Photo: Sabine Jacob
Today at the Challenge Mallorca, Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) took his second consecutive victory. Yesterday a photo finish was needed to give the Italian the victory, today Modolo was the clear victor by a few bike lengths. Ben Swift (Sky Procycling) came in second position with Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) in third.
The 180km route around Ses Salines provided the peloton with a slightly more undulating parcours in comparison to yesterday’s Trofeo Palma. Seven attackers took advantage of the increased climbing meters today and managed to build up a lead of close to 10 minutes. Emanuel Piaskowy (ActiveJet Team), Pablo Torres (Burgos-BH), Illart Zuazubiskar (Euskadi), Coen Vermeltfoort (Cycling Team de Rijke), Bjorn Thurau (Team Europcar), Jan Barta (Team NetApp-Endura) and Antonio Molina (Caja Rural) were the riders out ahead.
At the halfway stage in the race, Team MTN Qhubeka p/b Samsung had a slight scare when Gerald Ciolek hit the deck along with Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp). Unfortunately Ciolek was unable to finish the race but the German later said all was okay. “There was a big rock in the road, the next thing I was lying down in the road. I have lost a bit of skin but otherwise I am all fine.”
With a bit of wind and some tight and narrow roads, the peloton split on numerous occasions once the chase started in order to real the break in. Eventually the race came all back together when Thurau was the last of the attackers to be caught with 10km to go. In a finish that would have suited Ciolek with a slight uphill drag to the line, Kristian Sbaragli was now MTN Qhubeka’s designated man for the sprint. The young Italian from MTN-Qhubeka put up a gutsy fight in a really tough final few meters and managed to finish in 10th place on the day.
The Challenge Mallorca continues tomorrow with the 152km Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana. With 5 categorized climbs, including a cat 1 that peaks just 20 kilometers from the line, the climbers will finally get their chance to shine in Mallorca.