Results tagged “Francisco Mancebo” from spare cycles

Francisco Mancebo - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley
Francisco Mancebo - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Tour of California Stage 1 Photo Gallery

Usually when you go off the front in terrible weather and get caught by two riders who bridged on the finishing circuits, you're toast. But Francisco Mancebo was all kinds of tough today and outjumped those who tried to take his victory, single-handedly delivering Rock Racing perhaps its greatest victory (only Hamilton's championship can compare).

The rain was equally tough, doing its best to destroy my camera equipment. As I dry it out and hope that it still functions tomorrow, I'll continue to post photos, including from the women's criterium that Columbia's Emilia Fahlin took in the breakaway sprint.

Tour of California Stage 1 Photo Gallery

Stage 10: Grenoble-Courchevel

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Boom! I guess Armstrong couldn't bear to be without the yellow jersey for more than a day. Armstrong and Team Discovery put down the hammer on all of his contenders in a single stage. I thought that Armstrong was just going to try and contain today and save the big effort for the Pyrenees, but boy was I wrong. Discovery set an amazing pace through the valley towards Courchevel, announcing that Armstrong had loftier goals for the stage. They picked up the pace on the final climb and many major riders were dropped even before the slopes really started kicking in. With Popovych as his last paceman, Armstrong had Popo accelerate and launched his final attack. Ullrich and Vino were quickly dropped, along with Landis, Botero, or just about everyone else that might have a claim to the overall. Basso was the only contender able to follow, but even he was eventually dropped by the fast pace.

Armstrong whittled the group down to Rasmussen, Valverde, and Mancebo, and it was Valverde who was too good for Armstrong to drop. Armstrong attacked in the final 500m and Valverde jumped onto his wheel and then around to take the stage win. Given that Valverde is a rookie, it's easy to see that he may have a big future ahead.

Popo gets a lot of credit for today. Earlier in the stage he was still brushing off the dirt from a run in with an embankment, yet he was the one who put in the final kick that sent Armstrong's opponents off the back. Mancebo also gets a lot of credit for his teammate Valverde's victory -- two teammates in a breakaway of four is a big advantage, especially with Armstrong doing so much work to try and keep up the pace. Mancebo's pulls at the end helped put Valverde across the line first.

A sampliing of some of today's damage:

Basso: 1:02
Ullrich: 2:14
Kloden: 2:14
Landis: 2:14
Vinokourov: 5:18
Heras: ~10:00

Maps and stage log in the extended.