By: Cycling News
Francisco Mancebo (5-hour Energy/Kenda) took the final stage win of
the 2013 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah Sunday in Park City after spending
most of the day in a breakaway of 15 riders that got away 16km into the
race. Mancebo beat Jamis-Hagens Berman's Janier Acevedo in a two-up
sprint, followed closely by Garmin-Sharp's Tom Danielson, who dropped
race leader Chris Horner (Radioshack-Leopard) on the final climb up
Empire Pass to take the overall win.
Mancebo dedicated his stage win to teammate, Nate English, who was
seriously injured in a late-race crash during stage 2. English, who was
unconscious for several minutes after the crash, had to be airlifted to a
Salt Lake City hospital and suffered multiple broke bones and
lacerations. His team said Sunday that he is expected to make a full
"This race is for my teammate who had a bad crash the second day," Mancebo said. "And I win it for him."
Danielson also praised his team's work on the final day and said he
takes a lot of pride in the win after several years of struggling for
"I was very proud of myself, because it takes a lot of mental
strength to go up against a competitor like Chris [Horner]," he said.
"It would have been really easy for me to just sit behind and try to
hang on, but I owed it to myself to try and be the person that I want to
be and take the bulls by the horn and do it. So I'm really proud, and I
dedicate that one to my teammates, who have basically stuck with me the
last years and tried to help me do that many times when I didn't do it.
So I'm very happy to finally do it."
Breakaway rides to Empire Pass before race explodes
The 125km loop that started and finished in the 2002 Winter Olympic
venue offered up 2,326 meters of climbing over two major ascents before a
harrowing 8.5km freefall to the finish. The field shuffled and
reshuffled several times before the breakaway of 15 riders got away and
quickly started building its gap.
Among the escapees were Mancebo; Jakub Novak of BMC; Baden Cooke and
Michael Matthews of Orica-GreenEdge; Ted King of Cannondale; Kiel
Reijnen of UnitedHealthcare; Martin Wesemann of MTN-Qhubeka; Jason
McCartney of Bissell; Tyler Wren and Luis Amaran of Jamis; Tanner Putt
and Jasper Stuyven of Bontrager; Joey Rosskopf and Joe Lewis of Hincapie
Sportswear; and Alexander Hagman of Jelly Belly.
Mancebo briefly left the breakaway behind before the first KOM in the
gated community of Wolf Creek Ranch about 60km into the race, but his
move was short lived as the rest of the group soon brought him back and
reloaded for the day's major obstacle, the out-of-category climb up
Empire Pass that started just after the day's second intermediate sprint
in the town of Midway.
The group held an advantage of nearly three minutes at the bottom of
the pass when Matthews, who took both of the day's intermediate dashes
and earned the final sprint jersey for his troubles, attacked and
brought Novak, Cooke, Ted King, Tyler Wren, Stuyven and Mancebo with
him. The rest of the break began to shatter, as did the chasing peloton
under pressure from Garmin and Danielson.
Horner said the difference between his win in front of Danielson on
stage 5 and Danielson's success on stage 6 came down to the tactics at
the bottom of the final ascent.
"[Danielson] was stronger than me yesterday, too," Horner said. "He
just had to do more work than me. He had to do the whole bottom. Here
his team did the bottom and then he was able to get the gap. Garmin did
the job at the bottom to really put everyone in the red and allow
Danielson to get away."
Danielson's efforts in the middle of the climb whittled his own group
down to himself, his teammate, Peter Stetina, Horner and Horner's
teammate, Matthew Busche. While at the front of the race, Matthews
surged again out of the six rider lead group, and only Mancebo could
stick with him.
Matthews momentarily dropped Mancebo on the steep slopes of Empire
while Danielson surged away from his group and was momentarily shadowed
by Busche, who soon dropped back to help Horner. Mancebo, meanwhile, had
caught and passed Matthews, while Danielson continued to sweep up the
remnants of the breakaway and press his advantage over Horner.
When Danielson eventually caught Mancebo just before the summit of
the climb, he wasted little time dropping the Spanish rider. In the
chase down the mountain, United Healthcare's Lucas Euser, who started
the day third overall, had joined the Horner group.
When Danielson summited the pass with 8.4km remaining to the finish,
Horner's group was still 1km from the top, and the Garmin rider started
the descent alone. Mancebo tenaciously descended his way back to the
leader, and it looked as though the two would ride into the finish
"When Danielson passed me, I knew I was very close to the top,"
Mancebo said. "And the climb was not that steep at the time. And so I
tried to keep my own pace and tried to fight so Danielson wouldn't get
too far away. I knew I had a chance to catch him on the descent. I knew
Danielson was not going to take chances because he was going for the GC.
I was willing to take risks if it was needed."
But before the lead duo hit the bottom, Acevedo caught them and shot
past like a rocket. The duo quickly got back on terms with the Colombian
climber, but Danielson was more than happy to let the two others fight
it out for the stage win on the remaining downhill run into Park City.
"I was being very conservative on the descent," Danielson said. "I
knew I needed to go just fast enough that if I had flat tire or a
mechanical I could get a bike change or something and be alright, but I
needed to go slow enough that I didn't land in a ditch. I wanted to see
all the rocks on the road. I just took it real conservative.
"I wasn't surprised to see Paco [Mancebo] there," Danielson
continued. "But I was surprised to see [Acevedo]. He's a great rider and
he obviously did a fantastic climb to get third overall. I definitely
was not going to get in their way for contesting the stage. They can
sprint into that downhill corner all day long. That's fine with me."
The Spaniard and the Colombian approached the line neck and neck, with an obviously ecstatic Mancebo posting up for the win.
"It was a surprise to see Acevedo in the last 3km," Mancebo said. "He
passed us very fast and he almost touched my wheel, but I liked it that
Acevedo did what all the Colombians do and did not win the sprint."
Danielson crossed the line four seconds later to take his first major
stage race win on American soil by 1:29 over Horner and 1:37 over
Despite having lost his overall race lead in the last 15km of the
race, Horner said he was happy with the week's effort and the final
"Today [Garmin] played it the right way, actually, just to drill it
at the bottom so they could get Danielson loose," Horner said. "I knew
he was good yesterday. So I'm not surprised and I'm not disappointed. I
got a jersey, a stage and I'm on the podium. It's the first race back in
five months. Life's good."
Danielson said the win in Utah was the result of a conscious effort
to change his attitude after some soul searching following days of
getting his "head kicked in" during a difficult Tour de France.
"I don't like to just be a guy in the peloton," he said. "So I
decided this would be a good race for me to try [to win the race]. And
then we had Lachlan [Morton] doing really well, so I gave a hand to him
yesterday, but when I had my opportunity I took it."
Source and for Full Results: Cycling News