Mancebo wins Tour of the Battenkill

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.

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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 CyclingRow 2 - Cell 2
4Joey Rosskopf (USA) Team Type 1 - Sanofi0:00:25
5Michael Friedman (USA) Team Optum presented by Kelly Benefit StrategiesRow 4 - Cell 2
6Jeff Louder (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell CyclingRow 6 - Cell 2
8Ben Day (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
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 TeamRow 14 - Cell 2
16Luca Damiani (Ita) Kenda - 5-Hour Energy Cycling TeamRow 15 - Cell 2
17Evan Oliphant (GBr) Team Raleigh - GACRow 16 - Cell 2
18Kiel Reijnen (USA) Team Type 1 - SanofiRow 17 - Cell 2
19Adam Farabaugh (USA) XO Communications p/b Cisco SystemsRow 18 - Cell 2
20David Fleischhauer (USA) Hagens Berman Elite CyclingRow 19 - Cell 2
21Frank Pipp (USA) Bissell CyclingRow 20 - Cell 2
22Ian Crane (USA) Hagens Berman Elite CyclingRow 21 - Cell 2
23Keck Baker (USA) XO Communications p/b Cisco SystemsRow 22 - Cell 2
24Jeff Perrin (USA) Juwi Solar Elite CyclingRow 23 - Cell 2
25Aaron Fillion (Can) Ride with Rendall Cycling TeamRow 24 - Cell 2
26David Santos (USA) CashCall MortgageRow 25 - Cell 2
27Karl Menzies (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling TeamRow 26 - Cell 2
28Jacob Rytlewski (USA) Astellas Oncology p/b ABDRow 27 - Cell 2
29Lee Muse (USA) CashCall MortgageRow 28 - Cell 2
30Pierrick Naud (Can) Ekoi.com - GaspesienRow 29 - Cell 2
31Brian McCulloch (USA) CashCall MortgageRow 30 - Cell 2
32Alex Candelario (USA) Team Optum presented by Kelly Benefit StrategiesRow 31 - Cell 2
33Ian Holt (USA) Juwi Solar Elite CyclingRow 32 - Cell 2
34Ryan Knapp (USA) Team Panther p/b Competitive CyclistRow 33 - Cell 2
35Liam Holohan (GBr) Team Raleigh - GACRow 34 - Cell 2
36Scott Tietzel (USA) Juwi Solar Elite CyclingRow 35 - Cell 2
37Dan Chabanov (USA) Champion SystemRow 36 - Cell 2
38Mark Langlands (NZl) Garneau/Quebecor-Norton RoseRow 37 - Cell 2
39Simon Richardson (GBr) Team IG - Sigma SportRow 38 - Cell 2
40Chris Uberti (USA) Team Panther p/b Competitive CyclistRow 39 - Cell 2
41Stefano Barberi (USA) CashCall MortgageRow 40 - Cell 2
42Steve Fisher (USA) Hagens Berman Elite CyclingRow 41 - Cell 2
43Wouter Sybrandy (Ned) Team IG - Sigma SportRow 42 - Cell 2
44Cesar Grajales (Col) Competitive Cyclist Racing TeamRow 43 - Cell 2
45Brett Tivers (NZl) Garneau/Quebecor-Norton RoseRow 44 - Cell 2
46Steven Lampier (GBr) Team IG - Sigma SportRow 45 - Cell 2
47Daniel Lloyd (GBr) Team IG - Sigma SportRow 46 - Cell 2
48Andrew Bajadali (USA) Team Optum presented by Kelly Benefit StrategiesRow 47 - Cell 2
49Max Jenkins (USA) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team0:12:06
50Mike Olheiser (USA) Competitive Cyclist Racing TeamRow 49 - Cell 2
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 CyclingRow 54 - Cell 2
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 TeamRow 58 - Cell 2
DNFGeoffroy Dussault (Can) Garneau/Quebecor-Norton RoseRow 59 - Cell 2
DNFCharly Vives (Can) Garneau/Quebecor-Norton RoseRow 60 - Cell 2
DNFRémi Pelletier-Roy (Can) Garneau/Quebecor-Norton RoseRow 61 - Cell 2
DNFAdam Carr (USA) Ekoi.com - GaspesienRow 62 - Cell 2
DNFMathieu Roy (Can) Ekoi.com - GaspesienRow 63 - Cell 2
DNFAntoine Matteau (Can) Ekoi.com - GaspesienRow 64 - Cell 2
DNFCharles Bryer (Can) Ekoi.com - GaspesienRow 65 - Cell 2
DNFFrânçoisC habot (Can) Ekoi.com - GaspesienRow 66 - Cell 2
DNFIsaac Enderline (USA) BMC - Hincapie Sportswear Development TeamRow 67 - Cell 2
DNFAndrew Meyer (USA) BMC - Hincapie Sportswear Development TeamRow 68 - Cell 2
DNFJovan Zekavica (Srb) BMC - Hincapie Sportswear Development TeamRow 69 - Cell 2
DNFParker Kyzer (USA) BMC - Hincapie Sportswear Development TeamRow 70 - Cell 2
DNFJames Stemper (USA) Kenda - 5-Hour Energy Cycling TeamRow 71 - Cell 2
DNFMax Korus (USA) Kenda - 5-Hour Energy Cycling TeamRow 72 - Cell 2
DNFMarsh Cooper (Can) Team Optum presented by Kelly Benefit StrategiesRow 73 - Cell 2
DNFScott Zwizanski (USA) Team Optum presented by Kelly Benefit StrategiesRow 74 - Cell 2
DNFPeter Hawkins (GBr) Team IG - Sigma SportRow 75 - Cell 2
DNFJon Hamblen (USA) Team Mountain Khakis - SmartShopRow 76 - Cell 2
DNFJerome Townsend (USA) Team Mountain Khakis - SmartShopRow 77 - Cell 2
DNFAdam Myerson (USA) Team Mountain Khakis - SmartShopRow 78 - Cell 2
DNFChris Monteleone (USA) Team Mountain Khakis - SmartShopRow 79 - Cell 2
DNFRussell Hampton (GBr) Team Raleigh - GACRow 80 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel Holloway (USA) Team Raleigh - GACRow 81 - Cell 2
DNFSimon Holt (GBr) Team Raleigh - GACRow 82 - Cell 2
DNFJames Sparling (Can) Team Raleigh - GACRow 83 - Cell 2
DNFAlex Bowden (USA) Team Type 1 - SanofiRow 84 - Cell 2
DNFWilliam Dugan (USA) Team Type 1 - SanofiRow 85 - Cell 2
DNFCharles Eldridge (USA) Team Type 1 - SanofiRow 86 - Cell 2
DNFHilton Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling TeamRow 87 - Cell 2
DNFJay Thomson (RSA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling TeamRow 88 - Cell 2
DNFAdrian Hegyvary (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling TeamRow 89 - Cell 2
DNFJohn Minturn (USA) Bikereg.com/Cannondale Cycling TeamRow 90 - Cell 2
DNFSteve Weller (USA) Bikereg.com/Cannondale Cycling TeamRow 91 - Cell 2
DNFPeter Hurst (USA) Bikereg.com/Cannondale Cycling TeamRow 92 - Cell 2
DNFEvan Burkhart (USA) Bikereg.com/Cannondale Cycling TeamRow 93 - Cell 2
DNFZack Noonan (USA) Bikereg.com/Cannondale Cycling TeamRow 94 - Cell 2
DNFWes Kline (USA) Bikereg.com/Cannondale Cycling TeamRow 95 - Cell 2
DNFRyan Aitcheson (USA) Team Panther p/b Competitive CyclistRow 96 - Cell 2
DNFBen Damhoff (USA) Team Panther p/b Competitive CyclistRow 97 - Cell 2
DNFAndrew Seitz (USA) Team Panther p/b Competitive CyclistRow 98 - Cell 2
DNFRobert Stumpf (USA) Team Panther p/b Competitive CyclistRow 99 - Cell 2
DNFCasey Roth (Can) Ride with Rendall Cycling TeamRow 100 - Cell 2
DNFOlivier Delaney (Can) Ride with Rendall Cycling TeamRow 101 - Cell 2
DNFKiernan Orange (Can) Ride with Rendall Cycling TeamRow 102 - Cell 2
DNFMatteo Dal-Cin (Can) Ride with Rendall Cycling TeamRow 103 - Cell 2
DNFStephen Keeping (Can) Ride with Rendall Cycling TeamRow 104 - Cell 2
DNFWilliam Blackburn (Can) Team Medique p/b Silber InvestmentsRow 105 - Cell 2
DNFSebastien Lacroix (Can) Team Medique p/b Silber InvestmentsRow 106 - Cell 2
DNFScott Loong (Can) Team Medique p/b Silber InvestmentsRow 107 - Cell 2
DNFKianoush Missaghi (Can) Team Medique p/b Silber InvestmentsRow 108 - Cell 2
DNFJames Picolli (Can) Team Medique p/b Silber InvestmentsRow 109 - Cell 2
DNFRobert Ralph (Can) Team Medique p/b Silber InvestmentsRow 110 - Cell 2
DNFOsmond Bakker (Can) OCTTO presented by CervéloRow 111 - Cell 2
DNFKevin Black (Can) OCTTO presented by CervéloRow 112 - Cell 2
DNFDavid Byer (Can) OCTTO presented by CervéloRow 113 - Cell 2
DNFYuri Hrycaj (Can) OCTTO presented by CervéloRow 114 - Cell 2
DNFBrian Trafford (Can) OCTTO presented by CervéloRow 115 - Cell 2
DNFAnthony Hall (USA) Champion SystemRow 116 - Cell 2
DNFTimothy Rugg (USA) Champion SystemRow 117 - Cell 2
DNFChris Johnson (USA) Champion SystemRow 118 - Cell 2
DNFIgor Volshteyn (USA) Champion SystemRow 119 - Cell 2
DNFKennett Peterseon (USA) Hagens Berman Elite CyclingRow 120 - Cell 2
DNFGabe Verela (USA) Hagens Berman Elite CyclingRow 121 - Cell 2
DNFJesse Reams (USA) Hagens Berman Elite CyclingRow 122 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Margarite (USA) Stan's Notubes / AXA Equitable Cycling TeamRow 123 - Cell 2
DNFStephan Kincaid (USA) Stan's Notubes / AXA Equitable Cycling TeamRow 124 - Cell 2
DNFJoe Whitman (USA) Stan's Notubes / AXA Equitable Cycling TeamRow 125 - Cell 2
DNFJacob Mueller (USA) Stan's Notubes / AXA Equitable Cycling TeamRow 126 - Cell 2
DNFSteven Cummings (USA) Stan's Notubes / AXA Equitable Cycling TeamRow 127 - Cell 2
DNFBobby Lea (USA) Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFARow 128 - Cell 2
DNFBarry Miller (USA) Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFARow 129 - Cell 2
DNFMike Chauner (USA) Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFARow 130 - Cell 2
DNFNick Frey (USA) Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFARow 131 - Cell 2
DNFWilliam Hottenstein (USA) Mt Borah / Minerva Design Cycling TeamRow 132 - Cell 2
DNFJohn Hunter (USA) Mt Borah / Minerva Design Cycling TeamRow 133 - Cell 2
DNFAndrew McCullough (USA) Mt Borah / Minerva Design Cycling TeamRow 134 - Cell 2
DNFMatthew Spohn (USA) Mt Borah / Minerva Design Cycling TeamRow 135 - Cell 2
DNFAdam Switters (USA) XO Communications p/b Cisco SystemsRow 136 - Cell 2
DNFSean Barrie (USA) XO Communications p/b Cisco SystemsRow 137 - Cell 2
DNFJamie Riggs (Can) Jet Fuel Cycling TeamRow 138 - Cell 2
DNFAnton Varabei (Can) Jet Fuel Cycling TeamRow 139 - Cell 2
DNFJoe Guiliano (Can) Jet Fuel Cycling TeamRow 140 - Cell 2
DNFAndrew Randell (Can) Jet Fuel Cycling TeamRow 141 - Cell 2
DNFJesse Goodrich (USA) Juwi Solar Elite CyclingRow 142 - Cell 2
DNFJulian Kyer (USA) Juwi Solar Elite CyclingRow 143 - Cell 2
DNFZachary Bergh (USA) Astellas Oncology p/b ABDRow 144 - Cell 2

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