Griepel sprints to Magaluf-Palmanova victory in final Mallorca Challenge
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Griepel sprints to Magaluf-Palmanova victory in final Mallorca Challenge

by Ben Atkins at 12:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results

Andre Griepel (HTC-Columbia) took victory in the Trofeo Magaluf-Palmanova, the fifth and final race in the Mallorca Challenge. He beat Koldo Fernandez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Tour Down Under stage winner Manuel Cardoso (Footon-Servetto) into second and third respectively.

The HTC-Columbia team was determined to deliver its sprinter to victory after his second place in Monday’s Trofeo Cala Millor. A number of breakaways were attempted, notably by Footon-Servetto riders Ermanno Capelli and Matthias Brändle, but none was successful due to the speed maintained by Griepel’s team.

"I wasn't expecting this win.  Before the stage I thought I'd just try to hang on for as long as I could in the hillier parts, but I got over the climbs in a lot better shape than I'd thought possible," Greipel said afterwards.

In the last few kilometres, local rider Joan Horrach (Katusha) tried his luck once again, and with riders like Maxime Monfort (Cofidis) and Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d’Epargne) joining him it looked like he might make it. HTC-Columbia was determined that the race would end in a sprint though and the escapees were pulled in with 4km to go.

  "In the last 40 kilometres my HTC-Columbia teammates did a lot of chasing of the riders who'd broken away and that way we had everything under control in the last part of the stage," explained Greipel.  "There were three roundabouts in the last five kilometres where things got a bit more complicated again."

There just remained to deliver Griepel to the finish line, and the big German was the strongest and took the victory.

"I followed my teammate [Vicente] Reynes," Greipel continued.  "I was about fifth wheel on the final right-hand corner onto the  finishing straight on the seafront and then I went for it in the last 200 metres.  It's always good to get a win, but I'm particularly pleased with how well I got over the climbs on a tough day, too. My teammates worked hard for this, too, and we deserved to get a win."

So far this year Griepel has won three stages and the overall at the Tour Down Under; this victory and his second place in the Trofeo Cala Millor, make him the number one raked rider of 2010 by far.

1. Andre Griepel (Ger) HTC-Columbia
2. Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
3. Manuel Cardoso (Por) Footon-Servetto
4. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
5. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Cofidis
6. Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Team Milram
7. Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Saxo Bank
8. Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetAPP
9. Ruben Perez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
10. Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha


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