Bend, Ore. - Rock Racing's Oscar Sevilla threw down an attack that only Peter Stetina (Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin) could follow on the slopes leading to the Three Peaks Snow Park Wednesday.
The result was a stage win and the overall lead for the Spaniard at the 30th annual Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic. Rock Racing teammate Francisco Mancebo was third on the day and moved into second overall, 27 seconds behind. Chris Baldwin (OUCH presented by Maxxis) is third, 35 seconds back of Sevilla.
Rock Racing Team Director Laurenzo LaPage said after putting five riders in the 23-man breakaway that decided Stage 1 on Tuesday, it was no accident that Rock Racing was calling the shots again.
"Our plan this morning was to send Victor Hugo Pena or David Vitoria into the breakaway to put pressure on the leaders and that's exactly what we did," LaPage said. " It couldn't have been more perfect."
For much of Wednesday's 80-mile (128 km) race, it looked like Sevilla's Rock Racing teammate Vitoria was going to be the one climbing the victory platform and displacing yellow jersey wearer Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling). Vitoria and three others were part of a breakaway that gained as much as a two-and-half minutes lead before being reeled in on the final climb.
"Laurenzo laid out the plan and we did exactly what we had to do," Sevilla said. "David had a great race and worked very hard in the break. The whole team worked hard. I'm very happy with today's win and very happy for my team. We feel good going into tomorrow's time trial and are confident we can hold onto the lead."
Thursday's Skyliner's Time Trial is a 16-mile (25 km) out-and-back humpback course: climbing going out and descending coming back.
Sevilla's win was his second of the season, following a victory on the second stage of the Vuelta a Asturias in Spain on April 29. It also marks the first time he has led a race in the United States since he wore the yellow jersey at the San Dimas Stage Race in March of last year.
(Photo by Carson Blume, https://carsonblume.com)