Mallorca Challenge: Wellens takes victory in Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana

Belgian escapes to win in Mallorca

Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) won day two of the Challenge Mallorca, beating Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) in a sprint to the line after a short climb up to the finish in Deia.

Wellens always performs well in the rain and he made sure he was part of a quality five-rider break that decided the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana, joining Moscon, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo) in the decisive move.

Valverde was riding in only his second race since suffering a broken kneecap and talus bone in a crash on the opening day of the 2017 Tour de France, and the Spaniard was especially aggressive in the finale of the hilly 139km race. He paid for those efforts on the climb to Deia, however, and finished third, a few seconds behind Wellens. Brambilla was fourth on his debut with Trek-Segafredo, while Mühlberger placed fifth.

It was Wellens’ second consecutive win in the Trofeo Serra Tramuntana, despite hinting beforehand that he had planned a more gradual start to his 2018 season. The 26-year-old Belgian ended his 2017 campaign late in October, winning the Tour of Guangxi WorldTour race. He recently questioned the need for salbutamol inhalers in races, suggesting they can give a performance boost.

The Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana is the second of the four races that make up the Challenge Mallorca and is arguably the hardest. The 139km route starts in Soller and covers a hilly, twisting figure of eight route in the north of the Balearic island.

Despite rain and wet roads, the race started quickly, but attacks were chased down and kept under control until the 45km mark.

Sondre Holst Enger (Israel Cycling Academy) finished second behind John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) in the flat opening race on Thursday, but was not afraid to try again on different terrain. He blasted clear alone and opened a gap of four minutes, holding off an initial chase by Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (Fortuneo-Samsic), Jordi Simon (Burgos-BH) and Elmar Reinders (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij).

A 30-strong peloton took up the chase as the serious climbs in the final 30km approached, with Movistar pulling back time on Enger to set up Valverde, despite Rojas, Roson and Amador crashing. Enger cracked at the start of the Sa Batalla climb and the race exploded with Valverde, Wellens, Moscon, Brambilla and Mühlberger going clear. Mühlberger, the 23-year-old Austrian champion, was perhaps the surprise in the quality attack, but his win at the 2017 Rund um Koln race indicated his potential.

Valverde was especially aggressive on the Sa Batalla and subsequent Puig Major climbs that overlook Soller, but the others eventually closed him down on the descent to Soller before the decisive final 10km of racing inland to Deia.

Moscon, Wellens and Brambilla managed to distance Valverde and Mühlberger as they approached the Coll d’en Bleda towards the finish, but the two got back on and Valverde even tried an attack. Wellens had raced intelligently, however, and was strong for the finale. He chased down Valverde and pushed on to the finish, holding off Moscon on the twisting road to raise his arms in celebration at the line.

The four-day Challenge Mallorca race series continues during the weekend, with teams allowed to select different line-ups for each event.

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Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal3:45:52 
2Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky  
3Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:24 
4Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:00:27 
5Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:00:37 
6Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:05:06 
7Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo  
8Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo  
9Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij  
10Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe  
11Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Trek-Segafredo  
12Elmar Reinders (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij0:05:47 
13Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Fortuneo-Oscaro  
14Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
15Jordi Warlop (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
16Daniel Turek (Cze) Israel Cycling Academy  
17Hector Saez Benito (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias  
18Michal Golas (Pol) Team Sky0:06:37 
19Philip Deignan (Irl) Team Sky  
20Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
21Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal0:08:01 
22Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:09:21 
23Antonio Molina Canet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:10:53 
24Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
25Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
26Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
27Jesus Rubio (Spa) Spain  
28Ibai Azurmendi Sagastibeltza (Spa) Team Euskadi  
29Raul Colombo (Ita) Biesse Carrera Gavardo  
30Juan Antonio Lopez-Cozar Jaimez (Spa) Team Euskadi  
31Gotzon Martin Sanz (Spa) Team Euskadi  
32Txomin Juaristi Arrieta (Spa) Team Euskadi  
33Kevin Deltombe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
34Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo  
35José Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team  
36Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo  
37Julien Mortier (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic  
38Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (Nor) Fortuneo-Oscaro  
39Dimitri Peyskens (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic  
40Alberto Amici (Ita) Biesse Carrera Gavardo  
41Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team  
42Jose Manuel Diaz (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy  
43Eliot Lietaer (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic  
44Awet Andemeskel (Eri) Israel Cycling Academy  
45Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team  
46Sergio Samitier Samitier (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias  
47Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team  
48Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Sky  
49Leonardo Basso (Ita) Team Sky  
50Guy Niv (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy  
51Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias  
52Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Bora-Hansgrohe  
53Ruben Plaza (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy  
54Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky0:12:02 
55Albert Torres Barcelo (Spa) Inteja Dominican0:16:45 
56Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo-Oscaro0:19:27 
57Antoine Warnier (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic  
58Beñat Txoperena Matxikote (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias  
59Brian van Goethem (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij  
60Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:19:48 
61Remy Mertz (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:19:52 
62Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
63Elie Gesbert (Fra) Fortuneo-Oscaro  
Mountain 1 (Cat. 3) Coll Den Claret, km. 22.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij10 pts
2Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team7 
3Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team5 
4Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team3 
5Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias2 
6José Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team1 
Mountain 2 (Cat. 3) Coll Den Claret, km. 48.9
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sondre Enger (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy6 pts
2Elmar Reinders (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij4 
3Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (Nor) Fortuneo-Oscaro2 
4Jordi Simon Casulleras (Spa) Burgos BH1 
Mountain 3 (Cat. 2) Coll d'Honor, km. 76.1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sondre Enger (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy10 pts
2Jordi Simon Casulleras (Spa) Burgos BH7 
3Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (Nor) Fortuneo-Oscaro5 
4Elmar Reinders (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij3 
5Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal2 
6Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal1 
Mountain 4 (Cat. 2) Coll De Sa Batalla, km. 112.6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team10 pts
2Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky7 
3Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal5 
4Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe3 
5Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo2 
6Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias1 
Mountain 5 (Cat. 2) Coll De Puig Major, km. 129.1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team10 pts
2Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal7 
3Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky5 
4Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe3 
5Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo2 
6Elmar Reinders (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij1 
Mountain 6 (Cat. 3) Coll Den Bleda, km. 148.7
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team6 pts
2Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky4 
3Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal2 
4Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe1 
Sprint 1 - S'Esglaieta, km. 36.2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky3 pts
2Elmar Reinders (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij2 
3Guy Niv (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy1 
Sprint 2 - Lloseta, km. 95.2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sondre Enger (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy3 pts
2Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal2 
Special Sprint 1 - Esporles, km. 55.1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sondre Enger (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy3 pts
2Elmar Reinders (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij2 
3Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (Nor) Fortuneo-Oscaro1 
Special Sprint 2 - Selva, km. 102.1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sondre Enger (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy3 pts
2Remy Mertz (Bel) Lotto Soudal2 
3Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal1 
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
3Team Sky0:02:35 
4Lotto Soudal0:03:59 
5Movistar Team0:11:31 
6Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:11:48 
7Euskadi Basque Country0:15:22 
8Israel-Cycling Academy0:16:54 
9Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:22:00 
10Team Euskadi  
11WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic  

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