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.”

 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.

Friday 29 Jan 2016

If there is one thing we already know about the Rio 2016 Olympic road race course is that not only will it be beautiful but it will also be demanding. The result is that eligible riders and nations have been taking any opportunity available to check out the scenery and hilly terrain. The latest is UCI road world champion, Peter Sagan who will represent Slovakia. Early mail is that the course will suit any one of the big general classification contenders, like Tour de France champion Chris Froome.

The 15-22 May 2016 Amgen Tour of California route has revealed a route that will take the peloton 1300km from South to North across the American State.

The men's race starts in San Diego and travels through 10 additional host cities (four new this year) before a new champion is crowned in the state capital of Sacramento.

The peloton will endure nearly 20 000 meters in climbing elevation, including the race’s first ascent up the infamous Gibraltar Road in Santa Barbara County. Organisers said this year’s route is one where sprinters, punchy riders and climbers will each have opportunies to shine.

The women will compete for four days with similar stage starts and finishes to the men’s course. The Amgen Tour of California Women's Race empowered with SRAM is the first North American stage race of the inaugural UCI Women’s WorldTour and features the first team time trial in race history.

Stages: Amgen Tour of California men
Sunday 15 May, stage 1: San Diego – San Diego, 170,5 km
Monday 16 May, stage 2: South Pasadena – Santa Clarita, 148 km
Tuesday 17 May, stage 3: Thousand Oaks – Santa Barbara County (Gibraltar Road), 167,5 km
Wednesday 18 May, stage 4: Morro Bay – Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway, 215 km
Thursday 19 May, stage 5 : Lodi - South Lake Tahoe, 213 km
Friday 20 May, stage 6 : Folsom Time Trial, 20,3 km
Saturday 21 May, stage 7 : Santa Rosa - Santa Rosa, 175,5 km
Sunday 22 May, stage 8 : Sacramento – Sacramento, 150 km

Stages: Amgen Tour of California women
Thursday 19 May, stage 1 : South Lake Tahoe - South Lake Tahoe, 117 km
Friday 20 May, stage 2 : Folsom Time Trial, 20,3 km
Saturday 21 May, stage 3 : Santa Rosa - Santa Rosa, 111 km
Sunday 22 May, stage 4 : Sacramento – Sacramento, 66 km