It didn't take long for Andre Greipel to open his 2016 account. The Lotto-Soudal sprinting powerhouse took the first event of Challange Mallorca, the Trofeo Felanitx.
The 177km long stage was the perfect platform for the German after the requisite break was reeled in. He finished ahead of Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18) and Edvald Boasson Hagen of Dimension Data.
"We did a recon of the course and knew what we had to do." Greipel said. "Obviously, we didn’t want to let a big group get away.
At a certain point eight to nine riders had a gap, but Marcel Sieberg was part of that group as well, so that situation wasn’t too bad for us. After lots of attacks there was a break of three riders. That it looked like we had it all under control? Actually, Frederik Frison had it all under control. He was pulling alone all day and controlled the three guys in front. A great job of him in his first race as member of our pro team.
“We caught the leaders in time and my team did a very good lead-out for me. At the end it was all straight on, with the wind coming from the left. I hit the front with 200 metres to go and won.
It’s really nice to start the season by winning your first race of the year. I’ll race again tomorrow and on Sunday. We have a strong team for the next days and we’ll aim for another victory.”
— Club Ciclista Lloret (@cclloret) January 28, 2016
The Mallorca Challenge is a series of five individual races, each with different characteristics, but counting to an overall winner. Riders are not required to participate in all events.