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Howard strikes again at Challenge Mallorca

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Aussie prevails in Platja de Muro

Leigh Howard (Orica GreenEdge) wins the Trofeo Playa de Muro

Leigh Howard (Orica GreenEdge) wins the Trofeo Playa de Muro

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Orica GreenEdge scored double success in the final race of the Challenge Mallorca, delivering Leigh Howard to his second sprint victory in the Trofeo Platja de Muro, and bagging the mountains classification on the day thanks to Michael Matthews.

Howard out-sprinted Maarten Wynants (Blanco) and Davide Cimolai (Lampre-Merida) by a large margin to win on the day.

"It was a fantastic team effort that I was pleased to finish with a victory," Howard said.

The victory was aided in part by Matthews, who was in the breakaway but after taking out three of the four mountain sprints on offer, he dropped back to help the lead-out train.

"We really wanted a rider in the early break," said Orica's directeur sportif Neil Stephens. "This took the pressure off us and also gave us an extra rider up the road ahead of the finish."

Matthews was dropped on the day's final climb, but came in use for the team on the run-in to the finish. "This allowed Matthews to give the team an extra rider towards the finish as we had planned."

The day's break began only 33km into the stage, with a large group going clear including Xabier Zandio (Sky), Angel Madrazo (Movistar), Pierre Serry (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step), Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel Euskadi), Robert Gesink and Jos Van Emden (Blanco), Michael Mathews (Orica GreenEdge), Davide Cimolai (Lampre-Merida), Bjorn Thurau (Europcar) and Christophe Pfingstein (CT Rijke Shanks).

The hilly parcours reduced the number of sprinters remaining in the peloton, according to Howard. "At the top of the final climb the only sprinters left were Ben Swift, Rojas, Robbie Hunter and myself. It was good for our team because we still had about six or seven guys left – Christian Meier, Wes Sulzberger, Pieter Weening, Sebastian Langeveld, Michael Albasini and myself."

Once the breakaway was brought back through the efforts of both Orica GreenEdge and Movistar, there were less than 40 riders left in the leading group.

"Movistar's riders led out Rojas and he hit out too early, consequently fading to finish fifth. I went around the righthand side and ended up with a comfortable win," said Howard.

It has been a solid warm-up for the season for the young Australian, who is looking forward to taking on the first race of the year in Belgium, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. "It's a realistic goal to give it a good nudge in Belgium. In 2011, my good mate Chris Sutton won the event and last season Mark Cavendish took the victory, so it'd be a fantastic race to win.

"After that Paris-Nice is the next big tour and I'd certainly like to do better there this year than last year. I've just been trying to focus on being more consistent in my sprinting and so far it looks like it's working!"

Full Results

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 4:15:29  
2 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
3 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
4 Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
5 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team    
6 Angelo Tulik (Fra) Team Europcar    
7 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step    
8 Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Sharp    
9 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling    
10 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling    
11 David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Sky Procycling    
12 Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar    
13 Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team 0:00:03  
14 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
15 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) RusVelo    
16 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha    
17 Miguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
18 Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
19 Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
20 Alex Howes (USA) Garmin-Sharp    
21 Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
22 Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Team Europcar    
23 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida    
24 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge    
25 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:00:09  
26 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:13  
27 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge    
28 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge    
29 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
30 Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team 0:00:15  
31 Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
32 Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step    
33 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step    
34 Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 0:00:24  
35 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge 0:00:35  
36 Christian Meier (Can) Orica-GreenEdge 0:00:47  
37 Ivan Velasco Murillo (Spa) Caja Rural    
38 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:01:47  
39 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
40 Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Sky Procycling    
41 Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar Team    
42 Edwig Cammaerts (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
43 David Belda Garcia (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon 0:03:35  
44 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team 0:03:49  
45 Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar    
46 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
47 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team    
48 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
49 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha    
50 Liam Holohan (GBr) Madison Genesis 0:05:19  
51 Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Caja Rural    
52 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
53 Marc Goos (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
54 Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural    
55 Gaetan Bille (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
56 Ian Bibby (GBr) Madison Genesis    
57 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge    
58 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha    
59 Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
60 Javier Megias Leal (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk    
61 Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-GreenEdge 0:08:25  
62 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge    
63 Alex Peters (GBr) Madison Genesis    
64 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
65 Davide Vigano (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
66 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
67 Bram Tankink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
68 Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin-Sharp    
69 Ike Groen (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks    
70 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team    
71 Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team    
72 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
73 Jos Van Emden (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
74 Jérémy Bescond (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
75 Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step    
76 Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin-Sharp    
77 Igor Merino Cortazar (Spa) Euskadi    
78 Aritz Bagües (Spa) Euskadi    
79 Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar    
80 Mikel Bizkarra (Spa) Euskadi    
81 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp    
82 Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step    
83 Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Omega Pharma-Quick Step    
84 Sergey Firsanov (Rus) RusVelo    
85 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Sky Procycling    
86 Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha    
87 Danny Pate (USA) Sky Procycling    
88 Caleb Fairly (USA) Garmin-Sharp    
89 Sergey Klimov (Rus) RusVelo    
90 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha    
91 Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GBr) Sky Procycling    
92 Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
93 Robert Wagner (Ger) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 0:12:39  
94 Sjoerd Kouwenhoven (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks    
95 Antonio Piedra Perez (Spa) Caja Rural    
96 Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural    
97 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks    
98 Karol Domagalski (Pol) Caja Rural    
99 Carlos Barbero Cuesta (Spa) Euskadi    
100 Luis Mas Bonet (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon    
101 Omar Fraile Matarranza (Spa) Caja Rural    
102 Marcos Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural    
103 Artur Ershov (Rus) RusVelo    
104 Luca Wackermann (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
105 Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 0:12:43  
106 Jesus Del Pino Corrochano (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon    
OTL Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 0:24:36  
OTL Bas Stamsnijder (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks 0:24:43  
OTL Juan Carlos Riutort Martinez (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon    
OTL Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks    
OTL Illart Zuazubiskar Gallastegi (Spa) Euskadi    
OTL Fabio Calabria (Aus) Team Novo Nordisk    
OTL Thomas Raeymaekers (Bel) Team Novo Nordisk    
OTL Juan Carlos Larrinaga Muguruza (Spa) Euskadi    
OTL Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
OTL Kevin De Mesmaeker (Bel) Team Novo Nordisk    
OTL Andrea Peron (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk    
OTL Huub Duyn (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks    
OTL Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks    
OTL Haritz Orbe Urrutia (Spa) Euskadi    
OTL Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
OTL Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar Team    
OTL Gennadiy Tatarinov (Rus) RusVelo    
OTL Alexander Rybakov (Rus) RusVelo    
OTL Moises Duenas Nevado (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon    
OTL Sander Cordeel (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
OTL Dominic Jelfs (Irl) Madison Genesis    
OTL Pablo Torres Muino (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon    
OTL Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks    
OTL Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk    
OTL Darío Hernández (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon    
OTL Efren Carazo (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon    
OTL Anthony Charteau (Fra) Team Europcar    
OTL Joshua Edmondson (GBr) Sky Procycling    
OTL Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar    
OTL Natnael Berhane (Eri) Team Europcar    
OTL Tony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar    
OTL Mikel Aristi Gardoki (Spa) Euskadi 0:25:00  
OTL Mikel Iturria Segurola (Spa) Euskadi    
DNF Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling    
DNF Ben Swift (GBr) Sky Procycling    
DNF Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team    
DNF Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick Step    
DNF Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step    
DNF Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step    
DNF Juan Horrach Rippoll (Spa) Madison Genesis    
DNF Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
DNF Juan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
DNF Steffen Radochla (Ger) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
DNF Robert Vrecer (Slo) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
DNF Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol    
DNF Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
DNF Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
DNF Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
DNF Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin-Sharp    
DNF Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Garmin-Sharp    
DNF Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin-Sharp    
DNF Nick Nuyens (Bel) Garmin-Sharp    
DNF Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
DNF Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha    
DNF Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha    
DNF Alexey Tsatevitch (Rus) Katusha    
DNF Timofey Kritskiy (Rus) Katusha    
DNF Morgan Lamoisson (Fra) Team Europcar    
DNF Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
DNF Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
DNF Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Caja Rural    
DNF Yelko Gomez (Pan) Caja Rural    
DNF David Lozano Riba (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk    
DNF Joonas Henttala (Fin) Team Novo Nordisk    
DNF Andrea Ciacchini (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk    
DNF Paolo Cravanzola (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk    
DNF Roman Maikin (Rus) RusVelo    
DNF Valery Kaykov (Rus) RusVelo    
DNF Leonid Krasnov (Rus) RusVelo    
DNF Igor Boev (Rus) RusVelo    
DNF Bob Schoonbroodt (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks    
DNF Ronan Van Zandbeek (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks    
DNF Brennan Townshend (GBr) Madison Genesis    
DNF Sebastian Baylis (GBr) Madison Genesis    
DNF Dean Downing (GBr) Madison Genesis    
DNF Jack Pullar (GBr) Madison Genesis    
DNF Chris Snook (GBr) Madison Genesis    
DNF Steve Bekaert (Bel) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon    
DNF Federico Butto (Ita) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon    
DNF Unai Iparragirre (Spa) Euskadi