— Ciclismo en Mallorca (@ciclismallorca) January 26, 2017
German André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) opened his 2017 early with victory in the opening day of the 2017 Challenge Mallorca on Thursday, the Trofeo Porreres-Felanitx-Ses Salines-Campos.
Britain’s Dan McLay (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) came in for third in his first race of the season, with Belgian Jonas Van Genechten (Cofidis) in second after the peloton had reeled in the day’s four-man escape.
Greipel claimed the bunch sprint win in the traditional European season-opening race, a favourite among several of the big WorldTour teams as they coincide the event with training camps on the Spanish island.
The 34-year-old German road race champion won the same race at the start of 2016, before going on to win three stages of the Giro d’Italia and one in the Tour de France.
There were numerous British riders in the bunch, including Alex Dowsett (Movistar), Tao Geoghegan Hart, Jon Dibben (both Team Sky) and a Great Britain national team.
Dibben made an impressive debut for Sky, placing sixth behind Greipel.
Thankfully there was no sign of the snowy conditions that gripped the island last week, and forced some of the riders to abandon their training camps.
The Challenge Mallorca comprises four days of racing, with each day treated as a separate race allowing squads to chop and change their teams. However, a prize is awarded to the rider with the best overall performance in the series.
Friday’s race is the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana.
Challenge Mallorca 2017: Trofeo Porreres-Felanitx-Ses Salines-Campos, 161.8km
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Soudal
2. Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Cofidis
3. Daniel McLay (GBr) Fotuneo-Vital Concept
4. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
6. Jonathan Dibben (GBr) Team Sky
7. Alexander Porsev (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
8. Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
9. Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Team Sky
10. Vicente Garcia (Esp) Spain, all same time