German sprinter André Greipel opens his 2016 account with a sprint victory in the Trofeo Felanitx
André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) chalked up his first victory of the 2016 season on Thursday, winning the opening day of the Challenge Mallorca, the Trofeo Felanitx.
The German sprint powerhouse out-paced Irishman Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) to take the win on the Spanish island.
Top British finisher was Andy Fenn (Team Sky) in seventh place at the end of the 174-kilometre, UCI 1.1-ranked race.
Sir Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) made his road season debut at the race, and finished 19 seconds down on Greipel in a large second group.
An earlier three-rider break was reeled in with 25km to go as Greipel’s team led the pace of the peloton. A spirited but ultimately short-lived attack by Xavier Cañellas (Spain) in the final 15km was also quashed.
The four-day Challenge Mallorca offers opportunities for riders to ease into racing as the season winds up pace. Each day is treated as a separate race, but a prize is offered for the rider who finishes highest on aggregate after all four events are completed.
In addition to Lotto-Soudal, Sky and Dimension Data, a host of WorldTour teams have elected to use the event as a warm-up, including Etixx-QuickStep, Cannondale, FDJ, Trek-Segafredo and IAM Cycling.
Many teams coincide the racing with a training camp on the island.
Trofeo Felanitx (Challenge Mallorca day one): Felantix to Porreres, 174km
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Soudal
2. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
4. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannondale
5. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx-QuickStep
6. Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
7. Andy Fenn (GBr) Team Sky
8. Filippo Fortin (Ita) GM Europa Ovini
9. Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ
10. Albert Torres (Spa) Spain all same time