Mallorca Challenge adds Cofidis, Direct Energie to 2019 line-up

The organisers of the Challenge Mallorca have confirmed five Pro Continental teams for their series of one-day races later this month, in addition to the six WorldTour teams that have already been named. 

The full line-up is yet to be confirmed but Movistar, Bora-Hansgrohe, Lotto Soudal and Trek-Segafredo will be present and correct on the island for the first race on January 31, while Team Sky will not race. 

Katusha-Alpecin and UAE Team Emirates are the other two WorldTour squads named for the event, while Caja-Rural, Cofidis, Team Murias, Sport Vlaanderen and Direct Energie are the confirmed Pro Continental teams. That is three fewer second-division teams than in 2018. Last year saw eight named among the 18 teams on the start line. However, it is an increase of one WorldTour team over the previous edition.

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Fabio Aru and Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) have already said that they will be competing at the event.

Katusha-Alpecin are riding the event for the first time since the 2014 season, while UAE Team Emirates are making their debut. One obvious omission from the list of WorldTour teams is Team Sky, who use Mallorca as a training base and have been regular features at the race. Cofidis return to the Spanish event after missing it last year, while Direct Energie have not made an appearance since 2015, when they were named Team Europcar.

The Mallorca Challenge is a series of one-day races, which has been held annually since 1992. It was previously five races but dropped down to four for the 2012 season due to financial constraints. The races are the Trofeo Santanyi-SesSalines-Campos, the Trofeo Alcudia, Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana and the Trofeo Palma de Mallorca.

The first and final races are traditionally for the sprinters, while the middle two are for the climbers and rouleurs. Riders do not have to compete in every race, with teams able to rotate their line-ups. A general classification is still taken across the four days, with the most consistent rider awarded the overall title.

Last season, John Degenkolb won two of the races, while Toms Skuijns and Tim Wellens took one apiece.

This year’s Challenge Mallorca will begin on January 31 with the Trofeo Santanyi-SesSalines-Campos and finishes on February 3 with the Trofeo Palma-de Mallorca.

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