After a long day in the breakaway, Simon Carr (EF Education-EasyPost) scored the sixth win of his career at the Challenge Mallorca – Trofeo Calvià, outsprinting Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the dash to the finish line in Palmanova.
Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates), who had attacked with Vlasov 60km from the line, finished third after suffering from cramps inside the final 4km and dropping away from the leading trio.
Carr had been out front since the very early stages of the 150km race, venturing into what would turn into a six-man breakaway over the hills in eastern Mallorca.
He proved to be the strongest man from the move once UAE Team Emirates decided to kick off the action in the peloton via Marc Soler with 70km to go. Carr hung in there as Vlasov, Soler, and McNulty hit the front of the race, outlasting the Spaniard and sticking with his two new companions on the hilly run back to the finishing town.
Despite having 126km of breakaway riding in his legs, Carr still had enough to outpace Vlasov to the finish line. The pair were left alone in the final kilometres after McNulty was hit by cramps in both legs on the run to Palmanova. He’d hang on for third place, however, finishing 27 seconds down.
Alex Aranburu (Movistar) and Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-EasyPost) had fought valiantly in the chase for around 40km, and they were rewarded with fourth and fifth places for their efforts at 1:32 down while Rui Costa (Intermarché-Wanty) led the peloton home a further half minute back.
“It was a really hard race,” Vlasov, sporting a bandaged arm following a crash in training, said after the finish.” The last part was full gas. It was hard, as we expected. We wanted to do it as hard as possible to arrive in the final with less people.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t win but it’s a good start to the season. I just did my race and had fun today.”
How it unfolded
The hilly 150km route of the Trofeo Calvià brought attacks early on as riders fought to make the break of the day, with Simon Carr (EF Education-EasyPost) joined out front by Pablo Castrillo (Kern Pharma) inside the first 25km of racing.
Local team Illes Baleaes Arabay sent their man Joan Riera up the road, too, along with Iván Romeo (Movistar), Mattia Bais (Polti-Kometa), and Txomin Juaristi (Euskaltel-Euskadi).
The group was clear on the first challenging hills of the day, the Coll des Grau (3.3km at 6.7%) and Coll den Claret (5.2km at 4.6%), building their advantage over the peloton, though by the…