The final race of the Mallorca Challenge saw the expected bunch sprint materialize. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were in the mix as Kristian Sbaragli sprinted his way to 9th position. The first rider across the line though was Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) he just pipped Andre Greipel (Lotto – Soudal) and Ben Swift (Team Sky) for the victory.
The weather was not ideal for a bike race as riders were greeted with some cold, wet and even snowy conditions during the course of the race. With very little climbing on the menu though, the peloton would only really spring to life late in the day. 3 riders, Dario Hernandez (Burgos-BH), Illart Zuazubiskar (Spain) and Unai Intziarte (Murias Taldea) would form the doomed early break of the day. With 10 km to go, their move was neutralised as the sprinters teams took center stage.
MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were once again rather unlucky as Theo Bos, who was the teams protected rider for the day, had to abandon after crashing on the Coll Grau descent. Nevertheless, the African team turned its attention to setting the sprint up for Kristian. Riding side by side with Team Sky, MTN-Qhubeka had control over the peleton in the closing kilometers. A late attack saw 12 riders, which included Kristian, surge clear and arrive at the line just seconds ahead of the peloton.
Kristian Sbaragli – Rider
“I was in a good position for the sprint today with a top 5 definitely possible. As the sprint opened up I became slightly boxed in. When I wanted to kick for a 2nd time I just had no power left. It was a tough day in the saddle.”
Jens Zemke – Head of Performance
“Today we had some bad luck with Theo crashing out. We had the unlucky number 13 team car once again, even though we turned the number upside down we still lost our leader in a crash. At least he is okay with no serious injuries and we were still able to compete in the final with Kristian.”