline event in conjunction with its wildly popular amateur races, which were held on Saturday. The previous UCI rendition, run in 2010 and also ranked 1.2, was contested under rainy, bitter cold conditions and won by Caleb Fairly.

Upstate New York weather is nothing if not unpredictable and for 2012 the 153-rider peloton rolled off the start line at high noon on Sunday amidst balmy temperatures in the 70s Fahrenheit and soon faced choking dust on the dirt sectors. Light showers early on the second lap helped to quell the seemingly impenetrable dust clouds kicked up by the peloton and convoy on the dirt sectors, but visibility would still be dodgy at times.

The day's decisive move occurred early in the second 100km lap as a 15-man escape consolidated in the lead just as it entered the second sector of dirt.

An initial 10-man group moved away from a severely diminished peloton as the riders headed northeast out of Cambridge to Eagleville and its covered bridge over the Battenkill River, the gateway to each lap's initial foray onto dirt. Included in this attack were Bruno Langois (Garneau/Quebecor Cycling Team), Jeremy Vennell (Bissell Pro Cycling), Chad Beyer (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team), John Murphy (Kenda/5-Hour Energy p/b Geargrinder), Marsh Cooper and Mike Friedman (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), Joey Rosskopf (Team Type 1-Sanofi), Ben Day (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling), Tom Last (Team IG-Sigma Sport) and Devan Dunn (CashCall Mortgage).

The escape held a 35-second lead after returning to asphalt and just as their lead was beginning to increase further Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team) launched an attack from the peloton on one of the parcours' numerous punchy climbs. The Spaniard was immediately marked by Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling), Jesse Anthony (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), NRC leader Phil Gaimon (Kenda/5-Hour Energy p/b Geargrinder) and Jeff Louder (UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling), all on teams already represented in the 10 riders up the road.

These two groups at the head of affairs would merge into a single 15-man entity entering the closing lap's second dirt sector on Juniper Swamp Road, featuring a steeply pitched climb with an 18 percent gradient. By the time the break exited that section of dirt the gap to the peloton stood at 1:50. Those remaining in the field showed no urge, or ability, to chase and their deficit would balloon to nearly 12 minutes by the finish.

Meanwhile, at the pointy end of the race Chad Beyer went on the attack on the Ferguson Road dirt sector, the fourth on the lap, and was joined by Bruno Langois. As the duo rolled along the Battenkill River towards the town of Greenwich their lead increased to 50 seconds. The bulk of the pace-making in the chase group fell upon Optum Pro Cycling team, who had the most numbers in the group, and Marsh Cooper buried himself for teammates Anthony and Friedman. Phil Gaimon also worked for the benefit of teammate John Murphy.

As the two leaders and 13-man chase group hit the next, and roughest, dirt sector on Mountain Road attrition and mechanicals began to take their toll in the chase group. Four riders came unglued and lost contact including Phil Gaimon, Marsh Cooper, Tom Last and Devan Dunn.

"There was a lot of contact in the field and early on I think somebody bent my rear derailleur hanger so all day it was jumping around," Gaimon told Cyclingnews. "I had to stop a couple of times to get that taken care of, so I had some issues out there. Once we got established and John was feeling good in the break and I'd been through hell and back it was John's turn to go for it. I helped chase, then absolutely blew apart."

Langois and Beyer's stint off the front would ultimately come to an end with 30km remaining and the pair would find themselves off the back of a now 9-man lead group 10km later. After falling behind by 20 seconds, the irrepressible Langois left Beyer, bridged back to the front and then launched a solo attack. The Canadian was kept on a tight leash, though, and was soon brought back into the fold to form the 10-man lead group which stayed intact until the final climb of the day.

Full Results
1Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team4:55:54 
2Jesse Anthony (USA) Team Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies0:00:02 
3Jeremy Vennell (NZl) Bissell Cycling  
4Joey Rosskopf (USA) Team Type 1 - Sanofi0:00:25 
5Michael Friedman (USA) Team Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies  
6Jeff Louder (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team  
7Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Cycling  
8Ben Day (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team  
9Bruno Langlois (Can) Garneau/Quebecor-Norton Rose0:01:59 
10John Murphy (USA) Kenda - 5-Hour Energy Cycling Team0:02:46 
11Chad Beyer (USA) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team0:06:03 
12Tom Last (GBr) Team IG - Sigma Sport0:06:20 
13Devan Dunn (RSA) CashCall Mortgage0:07:31 
14Cole House (USA) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team0:11:43 
15Shawn Milne (USA) Kenda - 5-Hour Energy Cycling Team  
16Luca Damiani (Ita) Kenda - 5-Hour Energy Cycling Team  
17Evan Oliphant (GBr) Team Raleigh - GAC  
18Kiel Reijnen (USA) Team Type 1 - Sanofi  
19Adam Farabaugh (USA) XO Communications p/b Cisco Systems  
20David Fleischhauer (USA) Hagens Berman Elite Cycling  
21Frank Pipp (USA) Bissell Cycling  
22Ian Crane (USA) Hagens Berman Elite Cycling  
23Keck Baker (USA) XO Communications p/b Cisco Systems  
24Jeff Perrin (USA) Juwi Solar Elite Cycling  
25Aaron Fillion (Can) Ride with Rendall Cycling Team  
26David Santos (USA) CashCall Mortgage  
27Karl Menzies (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team  
28Jacob Rytlewski (USA) Astellas Oncology p/b ABD  
29Lee Muse (USA) CashCall Mortgage  
30Pierrick Naud (Can) Ekoi.com - Gaspesien  
31Brian McCulloch (USA) CashCall Mortgage  
32Alex Candelario (USA) Team Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies  
33Ian Holt (USA) Juwi Solar Elite Cycling  
34Ryan Knapp (USA) Team Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist  
35Liam Holohan (GBr) Team Raleigh - GAC  
36Scott Tietzel (USA) Juwi Solar Elite Cycling  
37Dan Chabanov (USA) Champion System  
38Mark Langlands (NZl) Garneau/Quebecor-Norton Rose  
39Simon Richardson (GBr) Team IG - Sigma Sport  
40Chris Uberti (USA) Team Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist  
41Stefano Barberi (USA) CashCall Mortgage  
42Steve Fisher (USA) Hagens Berman Elite Cycling  
43Wouter Sybrandy (Ned) Team IG - Sigma Sport  
44Cesar Grajales (Col) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team  
45Brett Tivers (NZl) Garneau/Quebecor-Norton Rose  
46Steven Lampier (GBr) Team IG - Sigma Sport  
47Daniel Lloyd (GBr) Team IG - Sigma Sport  
48Andrew Bajadali (USA) Team Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies  
49Max Jenkins (USA) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team0:12:06 
50Mike Olheiser (USA) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team  
51Edison Blair Turner (USA) BMC - Hincapie Sportswear Development Team0:12:10 
52Chris Gruber (Can) Champion System0:12:20 
53Travis Livermon (USA) Team Mountain Khakis - SmartShop0:12:32 
54Peter Morse (Can) OCTTO presented by Cervélo0:13:29 
55Greg Krause (USA) Juwi Solar Elite Cycling  
56Wyatt Stoup (USA) Mt Borah / Minerva Design Cycling Team0:14:37 
57Phillip-Alder Martz (USA) BMC - Hincapie Sportswear Development Team0:14:56 
58Chris Barton (USA) Bissell Cycling0:15:06 
59Phil Gaimon (USA) Kenda - 5-Hour Energy Cycling Team  
DNFGeoffroy Dussault (Can) Garneau/Quebecor-Norton Rose  
DNFCharly Vives (Can) Garneau/Quebecor-Norton Rose  
DNFRémi Pelletier-Roy (Can) Garneau/Quebecor-Norton Rose  
DNFAdam Carr (USA) Ekoi.com - Gaspesien  
DNFMathieu Roy (Can) Ekoi.com - Gaspesien  
DNFAntoine Matteau (Can) Ekoi.com - Gaspesien  
DNFCharles Bryer (Can) Ekoi.com - Gaspesien  
DNFFrânçoisC habot (Can) Ekoi.com - Gaspesien  
DNFIsaac Enderline (USA) BMC - Hincapie Sportswear Development Team  
DNFAndrew Meyer (USA) BMC - Hincapie Sportswear Development Team  
DNFJovan Zekavica (Srb) BMC - Hincapie Sportswear Development Team  
DNFParker Kyzer (USA) BMC - Hincapie Sportswear Development Team  
DNFJames Stemper (USA) Kenda - 5-Hour Energy Cycling Team  
DNFMax Korus (USA) Kenda - 5-Hour Energy Cycling Team  
DNFMarsh Cooper (Can) Team Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies  
DNFScott Zwizanski (USA) Team Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies  
DNFPeter Hawkins (GBr) Team IG - Sigma Sport  
DNFJon Hamblen (USA) Team Mountain Khakis - SmartShop  
DNFJerome Townsend (USA) Team Mountain Khakis - SmartShop  
DNFAdam Myerson (USA) Team Mountain Khakis - SmartShop  
DNFChris Monteleone (USA) Team Mountain Khakis - SmartShop  
DNFRussell Hampton (GBr) Team Raleigh - GAC  
DNFDaniel Holloway (USA) Team Raleigh - GAC  
DNFSimon Holt (GBr) Team Raleigh - GAC  
DNFJames Sparling (Can) Team Raleigh - GAC  
DNFAlex Bowden (USA) Team Type 1 - Sanofi  
DNFWilliam Dugan (USA) Team Type 1 - Sanofi  
DNFCharles Eldridge (USA) Team Type 1 - Sanofi  
DNFHilton Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team  
DNFJay Thomson (RSA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team  
DNFAdrian Hegyvary (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team  
DNFJohn Minturn (USA) Bikereg.com/Cannondale Cycling Team  
DNFSteve Weller (USA) Bikereg.com/Cannondale Cycling Team  
DNFPeter Hurst (USA) Bikereg.com/Cannondale Cycling Team  
DNFEvan Burkhart (USA) Bikereg.com/Cannondale Cycling Team  
DNFZack Noonan (USA) Bikereg.com/Cannondale Cycling Team  
DNFWes Kline (USA) Bikereg.com/Cannondale Cycling Team  
DNFRyan Aitcheson (USA) Team Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist  
DNFBen Damhoff (USA) Team Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist  
DNFAndrew Seitz (USA) Team Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist  
DNFRobert Stumpf (USA) Team Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist  
DNFCasey Roth (Can) Ride with Rendall Cycling Team  
DNFOlivier Delaney (Can) Ride with Rendall Cycling Team  
DNFKiernan Orange (Can) Ride with Rendall Cycling Team  
DNFMatteo Dal-Cin (Can) Ride with Rendall Cycling Team  
DNFStephen Keeping (Can) Ride with Rendall Cycling Team  
DNFWilliam Blackburn (Can) Team Medique p/b Silber Investments  
DNFSebastien Lacroix (Can) Team Medique p/b Silber Investments  
DNFScott Loong (Can) Team Medique p/b Silber Investments  
DNFKianoush Missaghi (Can) Team Medique p/b Silber Investments  
DNFJames Picolli (Can) Team Medique p/b Silber Investments  
DNFRobert Ralph (Can) Team Medique p/b Silber Investments  
DNFOsmond Bakker (Can) OCTTO presented by Cervélo  
DNFKevin Black (Can) OCTTO presented by Cervélo  
DNFDavid Byer (Can) OCTTO presented by Cervélo  
DNFYuri Hrycaj (Can) OCTTO presented by Cervélo  
DNFBrian Trafford (Can) OCTTO presented by Cervélo  
DNFAnthony Hall (USA) Champion System  
DNFTimothy Rugg (USA) Champion System  
DNFChris Johnson (USA) Champion System  
DNFIgor Volshteyn (USA) Champion System  
DNFKennett Peterseon (USA) Hagens Berman Elite Cycling  
DNFGabe Verela (USA) Hagens Berman Elite Cycling  
DNFJesse Reams (USA) Hagens Berman Elite Cycling  
DNFMichael Margarite (USA) Stan's Notubes / AXA Equitable Cycling Team  
DNFStephan Kincaid (USA) Stan's Notubes / AXA Equitable Cycling Team  
DNFJoe Whitman (USA) Stan's Notubes / AXA Equitable Cycling Team  
DNFJacob Mueller (USA) Stan's Notubes / AXA Equitable Cycling Team  
DNFSteven Cummings (USA) Stan's Notubes / AXA Equitable Cycling Team  
DNFBobby Lea (USA) Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA  
DNFBarry Miller (USA) Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA  
DNFMike Chauner (USA) Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA  
DNFNick Frey (USA) Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA  
DNFWilliam Hottenstein (USA) Mt Borah / Minerva Design Cycling Team  
DNFJohn Hunter (USA) Mt Borah / Minerva Design Cycling Team  
DNFAndrew McCullough (USA) Mt Borah / Minerva Design Cycling Team  
DNFMatthew Spohn (USA) Mt Borah / Minerva Design Cycling Team  
DNFAdam Switters (USA) XO Communications p/b Cisco Systems  
DNFSean Barrie (USA) XO Communications p/b Cisco Systems  
DNFJamie Riggs (Can) Jet Fuel Cycling Team  
DNFAnton Varabei (Can) Jet Fuel Cycling Team  
DNFJoe Guiliano (Can) Jet Fuel Cycling Team  
DNFAndrew Randell (Can) Jet Fuel Cycling Team  
DNFJesse Goodrich (USA) Juwi Solar Elite Cycling  
DNFJulian Kyer (USA) Juwi Solar Elite Cycling  
DNFZachary Bergh (USA) Astellas Oncology p/b ABD  
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