Howard strikes again at Challenge Mallorca

Aussie prevails in Platja de Muro

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) TeamResult
1Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge4:15:29 
2Maarten Wynants (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling Team  
3Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
4Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
5Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team  
6Angelo Tulik (Fra) Team Europcar  
7Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
8Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Sharp  
9Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling  
10Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling  
11David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Sky Procycling  
12Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar  
13Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team0:00:03 
14Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
15Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) RusVelo  
16Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha  
17Miguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
18Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
19Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
20Alex Howes (USA) Garmin-Sharp  
21Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
22Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Team Europcar  
23Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida  
24Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge  
25Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:00:09 
26Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:13 
27Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge  
28Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge  
29Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team  
30Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team0:00:15 
31Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
32Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
33Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
34Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team0:00:24 
35Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge0:00:35 
36Christian Meier (Can) Orica-GreenEdge0:00:47 
37Ivan Velasco Murillo (Spa) Caja Rural  
38Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:01:47 
39Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
40Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Sky Procycling  
41Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar Team  
42Edwig Cammaerts (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
43David Belda Garcia (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon0:03:35 
44Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team0:03:49 
45Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar  
46Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
47Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team  
48Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
49Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha  
50Liam Holohan (GBr) Madison Genesis0:05:19 
51Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Caja Rural  
52Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
53Marc Goos (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team  
54Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural  
55Gaetan Bille (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
56Ian Bibby (GBr) Madison Genesis  
57Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge  
58Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha  
59Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
60Javier Megias Leal (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk  
61Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-GreenEdge0:08:25 
62Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge  
63Alex Peters (GBr) Madison Genesis  
64Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
65Davide Vigano (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
66Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
67Bram Tankink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team  
68Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin-Sharp  
69Ike Groen (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks  
70Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team  
71Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team  
72Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Blanco Pro Cycling Team  
73Jos Van Emden (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team  
74Jérémy Bescond (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
75Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
76Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin-Sharp  
77Igor Merino Cortazar (Spa) Euskadi  
78Aritz Bagües (Spa) Euskadi  
79Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar  
80Mikel Bizkarra (Spa) Euskadi  
81Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp  
82Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
83Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
84Sergey Firsanov (Rus) RusVelo  
85Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Sky Procycling  
86Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha  
87Danny Pate (USA) Sky Procycling  
88Caleb Fairly (USA) Garmin-Sharp  
89Sergey Klimov (Rus) RusVelo  
90Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha  
91Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GBr) Sky Procycling  
92Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
93Robert Wagner (Ger) Blanco Pro Cycling Team0:12:39 
94Sjoerd Kouwenhoven (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks  
95Antonio Piedra Perez (Spa) Caja Rural  
96Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural  
97Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks  
98Karol Domagalski (Pol) Caja Rural  
99Carlos Barbero Cuesta (Spa) Euskadi  
100Luis Mas Bonet (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon  
101Omar Fraile Matarranza (Spa) Caja Rural  
102Marcos Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural  
103Artur Ershov (Rus) RusVelo  
104Luca Wackermann (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
105Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge0:12:43 
106Jesus Del Pino Corrochano (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon  
OTLSep Vanmarcke (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling Team0:24:36 
OTLBas Stamsnijder (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks0:24:43 
OTLJuan Carlos Riutort Martinez (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon  
OTLDylan Groenewegen (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks  
OTLIllart Zuazubiskar Gallastegi (Spa) Euskadi  
OTLFabio Calabria (Aus) Team Novo Nordisk  
OTLThomas Raeymaekers (Bel) Team Novo Nordisk  
OTLJuan Carlos Larrinaga Muguruza (Spa) Euskadi  
OTLJonas Van Genechten (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
OTLKevin De Mesmaeker (Bel) Team Novo Nordisk  
OTLAndrea Peron (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk  
OTLHuub Duyn (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks  
OTLChristoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks  
OTLHaritz Orbe Urrutia (Spa) Euskadi  
OTLJon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
OTLEnrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar Team  
OTLGennadiy Tatarinov (Rus) RusVelo  
OTLAlexander Rybakov (Rus) RusVelo  
OTLMoises Duenas Nevado (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon  
OTLSander Cordeel (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
OTLDominic Jelfs (Irl) Madison Genesis  
OTLPablo Torres Muino (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon  
OTLCoen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks  
OTLMartijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk  
OTLDarío Hernández (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon  
OTLEfren Carazo (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon  
OTLAnthony Charteau (Fra) Team Europcar  
OTLJoshua Edmondson (GBr) Sky Procycling  
OTLYohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar  
OTLNatnael Berhane (Eri) Team Europcar  
OTLTony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar  
OTLMikel Aristi Gardoki (Spa) Euskadi0:25:00 
OTLMikel Iturria Segurola (Spa) Euskadi  
DNFBradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling  
DNFBen Swift (GBr) Sky Procycling  
DNFPablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFTony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
DNFGianluca Brambilla (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
DNFMichal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
DNFJuan Horrach Rippoll (Spa) Madison Genesis  
DNFGorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFJuan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFSteffen Radochla (Ger) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFRobert Vrecer (Slo) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFVicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol  
DNFJurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
DNFKenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
DNFJelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
DNFAndreas Klier (Ger) Garmin-Sharp  
DNFSébastien Rosseler (Bel) Garmin-Sharp  
DNFFabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin-Sharp  
DNFNick Nuyens (Bel) Garmin-Sharp  
DNFMatteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
DNFSergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha  
DNFViacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha  
DNFAlexey Tsatevitch (Rus) Katusha  
DNFTimofey Kritskiy (Rus) Katusha  
DNFMorgan Lamoisson (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFAdrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFRomain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFRuben Fernandez (Spa) Caja Rural  
DNFYelko Gomez (Pan) Caja Rural  
DNFDavid Lozano Riba (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNFJoonas Henttala (Fin) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNFAndrea Ciacchini (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNFPaolo Cravanzola (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNFRoman Maikin (Rus) RusVelo  
DNFValery Kaykov (Rus) RusVelo  
DNFLeonid Krasnov (Rus) RusVelo  
DNFIgor Boev (Rus) RusVelo  
DNFBob Schoonbroodt (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks  
DNFRonan Van Zandbeek (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks  
DNFBrennan Townshend (GBr) Madison Genesis  
DNFSebastian Baylis (GBr) Madison Genesis  
DNFDean Downing (GBr) Madison Genesis  
DNFJack Pullar (GBr) Madison Genesis  
DNFChris Snook (GBr) Madison Genesis  
DNFSteve Bekaert (Bel) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon  
DNFFederico Butto (Ita) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon  
DNFUnai Iparragirre (Spa) Euskadi  


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