Belgian Tim Wellens battles Gianni Moscon and Alejandro Valverde for the victory on the second day of the 2018 Challenge Mallorca
Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) won the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana on Friday, the second event in the 2018 Challenge Mallorca.
Wellens went into the 140.1-kilometre race as defending champion, having sealed the win on the hilly course last year.
The 26-year-old Belgian was engaged in a battle with four-time former winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) as the three riders had made it into the decisive break alongside Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo) and Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe).
Valverde, Moscon and Wellens were the most active, taking turns to attack their rivals and using the climbs to their advantage, with Valverde cresting the top of the day’s big climb, the Puig Major, first.
However, going into the finish Valverde became distanced from Wellens and Moscon. Wellens sprinted ahead to cross the line and leave Moscon visibly disappointed.
Valverde came home for third to complete the podium in his first race back since breaking his kneecap on the opening stage of the 2017 Tour de France.
The Challenge Mallorca continues with the third event in the series, the Trofeo Lloseta-Andratx, on Saturday. Wellens also won the equivalent event last year.
Although there the Challenge Mallorca is made up of four days, each event is treated separately with riders able to dip in and out of the races. However, there is an overall prize for the rider who has placed highest in the four events.
Many of the top WorldTour teams use the event as an early-season warm-up, combining the racing with team training camps on the popular Spanish island.
John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) won the opening event on Thursday.
— ChallengeMallorca (@ChallengeMca) January 26, 2018
Challenge Mallorca 2018: Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana, 140.1km
1. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto-Soudal, in 3-45-52
2. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky, at same time
3. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar, at 24 secs
4. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, at 27 secs
5. Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 37 secs
6. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 5-06
7. Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo
8. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
9. Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
10. Felix Großschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe, at same time