Mancebo, Armstrong win stage 1 of Cascade Classic

Armstrong, Mancebo lead the Cascade Classic after the McKenzie Pass stage

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Francisco Mancebo and Kristin Armstrong took wins in the first stage of the Cascade Cycling Classic outside Bend, Oregon, on Wednesday.

The men and the women tackled the same 74-mile opening road stage of the Cascade Classic. The McKenzie Pass Road Race offered time bonuses at the finish for the top three, and five-deep King of the Mountains points. A gradual, undulating descent preceded the two major climbs, the first of which began shortly before mile 30. The final, 10-mile climb ended with the day’s uphill finish at the Three Peaks Snow Park.

Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist) began his title defense in earnest today, taking the win, a 10-second time bonus, and the yellow jersey to boot above Sisters, Oregon. Ian Boswell (Bontrager-Livestrong) was second on the uphill finale, and earned a six-second bonus for his efforts. Phil Gaimon (Kenda-5 Hour Energy) put his climbing legs to good use, finishing third on the day and grabbing four bonus seconds.

Overnight leader Chad Haga (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) crashed out of the race in one of the pile-ups that marked the stage. With Mancebo leading the overall standings with four days of racing remaining, Gaimon sits second overall in the general classification, 13 seconds behind Mancebo. Boswell moved into third, at 14 seconds.

Armstrong, winner of Tuesday’s prologue, clamped down on the leader’s jersey in the women’s race, winning the stage and taking a 10-second bonus. Megan Guarnier (Team TIBCO) and Andrea Dvorak (Exergy) finished together, 24 seconds back. They took six- and four-second time bonuses, respectively.

Guarnier rose to second, 46 seconds down on Armstrong. Jade Wilcoxson (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) climbed to third, at 57 seconds.

The Cascade Cycling Classic continues Thursday with the 16-mile Crooked River Time Trial. The rolling course, with 607 feet of climbing, will see the second and final use of time trial bikes in this year’s race. Watch for Armstrong to retain her place atop women’s time trialing, while Mancebo will look to consolidate his lead in the overall standings.

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