Cali, Colombia – Rock Racing’s Oscar Sevilla became the first non-Colombian in 48 years to win the RCN Classic when the Spaniard finished second in Sunday’s final stage individual time trial to secure a 40-second overall victory.
Competing for the “Mayor of Tunja” composite team, Sevilla scored his fifth win of the season and his first in an international stage race since the 2006 Vuelta Ciclista Asturias in Spain.
“I am particularly happy with this win because Colombia is my second home,” Sevilla said. “The people here make me feel very much at home.”
Sevilla took the lead on the opening stage of the nine-day race when his team bested the 13 other squads in the 18-mile (30 km) team time trial. After relinquishing the lead the following day (to teammate Felix Cardenas), Sevilla hovered in the top five of the overall standings until the decisive seventh stage.
In that mountainous, 111-mile (179 km) race, Sevilla finished third, 62 seconds behind stage winner Fernando Camargo (Boyaca Lottery), but 31 seconds ahead of previous race leader Mauricio Ortega (UNE).
“In the final three kilometers, I sensed that the UNE team was not going well so I attacked,” Sevilla said.
Ortega went on to best Sevilla by 13 seconds in the final stage, 21-mile (35 km) time trial to secure second overall. Ortega’s teammate, Juan Carlos Lopez, finished third overall, 2:30 behind.
Previous winners of the RCN Classic include Tour de France mountain king Luis Herrera (1982-84, 1986), Tour de France stage winner Fabio Parra (1987) and Tour de France best young rider Alvaro Mejia (1988, 1989)
Rock Racing scored 45 victories and 100 podium finishes during the 2008 season.