LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) _ Veteran professional cyclist Frankie Andreu sprinted away from two other riders with a little over a mile to go Tuesday and won the 91-mile Lancaster Invitational road race, the first event in the First Union Cycling series.
The U.S. Postal Cycling Team rider made his winning move in the last lap of the 13-lap event, getting the edge on breakaway teammate Lance Armstrong and Cezary Zemana of Poland.
``I just had to attack. It was decided earlier in the race that if I had a chance, I would go for the win,″ Andreu said.
Andreu, 31, of Dearborn, Mich., and Zemana, 30, initiated a key breakaway about 63 miles into the race, building a gap from six riders who were off the front but were being caught by a chase group of 10 riders.
The group of three then built a steady lead of up to one minute and four seconds over the field that was quickly breaking into smaller groups.
A field of 143 riders started the race with 43 finishing. The race, part of the Tour of America, had a total purse of $15,500, with $2,500 going to first place.
The series, which concludes Sunday with the U.S. Pro Championship in Philadelphia, goes to Wilmington, Del., on Wednesday, then to Trenton, N.J., on Thursday.
Armstrong, 26, of Austin, Texas, said he was glad to see Andreu win.
``You don’t see him win very much. It was gratifying for me,″ said Armstrong, who is continuing his return to competition after being diagnosed with testicular cancer in October 1996.
Andreu’s victory was his first in the United States since 1995, when he won a stage of the West Virginia Kmart Classic. In Europe, he won a stage of the Mount Bretagne race.
``I’m putting more emphasis on U.S. races this year and want to prove myself in America,″ Andreu said.