Orica-GreenEdge’s Leigh Howard timed his sprint to perfection as he took the honours in the Trofeo Campos on day two of Challenge Majorca.
The Australia edged out Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp), who narrowly missed out on the victory for the second consecutive day. Jose Joaquin Rojas came home in third, as Britain’s Ben Swift settled for tenth.
Race conditions were warm yet windy, so it was no surprise that once the peloton had caught a seven-man breakaway group with 27km remaining the race fractured into several groups.
Team Sky, Garmin-Sharp and Movistar all played a part in splitting the main field up, with Bradley Wiggins once again contributing to the efforts to support Swift.
With barely 50 riders in the front group left to navigate the narrow, winding roads on the approach to the finish in Ses Salines, the sprinters’ teams were able to wind up their lead-out trains in the closing kilometres.
For the second day running, it looked like Farrar had been given the perfect springboard from which he could go on to win the race, but a determined Howard narrowly pipped him on the line.
“I think I’ve won, I think I’ve won,” Farrar was heard telling his team-mates as they came across the line. Unfortunately the photo finish showed that it was Howard, and not the American, who had earned his first victory of the season.
While Wiggins eased up after a day of training as well as racing (see Thursday’s Cycling Weekly for more) towards the end of the race, Madison-Genesis’ riders found themselves on the wrong side of the splits when the peloton fragmented. For the second day running, Alex Peters was the team’s highest finisher, coming home in 101st.
Day three of Challenge Majorca sees the riders tackle the fabled climbs of Soller and Puig Major in the Trofeo Deia.
Challenge Majorca day two: Trofeo Campos, 167.1km
1. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge in 3-56-24
2. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp
3. Jose Joaqiun Rojas (Spa) Movistar
4. Egoitz Garcia (Spa) Cofidis
5. Enrique Unzue (Spa) Movistar
6. Francisco Jose Ventoso (Spa) Movistar
7. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Merdia
8. Kenny de Haes (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
9. Yoeri Havik (Ned) Cyclingteam de Rijke-Shaks
10. Ben Swift (Gbr) Team Sky all at st.
89. Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar at 2-43
101. Alex Peters (GBr) Madison-Genesis at 3-13
102. Sebastian Bayliss (GBr) Madison-Genesis
108. Jack Pullar (Gbr) Madison-Genesis
148. Liam Holohan (GBr) Madison-Genesis
151. Ian Bibby (GBr) Madison-Genesis
152. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky
153. Josh Edmondson (GBr) Team Sky
154. Brennan Townshend (GBr) Madison-Genesis all at st.
171. Dean Downing (GBr) Madison-Genesis at 4-15
176. Chris Snook (GBr) Madison-Genesis at 9-06