The 2nd Challenge Mallorca race saw Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx-Quickstep) take the win after a late solo escape. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) was 2nd and Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-Quickstep) was 3rd.
Racing got underway in cool overcast conditions with numerous riders trying to get into the early break of the day. Initially 30 riders got away in the opening 40 kilometers before we had Jay Thomson then jump across the 40 second gap to the leaders, just before the start of the cat 2 Col de Femenias.
With such a big group ahead and us having a potential race winner in Edvald Boasson Hagen back in the peloton, our African Team came to the front of the peloton to control the escape while Jay policed things up front. With the gap reaching a maximum lead of 2 minutes our boys did a stellar job in reeling the break back in on the final climb of the day.
The pressure of the chase was such that by the time we had caught the escape group, there were only 26 riders left in the front of the race and still 30km left to race. It was at this point that a number of counter attacks followed and Brambilla made his race winning move.
Arriving at the line just seconds before the chase group, Brambilla took a good win while the uphill sprint finish had Eddy roll across the line in 11th position on the day.
Edvald Boasson Hagen – Rider
It was a fast day and the guys did a good job controlling the race. They were pretty much riding on the front from the start and it was good. The race really exploded on the final climb and I was happy to make the front selection. It was a bit of a crazy final, I had to jump onto the pavement a few times as it was quite technical. I didn’t have the legs for the final uphill sprint but in general, the guys were really good today. I missed out but that’s how it is sometimes.