Yell “Hey, brother!” at the Mallorca Challenge this week and you are apt to get eight answers. Four pairs of brothers, on five different teams, are starting their season on the Mediterranean island.
Vicente and Marc Reynes are on separate teams. Vicente, 28, rides for HTC-Columbia, and won a stage here in 2007. Marc, 21, is making his pro debut with the Polish Continental team PSK Whirlpool.
Also on separate teams are Jose Ivan Gutierrez Palacios and David Gutierrez Palacios. Jose, 31, is with Caisse d'Epargne, while David, 22, is making his pro debut this year with Footon-Servetto.
Team Milram is also sending a pair of brothers to the race, Markus, 28, and Thomas Fothen, 26. Both have ridden the Mallorca Challenge in the past. Markus started his season at the Tour Down Under, while Thomas is opening at Mallorca.
Whirlpool PSK has the most brothers of any team, as in addition to the younger Reynes, it features youngsters Jakub, 21, and Tomas Danacik, 19, of the Czech Republic. Jakub has been with the team since 2007, and Tomas turned pro last year with the Continental team CK Windoor's Pribram.
There was supposed to be a fourth pair of brothers in the race, Fränk and Andy Schleck of Saxo Bank. However, the younger brother dropped out at the last minute due to knee problems, leaving his 29-year-old older brother to soldier on alone.