Mallorca Challenge: Howard Repeats in Alcúdia Trophy


Australian Leigh Howard survived a tough day in the mountains to win the bunch sprint for the final race in the 2013 Challenge Mallorca. Ben Swift is in hospital after a heavy crash.

Brits in Mallorca – Photos from Richard Bennett

[nggallery id=120]

USAGE: Click a photo to display; Use the left 7 right cursor keys to move between pictures; Click an image to close

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

The stage over 169.8 mountainous kilometers including the climbs of Puig Major & Sóller before finishing in Playa de Muro, saw an early break escape with the very dangerous Gesink holding on until four kilometers from the finish. It was then a bunch kick for the riders left at the front and yet again the Orican GreenEdge ‘trackie’ Leigh Howard was too quick for the rest. Alex Dowsett of Movistar was the top British rider in 13th.


Win for Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEdge) in Mallorca.

The first 20 kilometres of racing were very fast. Orica-GreenEdge director sportif Neil Stephens says of it “frequent attacks and strong winds were putting riders in the gutter. Eventually a break of seven riders formed, later this became ten. ORICA-GreenEDGE had Michael Matthews in that group.”

”We really wanted a rider in the early break” Stephens noted. “This took the pressure off us and also gave us an extra rider up the road ahead of the finish.” This was a tactic used effectively the previous two days.”

The break obtained a maximum advantage of 4:35. With the middle part of the stage containing some undulation, Michael Matthews took this opportunity to pick up King of the Mountain points. Matthews was first over two of the four climbs. This was enough to win him the King of the Mountains Jersey. The second day in the row for the team.

After the final climb of the day there was a long downhill run in to the finish. Matthews had been dropped on the climb as some of climbers in the break pushed on. Stephens said “this allowed Matthews to give the team an extra rider towards the finish as we had planned.” In the final 50 kilometres the advantage of the remaining break was steadily falling and the team had 6 riders. “Movistar were on the front and we wanted to chase as well” Stephens said.

The break was caught in the final five kilometres and all was set for a sprint finish. Lead out by Sebastian Langeveld, Howard sprinted to the win ahead of Wynants (Blanco) and Cimolai (Lampre-Merida). Making it the teams second win of the week out of four races. Leigh Howard was stoked at his second win. “A massive thanks to all the boys for supporting me the entire race, without them its not possible” said Howard after the win. Howard added “thanks to Stevo for having faith in me again.”

Neil Stephens was particularly happy with the teams performance this week. Saying “it is always great to win but we managed to win the King of the Mountains jerseys here as well.” He continued with “we are not normally thought of as a team of climbers so that makes it even better.”

Stephens was also full of praise for the entire team, not just riders but mechanics and other behind the scenes staff as well. “Many people might not realise but the team only gets a couple of weeks off at the end of the season.” “Riders have been in the gym, mechanics and soigneurs have been organising bikes and cars.”

While the four days of racing may be complete the team plans to stay in Majorca for several days for training. “The entire team worked really well here” Stephens said. From here riders will go off to the classics as well as Paris-Nice and Tirreno–Adriatico.

Stage Result
1. Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEDGE)
2. Maarten Wynants (Blanco)
3. Davide Cimolai (Lampre-Merida)
4. Egoitz García (Cofidis)
5. J. Joaquín Rojas (Movistar)
6. Angelo Tulik (Europcar)
7. Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
8. Robert Hunter (Garmin-Sharp)
9. Sergio Henao (Sky)
10. Rigoberto Urán (Sky)
11. David López (Sky).
12. Kevin Reza (Europcar)
13. Alex Dowsett (Movistar)
14. Bart De Clercq (Lotto-Belisol)
15. Yuriy Trofimov (Katusha)

50 HOLOHAN Liam Madison Genesis 5:19
56 BIBBY Ian Madison Genesis
63 PETERS Alex Madison Genesis
91 TIERNAN-LOCKE Jonathan Sky Procycling


RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK