Courage unrewarded in the mountains
07 February 2012

Trofeo Deià

Movistar Team gets four men -Rui Costa (2nd), Valverde, Gutiérrez and Rojas- into the Trofeo Deià's top-20, the Blue squad taking control of all phases in the race, with more than 100k on the breakaway by debutant José Herrada

Movistar Team were an incontrovertible protagonist in all phases of the Trofeo Deià, the third race in the 2012 Challenge de Mallorca over a mountainous 151-kilometer route with six categorized climbs. The squad led on Balearic soil by José Luis Arrieta made every single cut of the day. Iván Gutiérrez opened fire at the first climb, before being chased down by a peloton which later saw, at the 35th kilometer, the move by José Herrada, who led the race from that point. Initially with a 13-rider group, the Spaniard, who debuted today in Blue colours, tightened the group with his great speed across the Puigmajor (Cat. 2) and later at the Coll de Sóller (Cat. 2), where Rui Costa started playing his cards. After a great effort, Herrada was reached by the Portuguese, who eventually had to fight against the duos formed up by Machado and Fuglsang (RNT) alongside Henao and the day’s winner Lars Petter Nordhaug (SKY). Rui was the best into the pursuit group behind the Norwegian and took his first 2012 podium in just two days of competitions.

The team we had brought here was rather strong,” explained Costa after the race, with Rojas, who had won here last year, and Valverde, so we had many chances to win. We tried to race in a different way, but I couldn’t reward the team with the victory and I feel sorry about that. The two RadioShacks and the two Sky riders were attacking all the way and I always had to go past them, it was the four against me. There was a point where I had to let someone go. Nordhaug did a nice attack, went apart and at the end i could get second, which is a really important result for me at this point of the season. I worked hard this winter, today was a test for me to check how everything was going, and I’m happy with it. My next goal will be the Volta ao Algarve: I will fight my way into the top to see if I can make it into the best ten.

The Challenge will come to an end on Wednesday with the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana: 160 kilometers with three Cat. 3 climbs in the opening phase and the decisive Sóller (Cat. 2) and Puigmajor (Cat. 1) in the last 50k of an event concluding at the short slope of the Monasterio de Lluch. Movistar Team will line up with Alejandro Valverde, José Joaquín Rojas, Vasil Kiryienka, Pablo Lastras, José Herrada, Vladimir Karpets, Sergio Pardilla, Imanol Erviti and Rubén Plaza.