Alejandro Valverde will be the guiding light for the first Spanish pro road race event of the season. The World Champion from the Movistar Team will visit – as it’s custom every year – the Balearic Islands to race the 28th Challenge Mallorca, a competition featuring a majority of climbers’ routes for 2019.
No less than three of the four trophies will be offering chances for either climbers or classics specialists, as the race includes a new stage one finish atop the Puig de Sant Salvador (Felanitx), on Thursday 31st January. The 4.6km, 7,3% climb will put an end to a predominantly flat trophy, followed by a lumpier route on day two, Friday 1st, with the climbs of Sa Gramola (Cat-3), Claret (Cat-3) and Puig Major (Cat-1) before Lloseta’s finish.
Sunday 2nd February will see the peloton take on the traditional, grueling Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana, just 143km long yet with six ascents: Sóller (Cat-2), Claret (Cat-3), Honor (Cat-2), Sa Batalla (Cat-2) and Puig Major (Cat-2) prior to the finish up the Coll d’en Bleda (Cat-3) and the last ramp inside Deià. The easiest chance for the sprinters will be on the final day (Sunday 3rd), with only the Coll Sa Creu (Cat-3) as obstacle for the fastest legs towards Palma’s coastal boulevard.
** It’s important to note that the Challenge Mallorca is held as a series of four independent, one-day races (UCI 1.1). That allows for the Movistar Team and all participant squads to sign up with a long list of riders, though only seven of them can race each day (lineups may vary completely for every trophy). Every morning, we’ll be announcing our roster for the day on our Twitter profile.