Alejandro Valverde wins the Trofeo Pollença-Port d'Andratx

Movistar veteran Alejandro Valverde sprinted to victory from a small group at the Trofeo Pollença-Port d'Andratx, beating Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) to the line atop the steep finishing ramp on the fourth day of the Challenge Mallorca.

The 41-year-old was the strongest on the climb to the finish in Andratx, utilising his famed sprint to take his first win of 2022 and the 131st of his career. The victory is his first at the Trofeo Pollença-Port d'Andratx, though it's his sixth career triumph at the Challenge Mallorca, including two wins apiece at the Trofeo Sóller and the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana.

Valverde's Movistar team had been involved all day during what was another tough and hilly race on the island of Mallorca. The Spanish squad had controlled the peloton at several points during the day, while Enric Mas and Marc Soler also went on the attack.

After a late solo effort from Lotto Soudal's Matthews Holmes was reeled in at the base of the final ramp to the line, the finish was contested among the big leaders from the WorldTour teams present at the race.

Valverde had the beating of them though, accelerating away on the final dig to the line and outsprinting McNulty as Vlasov finished three seconds back. Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco) took fourth at six seconds, while Felix Gall (AG2R Citroën) took fifth, 10 seconds back.

"The whole team was excellent today," Valverde said after the race. "We tried to keep the race always as much under control as possible, and the team worked perfectly well. We had to tackle this Andratx climb at a strong pace to try and drop those faster legs still into the group. We succeeded at distancing Matthews, the strongest sprinter in the group, but I saw him trying to come back with 250, 300 meters to go, and that's where I launched my sprint before he bridged back – and I could manage to take it.

"I want to offer this victory to two really important men. The first one is Egan Bernal. All of my support goes out to him, hoping that his recovery goes well and we can see him doing fine as soon as possible. And then, to Juan Carlos Unzué. His example of strength, optimism, fighting spirit over the last few months has been invaluable, to everyone in this team particularly. A big hug goes to both, hoping that we can see each other soon."

How it unfolded

The third day of the Challenge Mallorca took the peloton across the north of the Balearic island, from the village of Pollença in the far north to Andratx in the west as they tackled the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range along the way.

Five classified climbs dotted the route, the last of them coming with 70 kilometres to go, though there would be plenty of hills left to come in the latter part of the race, including the final ramp to the finish, which measured in at 2.5 kilometres with an average gradient of 8.4 per cent.

The main break of the day took some time to form, with a group not managing to get away from the peloton until the riders had 37 kilometres of racing under their belts. Eleven men managed to get away and quickly built up a three-minute advantage, though that would be the most they would enjoy during their time out front.

Xabier Isasa (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Samuele Rivi (Eolo-Kometa), Davide Gabburo, Samuele Zoccarato (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Mario Aparicio (Burgos-BH), Ruben Apers, Kamil Bonneu (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Kasper Saver (Minerva Cycling), Pablo Alonso (Electro Hiper Europa-Caldas), Raúl Rota (Manuela Funación Continental), Christian Danilo Pase (Work Service Vitalcare Vega) were the men in question.

The move would only last for 55 kilometres of the 170.1-km race, at which point Soler made his move on a climb shortly after the town of Sóller. The attack didn't stick with 80 kilometres still to race, but did draw out more counterattacks, with Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe) among those trying a move.

More attacks followed, with Holmes making it away with 70km to go. The Briton was joined by Jan Bakelants (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) and Antonio Soto (Euskaltel-Euskadi), and the trio built an advantage of 20 seconds up and over the Coll den Claret before being caught at 53km to go.

Movistar were in control of the peloton at that point along with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, and it was no surprise to see them active again as the riders raced towards the finale. Mas made a move on the Coll de Sa Gramola with 30km to go, drawing out more attackers and helping to whittle down the already small peloton.

With 20km to go, only around 40 riders were left in front, though their number would soon dwindle further as Holmes tried his luck once again. He was solo this time, though, but even given the low likelihood of him staying away to the line, he persevered.

Holmes had a 10-second advantage as he passed the 10km to go mark, and five kilometres later the number remained the same. With the final climb approaching, though, his time out front was soon to run out and so it proved as he was caught at the base.

The small lead group only got smaller on the way up, with first Mas, then Einer Rubio and Iván Sosa doing the job on the front for team leader Valverde. He was joined by McNulty, Vlasov, Gall, Matthews, Wellens, Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) and Kobe Goossens (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) near the top, and proved the strongest on the final dash to line to claim victory.

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Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 4:14:50
2Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates
3Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Bora - Hansgrohe 0:00:03
4Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange - Jayco 0:00:06
5Felix Gall (Aut) Ag2R Citroën Team 0:00:10
6Simon Clarke (Aus)
7Elie Gesbert (Fra) Team Arkea - Samsic
8Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:13
9Kobe Goossens (Bel) Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux 0:00:19
10Simon Geschke (Ger) Cofidis 0:00:28
11Ivan Ramiro Sosa Cuervo (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:29
12Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:32
13Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:00:35
14Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkea - Samsic 0:00:39
15Davide Villella (Ita) Cofidis
16Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora - Hansgrohe
17Einer Augusto Rubio Reyes (Col) Movistar Team
18Nans Peters (Fra) Ag2R Citroën Team 0:00:47
19Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux
20Jose Felix Parra Cuerda (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
21Miguel Eduardo Florez Lopez (Col) Team Arkea - Samsic 0:00:52
22Gotzon Martin Sanz (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:00:56
23Filippo Zana (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
24James Piccoli (Can) Israel - Premier Tech
25Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal 0:00:58
26Simon Pellaud (Swi) Trek - Segafredo
27Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:01:02
28Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Drone Hopper - Androni Giocattoli 0:01:09
29Simon Guglielmi (Fra) Team Arkea - Samsic 0:01:28
30Lukasz Owsian (Pol) Team Arkea - Samsic 0:01:36
31Urko Berrade Fernandez (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma 0:01:39
32Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux 0:01:51
33Hector Carretero (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma 0:01:53
34Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team 0:02:02
35Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux 0:02:09
36Valentin Paret Peintre (Fra) Ag2R Citroën Team 0:02:39
37Matthew Holmes (GBr) Lotto Soudal 0:03:24
38Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:04:18
39Frederik Wandahl (Den) Bora - Hansgrohe 0:04:43
40Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora - Hansgrohe
41Marc Soler (Spa) Uae Team Emirates 0:06:20
42Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis 0:06:29
43Simone Ravanelli (Ita) Drone Hopper - Androni Giocattoli
44Sergio Roman Martin Galan (Spa) Caja Rural-seguros Rga
45Jens Schuermans (Bel) Beat Cycling
46Pelayo Sanchez Mayo (Spa) Burgos-BH
47Jaakko Hänninen (Fin) Ag2R Citroën Team
48Igor Arrieta Lizarraga (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
49Davide Bais (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
50Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
51Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:06:38
52Antonio Tiberi (Ita) Trek - Segafredo 0:06:44
53Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel - Premier Tech
54Sergio Araiz Michel (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
55Christopher Jensen (Den) Team BikeExchange - Jayco
56Julen Amezqueta Moreno (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:06:53
57Jon Agirre Egaña (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma 0:06:58
58Robbe Ghys (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
59Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Team Arkea - Samsic 0:07:11
60Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
61Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis 0:07:18
62Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek - Segafredo 0:08:25
63Andres Camilo Ardila Ordoñez (Col) Uae Team Emirates 0:07:59
64Antonio Jesus Soto Guirao (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:08:40
65Umberto Marengo (Ita) Drone Hopper - Androni Giocattoli 0:09:59
66Luis Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Movistar Team 0:11:20
67Diego Pablo Sevilla Lopez (Spa) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
68Nils Politt (Ger) Bora - Hansgrohe 0:11:28
69Abner Santiago Umba Lopez (Col) Drone Hopper - Androni Giocattoli 0:11:56
70Damien Howson (Aus) Team BikeExchange - Jayco 0:12:16
71Laurens Huys (Bel) Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux 0:12:50
72Thibaut Ponsaerts (Bel) Minerva Cycling Team 0:17:28
73Mateu Estelrich Cabanellas (Spa) Electro Hiper Europa - Caldas
74Miguel Angel Ballesteros Canovas (Spa) Electro Hiper Europa - Caldas
75Milan Fretin (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
76Matthew Van Schoor (Bel) Minerva Cycling Team
77Anton Palzer (Ger) Bora - Hansgrohe
78Daniel Hoyos Largo (Col) Electro Hiper Europa - Caldas
79Kamiel Bonneu (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
80RICARDO Zurita (Ven)
81Yesid Pira Parada (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
82Barnabás Peák (Hun) Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux
83Julian Mertens (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
84André Carvalho (Por) Cofidis
85Thomas Champion (Fra) Cofidis
86Jordy Bouts (Bel) Beat Cycling
87Kamil Malecki (Pol) Lotto Soudal
88Luca Covili (Ita) Bardiani csf Faizane'
89Luis-Joe Lührs (Ger) Bora - Hansgrohe
90Aaron Verwilst (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
91Lorenzo Ginestra (Ita) Work Service - Vitalcare - Dynatek
92Diego Rosa (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
93Alejandro Ropero Molina (Spa) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
94Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Israel - Premier Tech
95Davide Gabburo (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
96Ander Okamika Bengoetxea (Spa) Burgos-BH
97Barry Miller (USA) Java Kiwi Atlantico
98Gaizka Gurrutxaga Etxeberria (Spa) Java Kiwi Atlantico
99Thomas Armstrong (GBr) Electro Hiper Europa - Caldas
100Adria Moreno Sala (Spa) Burgos-BH
101Andreas Miltiadis (Cyp) Java Kiwi Atlantico
102Sander Armee (Bel) Cofidis
103Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux 0:17:33
104Iker Ballarin Manso (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:17:35
105Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Drone Hopper - Androni Giocattoli
106Robbe Van Praet (Bel) Minerva Cycling Team
107Viktor Verschaeve (Bel) Lotto Soudal
108Kasper Saver (Bel) Minerva Cycling Team 0:17:43
109Ruben Apers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
110Michal Schlegel (Cze) Caja Rural-seguros RGA
111Mario Aparicio Muñoz (Spa) Burgos-BH 0:17:44
112Ivan Moreno Sanchez (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
113Jack Bauer (NZl) Team BikeExchange - Jayco
114Jan Polanc (Slo) Uae Team Emirates 0:17:48
115Marcos Jurado Rodriguez (Spa) Electro Hiper Europa - Caldas 0:17:56
116Thomas Joseph (Bel) Minerva Cycling Team 0:18:03
117Alexander Kamp (Den) Trek - Segafredo
118Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Ag2R Citroën Team
119Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani csf Faizane' 0:18:07
120Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Burgos-BH 0:18:18
121Jokin Murguialday (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:18:20
122Xabier Isasa Larrañaga (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
123Xabier Mikel Azparren Irurzun (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
124Harrison Sweeny (Aus) Lotto Soudal 0:18:23
125Edwin Yair Torres (Ven) Java Kiwi Atlantico 0:18:35
126Juan Diego Hoyos Cano (Col) Electro Hiper Europa - Caldas 0:18:38
127Kevin Colleoni (Ita) Team BikeExchange - Jayco 0:18:49
128Samuele Rivi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
129Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar Team
130Stijn Daemen (Ned) Beat Cycling 0:19:02
131Raul Rota Rus (Spa) Manuela Fundacion 0:19:19
132Sander De Pestel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise 0:19:30
DNFGonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFPascal Ackermann (Ger) Uae Team Emirates
DNFRyan Gibbons (RSA) Uae Team Emirates
DNSJuan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) Uae Team Emirates
DNSAurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
DNFSebastian Berwick (Aus) Israel - Premier Tech
DNFBen Hermans (Bel) Israel - Premier Tech
DNFGuy Niv (Isr) Israel - Premier Tech
DNFSamuel Bewley (NZl) Team BikeExchange - Jayco
DNFDion Smith (NZl) Team BikeExchange - Jayco
DNSJakob Egholm (Den) Trek - Segafredo
DNFDaan Hoole (Ned) Trek - Segafredo
DNFOmar El Gouzi (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
DNFGiovanni Visconti (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
DNFSamuele Zoccarato (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
DNFOscar Cabedo Carda (Spa) Burgos-BH
DNFAndré Domingues (Por) Burgos-BH
DNFAlessandro Bisolti (Ita) Drone Hopper - Androni Giocattoli
DNFJente Boons (Bel) Beat Cycling
DNFSven Burger (Ned) Beat Cycling
DNFJochem Kerckhaert (Ned) Beat Cycling
DNFBram Dissel (Ned) Beat Cycling
DNFJorre Debaele (Bel) Minerva Cycling Team
DNFThimo Willems (Bel) Minerva Cycling Team
DNFXavier Cañellas Sanchez (Spa) Java Kiwi Atlantico
DNSAlessio Gasparini (Ita) Java Kiwi Atlantico
DNFNikiforos Arvanitou (Gre) Java Kiwi Atlantico
DNFPablo Alonso Montes (Spa) Electro Hiper Europa - Caldas
DNFVicente Hernaiz Santamaria (Spa) Manuela Fundacion
DNFDaniel Jimenez Martinez (Spa) Manuela Fundacion
DNFErik Martorell Haga (Spa)
DNFEduardo Perez-landaluce Gonzalez (Spa) Manuela Fundacion
DNFMiquel Valls Alemany (Spa) Manuela Fundacion
DNFGiovanni Bortoluzzi (Ita) Work Service - Vitalcare - Dynatek
DNFRiccardo Carretta (Ita) Work Service - Vitalcare - Dynatek
DNFFilippo Dignani (Ita) Work Service - Vitalcare - Dynatek
DNSChristian Danilo Pase (Ita) Work Service - Vitalcare - Dynatek
DNFEric Paties Montagner (Ita) Work Service - Vitalcare - Dynatek
DNFRiccardo Ricci (Ita) Work Service - Vitalcare - Dynatek

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