Challenge Mallorca concludes with bunch sprint
Etixx – Quick-Step put an end to its January campaign, a month in which the team scored three wins and got two more podium places.
Last race of the Challenge Mallorca – Trofeo Playa de Palma-Palma (161.5 km) – took place on Sunday, when three riders went into the break and built a gap of five minutes. Imanol Estevez (Esukadi), Omar Fraile (Dimension Data) and Lluis Mas Bonet (Caja Rural) entered first on the 10-lap finishing circuit, where Lotto-Soudal, Bora-Argon 18 and Sky upped the pace in order to catch them, which eventually happened with less than 30 kilometers to go. Immediately, Niki Terpstra went clear from the pack, but with the peloton going at a crazy speed, he didn't stand a chance to get a good gap.
Despite other attempts inside the final 20 kilometers, the group stayed together and the race finished with the expected bunch gallop, which was won by André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), the German topping Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and Dylan Page (Team Roth). Best placed rider of Etixx – Quick-Step was Yves Lampaert, who arrived 18th in the fourth event of the Challenge Mallorca, same time as the winner.
January came to an end after proving to be a very good month for the team, who got its first win early, in the Tour de San Luis TTT, which was followed shortly by Fernando Gaviria's maiden pro victory. In the Challenge Mallorca, the team was among the protagonists, with Gianluca Brambilla taking his first success in six years and showing a promising form ahead of the spring. With three wins and two podiums, Etixx – Quick-Step is in the upper part of the wins standings and now awaits the February races with confidence and optimism.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele