Challenge Mallorca: Race 3

On a mountainous day in the third race of Challenge Mallorca 2022, Tim Wellens sprinted to victory in a very select group with Alejandro Valverde second and Simon Clarke third. Winner of the first race in the series, Brandon McNulty was 4th

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Challenge Mallorca: Race 3

On a mountainous day in the third race of Challenge Mallorca 2022, Tim Wellens sprinted to victory in a very select group with Alejandro Valverde second and Simon Clarke third. Winner of the first race in the series, Brandon McNulty was 4th

Photo: Lotto Soudal:

After a tough race over, among other things, the Puig Major climb, Wellens was the strongest at the finish in Lloseta in the sprint of a seven-rider leading group. Alejandro Valverde crossed the line in second and Simon Clarke was third. For Wellens it was his first win of the season.

The third race of Challenge Mallorca included quite a bit of climbing. From Lloseta, the course first went over the Coll de Femenies. After the climb, the riders returned to Lloseta to climb the Coll de Orient, the Coll de Sóller and the Puig Major in the last ninety kilometres: with more than three thousand altimeters, it promised to be a tough day in the saddle.

Early in the race, a seven-man breakaway formed, including Jacopo Mosca (Trek-Segafredo), Jokin Murguialday (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Julen Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Raúl García (Kern Pharma), Kevin Vauquelin (Arkéa Samsic), Sander De Pestel (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and initially also Sven Burger (BEAT Cycling).

The leaders opened a gap of more than four minutes on the peloton in the first half of the race, where BORA-hansgrohe and Movistar, controlled to the chase. In the second half of the race, the peloton started to pick up the pace and the gap to the leading group slowly but surely narrowed. On the Sóller, Mosca and García tried to attack his escape companions, but the others managed to return. Movistar meanwhile took a big bite out of the lead of the leading group.

Six kilometres from the top of the Puig Major, the break was caught and Alejandro Valverde attacked. This led to an elite group of nine riders, including Valverde, Enric Mas, Brandon McNulty, Emanuel Buchmann, Ben Zwiehoff, Simon Clarke, Tim Wellens, Kobe Goossens, Élie Gesbert and Warren Barguil going clear.

21 kilometers from the finish, Valverde attacked again. The 41-year-old opened up a gap but was soon caught and then more attacks in the leading group followed as Mas, Buchmann and Clarke also tried to go solo.

Valverde, Mas, McNulty, Buchmann, Clarke, Wellens and Goossens started the descent together to the finish in Lloseta and in the end a sprint had to decide the battle for victory. Wellens and Valverde were equal in the last straight, with the Spaniard having to ease up just before the finish to avoid a collision with the barriers and Wellens.

Photo: Lotto Soudal

Wellens was the first to cross the finish line. The race jury briefly discussed the final sprint, but came to the conclusion that no irregularities had occurred. For Wellens it was his fifth victory in the history of the Challenge Mallorca. In 2017 he won the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana and the Trofeo Andratx-Mirador des Colomer. In 2018 he won the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana, in 2019 the Trofeo de Tramuntana Sóller-Deia. On Wednesday, Lotto Soudal’s climber was also fourth in the Trofeo Calvia.

Tim Wellens: “The ascent of the Puig Major was ridden very hard, but I was able to follow well,” said the Belgian after the finish. “After that several attacks followed, but no one really got away. Knowing the finish, I knew I had to come out of the last corner first or second. I went through first and was able to hold it until the finish.”

“I feel really good from the moment I race here. It may not have been great in training, but since I’ve pinned a number on, I feel really good.”

Alejandro Valverde: I have to be happy. The team has been phenomenal these two days, 10 out of 10. Second day of competition and second day on the verge of winning; what more can I ask for?

Race 1 winner in the 2022 series, Brandon McNulty (4th): “ I had good legs on the last climb and was able to make the front group with the best climbers but in the final I just missed the punch I needed in the sprint. It was a tricky run in to the finish and still early in the year so I can’t complain, the speed will come, but I’m still happy with 4th place today.”

Simon Clarke: “I worked hard this winter and I just knew if a team gave me a chance, I was ready to deliver. So, this is me delivering.”

Source of article:

1. Tim Wellens Lotto Soudal 4:12:32
2. Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team
3. Simon Clarke Israel-Premier Tech
4. Brandon McNulty UAE Team Emirates
5. Kobe Goossens Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
6. Emanuel Buchmann BORA-hansgrohe
7. Enric Mas Movistar Team @ 14
8. Warren Barguil Team Arkéa-Samsic
9. Ben Zwiehoff BORA-hansgrohe @ 19
10. Felix Gall AG2R Citroën Team @ 1:52
11. Daan Hoole Trek-Segafredo
12. Ryan Gibbons UAE Team Emirates
13. Davide Villella Cofidis
14. Frederik Wandahl BORA-hansgrohe
15. Vincenzo Albanese EOLO-Kometa Cycling Team
16. Jan Bakelants Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
17. Gotzon Martin Euskaltel-Euskadi @ 1:55
18. Kevin Colleoni Team BikeExchange-Jayco
19. Jesus Herrada Cofidis
20. Matteo Jorgenson Movistar Team
47. Thomas Armstrong

Full Result here: 



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