The Challenge of Mallorca concludes with a good feeling for the squad: “We have done a good race every day”
XXIX Challenge de Mallorca
Trofeo Playas de Palma (Palma-Palma de Mallorca), 159,6 km
In Palma de Mallorca, sprint. Second partial victory for the Italian Matteo Moschetti (Trek-Segafredo) in this edition of the Challenge. And a 34th final position in the massive finish, with which this fourth and last trophy of the 2020 edition was resolved for Giacomo Garavaglia. The Italian, who was the only rider on Kometa-Xstra scheduled to set off over the four days of competition, was unable to get involved in a volley where the WorldTour teams were carrying the weight of the preparations.
“I made a mistake and I thought there was still another lap of the circuit,” said Garavaglia. “I think I could have made it into the top 20 without any problems. Despite the efforts of the last few days I felt very good during the whole day. The truth is that I’m very satisfied with my form, but I’m also aware that today I missed a good opportunity to do better. I made a beginner’s mistake”.
The Playas de Palma Trophy was marked by an early escape of three cyclists (the Spanish Lluis Mas, Movistar, Majorcan and running at home; the Grenadian and former rider of the U23 team of the Alberto Contador Álvaro Cuadros Foundation, Caja Rural; and the Belgian Brian van Goethem, Lotto-Soudal), epilogue to a series of accelerations in search of the escape in which one more day tried to have presence the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team. The Hungarian Márton Dina was one of those involved in that fight. Afterwards, the team turned to protecting Giacomo Garavaglia in particular.
The passage through the Coll de Sa Creu provided an ideal terrain for the uncertainty of the expected arrival at the sprint. It was there that Enric Mas (Movistar), a Spaniard who was also from Mallorca, moved in, and it was there that a small group of eight units was formed, with a former member of the current Kometa-Xstra, the Italian Stefano Oldani, filming. Those eight riders ended up being four (Oldani, the Luxembourger Jean-Pierre Drucker, Bora-Hansgrohe; and the Belgians Loic Vliegen and Jesper Stuyven, Wanty-Circus and Trek-Segafredo, respectively) and the quartet reached the penultimate lap of the urban circuit of Palma, where a reduced sprint would end up taking place.
“Today we noticed that the pack was not as nervous as on the first day and that, with the development of the days, we have all gone better. I think that during the four trophies we have had a good race and that this dynamic will accompany us in the next commitments”, said the Portuguese Daniel Viegas from the Paseo Marítimo de Palma. And his partner Antonio Puppio adds: “These have been very good days to accumulate competition kilometres that physically and mentally will come in handy for the big goals of the season”.
Jesús Hernández, director of Kometa-Xstra: “We leave Mallorca very satisfied with what we have seen and done. The team has tried to be a protagonist in every moment against formations of much more potential and category. We are a very young team, but with an outstanding will and attitude. Perhaps on the route to Port d’Andratx it was the day when we didn’t have that same presence in the breakaway head of the rest of the days and yet the response of the riders was formidable, working very hard to break a four minute gap that they managed to leave in less than 50 seconds. Out of ten. Now it’s time for the Vuelta a la Comunitat Valenciana, again against World Tour and Continental Professional teams, where our aim is the same. And we are going without any complex”.