The Challenge Mallorca offers a variety of types of races. The Trofeo Palma, on day one, is as flat as a pancake. The riders have to cover ten local laps in the capital Palma, good for a total distance of 116 kilometers. Also the second day is nearly completely flat. On Tuesday there is a serious amount of climbing to do. There are two climbs of third and second category on the route. Finally the peloton has to get over the Coll de Puig Major (1st cat.).The top is at about 15 kilometers from the finish line. Then it’s not one long descent but there’s still a feisty uphill part to come. The last ‘Trofeo’ has a flat beginning and end, but in the middle are four climbs of second category, which will make the race very selective.
Mario Aerts, sports director: “The first race is likely to end with a bunch sprint. There we will play the card of Jens Debusschere or Kenny Dehaes, who won the Trofeo Palma last year. The second day it’s also possible that there is a sprint, but the wind can be tricky and echelons might be formed.”
“In the third stage, a mountain stage, Jurgen Van den Broeck will definitely want to test the legs. Also Armée, Broeckx and Wellens can grab their chance. On the final day the climbs in the middle of the race will make sure there is a big selection. Afterwards riders can come back in the flat part to the finish. If Debusschere is part of the front group he can sprint at the end, otherwise it’s up to the climbers of the team that are ahead. In Mallorca we aim for a victory.”
Selection Lotto Belisol:
Sander Armée, Stig Broeckx, Jens Debusschere, Kenny Dehaes, Jurgen Van den Broeck, Tim Wellens and Frederik Willems.
Sports directors: Mario Aerts and Herman Frison
Sunday 9th of February : Trofeo Palma (116 km)
Monday 10th of February: Trofeo Ses Salines-Campos-Santanyí (183 km)
Tuesday 11th of February: Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana, Deià Lluc (152,9 km)
Wednesday 12th of February: Trofeo Muro – Port d’Alcudia (162 km)