The penultimate day of racing in the Mallorca Challenge saw the polish revelation from last year’s Tour de France, Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma Quick-Step), take the victory in Monasterio du Lluc. Edvald Boassen Hagen (Sky Procycling) won the small bunch sprint for second place with Francesco Gavazzi (Astana Pro Team) in third.
The route today took the peloton up 5 categorized climbs over a distance of 152km’s. The Puig Major, a well-known category 1 climb on the Island of Mallorca would prove to be the deciding factor in the outcome of the race. Summiting just 20km from the finish, Kwiatkowski and Sergio Henao (Sky Procycling) would use the climb to bridge across to the early breakaway riders of Jesus del Pino (Burgos BH), Petr Vakoc (Omega Pharma – QuickStep), Tanel Kangert (Astana Pro Team), Javier Mejias (Team Novo Nordisk), Maxim Belkov (Team Katusha), and Antonio Piedra (Caja Rural).
With 4km to go and just under a minute lead over the chasing pack, Kwiatkowski made his race winning attack. The remnants’ of the break were soon absorbed into the peloton but the polish rider was able to stay clear.
Team MTN Qhubeka p/b Samsung had some misfortune during the race when team leader Linus Gerdemann had an untimely puncture. Team domestique, Johann van Zyl explained what happened, “The main goal was to ride for Linus today as we started in his home town and he has won this race before in 2010. The race started off really fast, I averaged 340watts for the first hour of racing, but we were all set up nicely leading into one of the most important sections of the race.” Van Zyl said.
“The Coll de Soller was the penultimate climb on the stage and the team had to make sure Daniel, Sergio and Linus were positioned in the top 20 before the climb. After I dropped Daniel off I noticed Linus was missing. He had mechanical and Martin gave him a wheel. I paced him back to Ignas and then he took over for as long as possible but eventually it was impossible to get back to the front.” Van Zyl concluded.
Tomorrow will be the final race in the Challenge Mallorca.The 162km Trofeo Platja de Muro will take the peloton over four category 2 climbs before ending in off in Port d’ Alcudia.