Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung started its 2015 season off in bitter sweet fashion as early reports suggest Andreas Stauff has broken his collarbone during today’s first Challenge Mallorca race. The win was taken out by Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) though from a sprint finish. Elia Viviani (SKY) and Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) rounded out the podium.
The days racing was characterised by a two man break. Alex Kirsch (Cult Energy) and Damien Garcia (Froy Oslo) built up a lead of just over 12 minutes before Lotto-Soudal and Cofidis started to reel them in. Kirsch would eventually go solo in the final 30km’s of racing but in the end it was the peloton who would prove to be stronger and the race was all together for the final 20km’s.
The parcours always lent itself to a bunch kick and so that is what Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were anticipating. In the final few kilometers though, the wind picked up and a number of riders lost contact with the fast charging peloton. MTN-Qhubeka had some tough luck when Andreas Stauff crashed out hard in the chaotic run in to the line. This disruption to our leadout occurred in the final 3km’s and so unfortunately we were not able to contend for the victory.
Jens Zemke – Head of Performance
“It was a pretty normal race to start the season with. Two guys got away early on and the peloton just controlled all day. In the final the wind picked up and it got a bit crazy with some echelons. Unfortunately for us Andy crashed out and seems to have broken his collarbone. The crash interfered with our plans for the final and we could not place a rider in the top 10.”