XXIX Challenge of Mallorca
From 30 January to 2 February
A baptism in Mallorca for the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team. The third competitive adventure of the Alberto Contador Foundation in the continental category will start, for the first time since the creation of the project in 2018, in the now traditional opening race of the Spanish cycling calendar. The roads of the Challenge of Mallorca will be the scene of the premiere of a Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team that will come with eleven of its twelve riders and the renewed hopes of a season that looks exciting. Given the format of the event, all the cyclists will have the opportunity to compete in Balearic territory within the ‘seven’ that takes the start each day.
The competitive debut of the Italian Alessandro Fancellu, however, will still have to wait. The Lombard rider, one of the seven new faces of the team for 2020, has started the season slower after suffering a fall in the first days of the new year during a training session. A plate of ice on the asphalt sent him to the ground and in the fall he hit his right wrist, although he did not suffer any serious injury.
“Now with the universalization of cycling the season starts in other latitudes, with Australia or Argentina as the great protagonists or even lately also Africa, but for many years the Challenge of Mallorca was the first race of the year. Good roads, good weather, teams often concentrated on the island itself… Mallorca is a classic destination in which we had not yet been able to make our debut”, says Félix García Casas about a race that was born in 1992. The collaboration between the Foundation and Trek-Segafredo, the structure of which had become the development team, prevented their presence in the Challenge. In 2020, a greater autonomy will stimulate it.
“It is a much more winding route than it may seem at first sight and even on the last day it has some traps. For us it is a very good route and it can even be very good for some of our young runners”, says director Jesús Hernández. “The most important thing is to start competing, to take the pulse of the races, to see how we really are after two very good concentrations in Oliva Nova and to be faithful to our way of racing, without complexes and with the maximum ambition. Personally I was looking forward to the Challenge”.
The Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team will compete against some of the most powerful structures on the international scene. Trek-Segafredo, Movistar, Bora-Hansgrohe, Israel Cycling Team and Lotto-Soudal will be the five WorldTour structures present among the formations that will compose the peloton on the island of Mallorca. Bardiani CSF, Burgos-BH, Caja Rural Seguros RGA, Sport Vlaanderen Baloise , Team Euskadi , Team Wanty-Gobert , Team Arkea Samsic, Gazprom Rusvelo, Neri Sottoli Selle Italia KTM, Canyon DHB Bloor Homes, Team Sauerland, Gios Kiwi Atlántico, Kern Pharma , Work Service Cycling, Swiss Racing Academy complete the roster.
30th January: Ses Salines – Felanitx Trophy (Ses Salines – Felanitx), 170.7 km.
31st January: Serra de Tramuntana Trophy (Sóller – Deià), 160.5 km.
1st of February: Pollença-Andratx Trophy (Pollença – Andratx), 168.9 km.
2nd February: Playa de Palma Trophy (Palma de Mallorca – Palma de Mallorca), 159.6 km.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)
? Atila Madrona