Francois Parisien (Spidertech-Planet Energy) powered away from a four-man breakaway in the final 300 meters of stage 2 at the Vuelta Mexico Telmex Monday to take his first UCI win of 2010. Parisien dropped his break companions, who included new overall leader Francisco Mancebo (Rock Racing) and Valeriy Kobzarenko (Team Type 1), on the upper reaches of the steep finish ramp in the town of Xalapa.
Grajales, who teammate Nathan O’Neill calls Gecko, is making a comeback of sorts from the no man’s land to which he had banished since early 2008. “Difficult to describe,” he quickly answered when asked about his previous two seasons with Rock Racing, during which he bounced between the team’s professional and amateur rosters and was even fired and rehired once within the same week.
José Enrique Gutiérrez – the Spanish rider who finished second to Ivan Basso in the 2006 Giro d’Italia and was later linked to the Operación Puerto doping scandal – says he is retiring because Rock Racing has not been able to secure its future.
Seventeen pro continental-registered teams will enjoy “wild card” status this, opening the door for the teams to get invites to ProTour events. Sixteen teams were confirmed Friday, with BMC already assured its “wild card” status ahead of its debut at the Tour Down Under last month.
Former U.S. Criterium champion Rahsaan Bahati will leave Rock Racing at season’s end to form his own team.