Andre Greipel of Team HTC-Columbia finally gets a win in Spain as he grabs the victory in the fifth stage of the Mallorca Challenge, the Trofeo Magaluf-Palmanova. Greipel finished ahead of Koldo Fernandez (Team Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Manuel Cardoso (Team Footon-Servetto).
The star rider of HTC-Columbia suffered setbacks in the first two stages of the Mallorca Challenge, much to the disappointment of fans who expected the Tour Down Under winner to get an early lead in the event.
Like Greipel, other favorites such as Fernandez, Cardoso, and Jose Joaquin Rojas also failed to secure victories early on, and without a clear leader in the sprints at Trofeo Magaluf-Palmanova, those who lagged behind in the early stages had an opportunity to reestablish themselves in the last stage of the Mallorca Challenge.
However, it was Greipel who emerged victorious, as he fought to get the win and defend his reputation in the final stage. The German rider actually had to endure another setback when he had a flat tire 18 kilometers away from the finish line, but managed to execute a successful comeback with the help of his speed and his teammates.
The 158-km Trofeo Magaluf-Palmanova stage included at least five climbs in between. Team Footon-Servetto’s Ermanno Capelli did a solo breakaway around the 15-kilometer mark, but never got ahead more than a couple of minutes from the main group. His teammate Matthias Brandle also tried to make a move when they passed Coll de Sóller, but had to fall back on the climb and moved back into the pack.
The overall speed of Team HTC-Columbia proved to be a major factor all throughout the race, as the team succeeded in chasing down any breakaways and bringing their star sprinter into the front during the last stretch. Andre Greipel took his cue from the rest of the squad and grabbed the victory, notching up his fifth win of the 2010 season.
Greipel’s win at the Trofeo Magaluf-Palmanova also earned him honors as the top ranking cyclist of the 2010 season, so far.