Valverde again near the front, 4th in Andratx

27 January 2018
Imagen de la noticia ‛Valverde again near the front, 4th in Andratx’

Second top-ten finish this weekend

Spaniard from Movistar Team preceeded by attacking trio of Skujins (TFS), Mühlberger (BOH) and Reinders (RNL); ‘Bala’ contesting victory yet again in his comeback race.

Latvian rider Toms Skujins (TFS) profited from a grueling, disorganized finish in the Trofeo Lloseta – Andratx -day three of the Challenge Mallorca, 166km- to claim the solo win after a crazy race almost entirely covered on wet roads.

The continuous ups-and-downs from the very start -avoiding any break sticking until 80km in-, and more specifically inside the final 50km, shrank the field until the bunch turned into an 11-rider group. The lead included all three podium finishers from Friday in Deià: Wellens (LTS), Moscon (SKY) and an again solid Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), supported before that phase by team-mates Rosón, Arcas and Barbero.

It was, however, that very disarray and the climbs -Es Gran, Sa Gramola, Sa Coma y S’Arracó, all of them non-rated ones- which allowed Skujins, in a first move inside the last 10km, and Mühlberger (BOH, 2nd) and Reinders (RNL, 3rd), a couple of kilometers later, leaving the group behind with no clear opposition. Valverde would end up ‘winning’ the sprint for 4th place to confirm his second top-ten finish in just three days of competition in 2018, following Friday’s 3rd spot in the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana.

The Movistar Team and the rest of the field competing in the Challenge will tackle a fast-paced closing stage with Sunday’s Trofeo Playa de Palma – Palma, 160km that will include two laps of the traditional circuit alongside the corniche of Palma (Paseo Marítimo).

– Trofeo Playa de Palma – Palma lineup (Sunday 28th): Jorge Arcas, Carlos Barbero, Héctor Carretero, Imanol Erviti, José Joaquín Rojas, Jaime Rosón, Rafa Valls.

Picture (c): Photo Gomez Sport