The Trofeo Palma was the first race of the Mallorca Challenge and it came to its conclusion with Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) taking the win in a sprint finish. The day’s racing was characterized by a five man breakaway which included Ian Boswell (Team Sky), Alex Howes (Garmin Sharp), Alexandre Pichot (Team Europcar), Amets Txurruka (Caja-Rural) and Ronan Van Zandbeck (Cycling Team de Rijke) but the peloton never let them get more than a minutes lead.
With the route set over 10 laps of a flat 11km circuit, it always looked like a bunch sprint would be the likely outcome. With just 12km to go the peloton brought back the days five attackers and the inevitable sprint was prepared. In a fast finish, a finish line photo was needed to determine the race winner. Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) just edged ahead of Jens Debusschere (Lotto Belisol) with Dylan van Groenewegen (Cycling Team de Rijke) rounding out the podium.
Kristian Sbaragli, the Italian sprinter on Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung was our highest placed finisher on the stage, crossing the line in 11th place. Speaking to Sports Director Jens Zemke after the race, he explains how the sprint unfolded, “It was all looking very good for Kristian and Andy [Stauff] with 500m to go. Then the sprint opened and there was maybe some miscommunication, our guys got boxed in a bit and so no top 10 today. We will try again in the next days.”
The Mallorca Challenge continues tomorrow with the Trofeo Migjorn, a 183km route that should suit the sprinters once again.