photo credits @ Lotto-Soudal
Lotto-Soudal’s Tim Wellens made it back-to-back victories in this year’s Challenge Mallorca series, after following up on his Friday win at the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana by winning yesterday’s Trofeo Andratx – Mirador des Colomer.
Wellens surged during the final climb of the day, to beat Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde, while Tiesj Benoot rounded out the podium in third place.
Yesterday’s win not only gave Wellen his second victory in the series, but increased Lotto Soudal’s tally to three after André Greipel claimed the opening race of the Trofeo Porreres.
“I really hadn’t expected this. It was the plan that I would attack at the bottom of the climb and would go over my limit, so the others would need to do that too. Afterwards Tiesj Benoot and Louis Vervaeke had to attack. Just like yesterday our team took control of the race. After the Puig Major Bart De Clercq and Tomasz Marczynski attacked. We wanted to isolate Alejandro Valverde and that was a success. Frederik Frison brought us in the perfect position to the bottom of the climb and then I attacked. This was once again a team performance. Everyone contributed to this victory”, said Wellens.
“It’s wonderful to beat Valverde on such a finish. In the sprint he would have been faster. I find this second win even more beautiful than the one of yesterday because there was more tension. I won’t race tomorrow, but I might go and cheer for the boys to conquer that fourth victory!”, added Wellens.
Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis), Brian van Goethem (Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij), Laurent Pichon (Fortuneo – Vital Concept), Pello Olaberría (Euskadi Basque Country – Murias), Diego Milán (Inteja Dominican Cycling Team), Rafael Márquez (Inteja Dominican Cycling Team), Josep Miralles (Amore & Vita-Selle SMP), Jorge Cubero (Burgos-BH), Pedro Gregori (Equipo Bolivia), Sebastián Mora (Spain) and Gabriel Cullaigh (Great Britain), marked the day’s first breakaway, after they managed to ride clear early-on in the 158.7 kilometer race.
From there, the escapees went on to establish an advantage of almost five minutes over the main field.
However, a determined peloton eventually reeled the breakaway group in with 50 kilometers still remaining.
Gazprom-Rusvelo’s Sergey Firsanov was the first rider to attack from there, but to no avail. Team Sky’s Christian Knees and Jonathan Dibben followed with a subsequent attack, with the duo quickly opening up a slight gap over the peloton.
Once again a determined peloton eventually reined in the two escapees with 5 kilometers to go.
Wellens then struck-out along the final climb of the Mirador des Colomer, rounding the last corner with a lead of several bike lengths ahead of Valverde to seize the victory.
Top 25 Finishers
1 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 4:27:55
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
3 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
4 Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:04
5 David Belda (Spa) Burgos-BH 0:00:05
6 Pieter Weening (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij 0:00:07
7 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
8 Ian Boswell (USA) Team Sky
9 Alexander Aranburu Deva (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
10 Vicente Garcia De Mateos Rubio (Spa) Equipo Bolivia
11 David Lopez (Spa) Team Sky
12 Jaime Roson Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:00:09
13 Pablo Torres Muiño (Spa) Burgos-BH 0:00:12
14 Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky 0:00:14
15 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:15
16 David Lozano Riba (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk
17 Philip Deignan (Irl) Team Sky
18 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal
19 Michal Golas (Pol) Team Sky
20 Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
21 Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country – Murias
22 Ibai Salas Zorrozua (Spa) Burgos-BH
23 Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:20
24 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:21
25 José Mendes (Por) Bora-Hansgrohe
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