The 2nd day of racing at the Mallorca Challenge proved to be a magical day for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung as Steve Cummings earned our team’s first victory of the season! Steve put in a late attack with just a kilometer to go after teammate Johann van Zyl spent over 145km’s in the days’ main breakaway.
Johann was a shining star today as he showed some strong form and was clearly the strongest rider in the original 10 man break. On the lower slopes of the Cat 1 Puig Major, our young South African, along with Jose Goncalves (Caja-Rural) and Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Garmin), rode clear from the rest of break. With 38kms to go Johann tried to up the ante with a brief solo attack but was soon caught by Goncalves & van Baarle again. The trio fought on valiantly until Johann put in 1 last ditch attack with 3km’s to go but was eventually the last rider caught at 1.5km to go. Johann’s heroics earned him the most combative rider prize of the day.
It was then the turn of Jacques Janse van Rensburg to attack, who really strung out the field in the race to the line. This move set up the finish perfectly for Steve who capped off a great team effort with his race winning attack. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Garmin) tried to follow the MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung rider but eventually crossed the line in 2nd and 3rd respectively..
Steve Cummings – Rider
“I’m really happy with today’s victory. I knew I had done a lot of good work over the winter so I’d like to thank the team for the amazing work they did and chance they gave me to focus on today’s race. I was able to come back to the front right near the end and snatch the victory, so I’m really happy with the result.”
Jens Zemke – Rider
“It was a great ride by Johann after attacking in the first 5km, staying clear all race and only getting caught in the final kilometers. Then Jacques went and put in a great move right at the end and this set up Steve perfectly. It is a brilliant result for us especially after yesterday’s misfortune, so we are really happy.”