This Thursday, Eritrean Biniam Girmay offered the first success of the season for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, dominating a sprint of strong men on the Trofeo Alcudia (1.1, 27/01), the second one-day race of the Mallorca Challenge. Girmay, 21, concluded the formidable teamwork of the men led by Aike Visbeek and Pieter Vanspeybrouck, who took its responsibilities from the first kilometers of the race.
The Belgian World Team thus participated in the chase behind the morning breakaway of three riders, controlling a gap which peaked at almost five minutes. The difficult climb of Coll de Sa Batalla (8.7 km at 5%), located 50 kilometers from the finish, appeared as the main threat for a sprint finish. Surrounded by his teammates, Girmay managed to climb to the top with a heavily skimmed peloton, accompanied by Loïc Vliegen.
Despite late attempts to avoid the sprint, a small peloton would eventually shared the honors in Port d’Alcudia, in the northeast of the island. U23 vice-world champion Girmay came up from the left, thanks to a powerful effort, and reached the finish line ahead of his opponents to offer the first victory of 2022 for the team on its second day of racing.
Tomorrow, the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana will cross the eponymous mountain range on a particularly demanding 158 kilometer course, which features notably the Puig Major (14.6 km at 6%). Jan Bakelants, Kobe Goossens, Laurens Huys, Alexander Kristoff, Andrea Pasqualon and Kévin van Melsen will represent the team at the start in Lloseta.