Sevilla and his Rock Racing teammates lost a hard-fought battle during the final stage in a race that
was the closest finish in the nine-year history of the event.
Canadian Cameron Evans (Symmetrics) emerged from a two-man breakaway during the 90-minute Cannondale
Incycle Old Town Classic Criterium to earn enough bonus time in mid-race sprints and at the finish line to climb from 11th
place to first overall.
“It was a little bit of a miscalculation on our part,” Rock Racing Team Owner Michael Ball
said. “We will re-adjust things next week at the Redlands Classic and come out on the top like we intended to today.”
Rock Racing impressively defended Sevilla’s yellow jersey during the San Dimas Hospital Road Race
Saturday and rode hard on the front during much of Sunday’s race around the six-corner course. But in the end, it came
down to a single second separating Sevilla and Evans after nearly five hours of racing over three days.
“I probably should have taken a little more responsibility toward the end,” an obviously
disappointed Sevilla said. “Maybe I could have gone to the front with four or five laps to go to help do a little bit
more in chasing. But it was so aggressive in the last couple of laps that there really was no organization.”
Sevilla came into the final stage with an eight-second cushion over Peter Stetina (VMG-Felt-RMG) and
19 seconds over Ben Day (Toyota-United Pro Cycling). But time bonuses of 10, six and three seconds were available to the first
three sprinters at the 30 and 60-minute marks of the criterium.
Sevilla earned three bonus seconds with a third-place finish on the first bonus sprint – which
was won by Toyota-United’s Day. But immediately after the sprint, Evans launched an attack to initiate the decisive
breakaway that included Amaran and Chris Jones (Team Type 1).
The leading trio eventually gained a 25-second lead that grew to more than a minute with less than
30 minutes of racing remaining. At that point, Rock Racing initiated a full-throttle chase to bring back what was now two
escapees, with Team Type 1’s Chris Jones having been dropped after the second bonus sprint.
“Unfortunately, Chris got gapped off when Amaran attacked with about five laps to go,” Team
Type 1 sports director Ed Beamon said. “At that point, we told him to go back to the field so he could hang onto his
Despite a valiant effort, the gap between the breakaway and the field didn’t come down dramatically
until the waning laps, when teams other than Rock Racing began eyeing a chance at winning the field sprint. Luis Amaran (Colavita-Sutter
Home) won the stage while overall winner Cameron Evans (Symmetrics Cycling Team) came in second.
Team Type 1's Emile Abraham won the field sprint for third place. “I got the perfect lead-out,”
Abraham said. “The guys are really motivated and we know the team is strong and we can get results. It’s just
a matter of us meshing together and we’ll be able to win some of the best races in America.”
Sevilla's lead was under pressure during the whole race. Especially Toyota - United showed
themselves determined to fight for the win today, as they attackedover and over again to make the race difficult for Oscar
Sevilla to hold on to the lead. The Rock Racing squad, seemingly concerned with the Toyota-United team, responded to the teams
Toyota-United's plan for the day was to acquire enough sprint bonus
seconds out on the course to move into the overall lead by day’s end. Things started well when the Toyota train led
Ben Day out perfectly to take the first sprint and move into 2nd overall on the road by nine seconds. Ben Day said, "The
guys attacked numerous times, but we were so heavily marked that we were wondering who it was that the peloton was racing."
Day continued, “During this time a break of 3, including two guys who were very dangerous in the general classification,
went up the road. Before the peloton knew it, they had a one minute lead." Day kept his third place in the overall standings
after the final stage.
Sevilla, who was racing this weekend in the United States for the first time, now joins Rock Racing teammates
Santiago Botero, David Clinger, Michael Creed, Tyler Hamilton, Kayle Leogrande, Victor Hugo Peña and Fred Rodriguez in the
first National Race Calendar event of the season. The 24th Annual Redlands Classic begins Thursday in Redlands, California.
Toyota-United is focusing on Redlands as well, the US stage race promises a great showdown later this