Less than a month of competition and already three victories at Movistar Team’s count. After the triumphs by Fran Ventoso -in the Tour Down Under- and Xavi Tondo -in the Tour de San Luis-, it was the turn today for José Joaquín Rojas, brilliant victor of the Trofeo Deià.
The fourth race in the Challenge a Mallorca got decided into a 30-rider selected sprint after a race where the Movistar Team jersey led at the top of the field for all the stage. Rojas came as the fastest in the uphill sprint and broke with a streak of no victories which extended up to a year and a half, the Murcian having won a stage in the Tour de l’Ain in August 2009.
“To tell the truth, I had lost a bit of confidence on myself,” recognized Rojas just after crossing the finishing line, “and if I recovered it, it was thanks to the team, who was always supporting me all over the race, and also to my teammate Ventoso, who convinced me I could win and It was going to be my day. We had chances with Tondo and Pardilla if the race broke into pieces, plus Fran’s and mine if it came to a sprint. Ventoso told me he wasn’t having a good day and to try it by myself. I knew the finish from last year, I had good legs and I knew I had to come into the last corner as first. It was a pity I couldn’t celebrate it as deserved, because there were some riders who had jumped into the bynch before and I didn’t know if there was something before us, so I didn’t raise my arms at the finish. I take more than ten podium places every year, but it was being hard to take it to a victory. At the end, so many close calls led to a win. Of course I want to dedicate this to all Movistar Team members and also to my friend Alejandro Valverde, who was following the race today, who is having bad moments and whom I think we will see at his best when he returns.”
The Challenge a Mallorca concludes on Thursday as the last race, the Trofeo Magaluf-Palmanova (158 km), is ridden, with Movistar Team bringing Rojas, Ventoso, Tondo, Amador, Gutiérrez, Arroyo, Herrada, Intxausti, Lastras and Pasamontes.