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"The road has been my life for years but if things go wrong and I have no team, I have a plan B. That plan would be to dedicate myself to MTB Marathon."

Photo: Sirotti


16.10.2014 @ 13:23 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

While most of the European professionals have already started their holiday, some are still training to prepare for goals outside Europe. One of them is Francisco Mancebo. The Spaniard continues to ride with an eye on late November when he will put on a racing number if all goes well. That will be a relief because Mancebo has not done a race for his team, Pro Cycling Team SkyDive Dubai, since May.


"The last official race was Kumano but there are still two important races for the team in November and December, one in the UAE, the Tour de Sarjah (2.2), and one in Qatar (Tour d'Al Zubarah (2.2), ed.), and today I'm on the roster that will do these races, "said Mancebo to BiciCiclismo .


For now, Mancebo has 29 days of competition. With the two races in the Middle East, he will end the year with 37 racing days which for a rider like Mancebo, is very little.


"I really hoped that I would have raced more and have done more races suiting my characteristics, but we all know that the beginning of a new team is always difficult and this has been no different. Overall I am happy, especially with the way I have been treated by the team," he says.


The first continental team from the Emirates was born with the ambition to do races in Asia and Europe but that never became reality. The timing was not as expected. For some reason, they just did some Asian races: Tour of Singkarak, Tour of Thailand, Chef Melaka Minister Cup and Tour of Kumano. And they always achieved a win. For the rest, they raced at home in the Tours of Dubai and Qatar. In Europe, the almost did the Volta a Portugal but a few days before their departure, the team led by Ricardo Martins surprisingly withdrew. 


"Regarding the Volta a Portugal, it was a decision by the team. We were ready to go and ready to be welcomed by the organizers. You must keep in mind that most of the riders are Muslims and July was the Ramadan. Perhaps that influenced the decision," he says.


Those setbacks have not discourgaed the rider who is doing his 17th professional season.


"In the United States, things went very well. I raced there from 2011 and 2013 and in those three years I won the national ranking NRC but sometimes you need a change of scenery to keep you motivated. I have no regrets at all "


Mancebo will have no trouble spending another year in the Emirates.


"Today the team is not 100% sure but they are working to continue. I would stick with them and help the team grow gradually. The schedule is not yet defined but they will try to do races on the Asia Tour and then make the jump to Europe later," reveals Mancebo.


Before 2014, Mancebo had already been riding in Asia, particularly in Japan (Japan Cup) and China (Tour of Hainan). With its new experience, the Spaniard rider has a clearer idea of ​​riding in that part of the world.


"Asia is very large and the races are very different. You have races in Dubai and Qatar that are very similar to racing in Europe and then you have Japan, Thailand and Indonesia where you end in the gruppetto 30 minutes behind if you are not in the peloton," he says.


But Mancebo is not only riding on the road but also in the mud. On October 5 he took a third national MTB Marathon title in the Berria Racing colors. He had worked hard to achieve that result.


"It was my third title, I got the second one in Paterna. It was a great joy because I had prepared with great care after learning that my road season was over. I am very proud to have won, especially having beaten one of the best in the world, Sergio Mantecón."


If you add the road title he achieved in 2004, Mancebo is a quadruple Spanish champion and even though he acknowledges that his heart is still on the road, he won't rule anything out. 


"The road has been my life for years but if things go wrong and I have no team, I have a plan B. That plan would be to dedicate myself to MTB Marathon."


On Sunday he has the chance to win the XCM Aguilar de Campo.


At 38 years of age, Mancebo is very clear when asked whether there is still more in his legs. 


"There is still more to come from Mancebo. I have to step up to ride with my son who is now six years old," he jokes.



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