John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) took his second victory of the season when he sprinted home first at the Trofeo Palma, the final race of the Challenge Ciclista Mallorca. The German also claimed success in the opening race of the four-day series on Thursday.
The race started and finished in Palma and despite a significant climb with 40 kilometres to go, was destined to end in a bunch finish with both Trek-Segafredo and Lotto Soudal interested in bringing it together. Degenkolb outsprinted Erik Baška (BORA – hansgrohe) and Coen Vermeltfoort (Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij) to take the win.
“I am so happy thanks to my team,” said Degenkolb after the race. “I know that I am in good shape and I feel pretty good. It’s always nice to start the season like this. I think it’s the first time I have won the first two races in a season, that’s a premiere for me. To have this feeling, which I missed so much last year and now I have it already twice. It’s so nice to be in the winning line again!”
Coming off a two-week training camp in Mallorca, Trek-Segafredo had its Classics team around Degenkolb and controlled the 159-kilometre race from start to finish. Degenkolb was positioned perfectly in the final metres, leaving little doubt to the outcome. Afterward, he heaped praise on his teammates:
“We showed again we were the strongest team in the race. It was fantastic teamwork; we took responsibility to control the race from the start and everyone on the team did the job he had to do. I had some bad luck just before the climb and I had to come back after a flat tire and it cost some energy, but it the end I was still able to follow in the big group.
“In the leadout, we picked the right moment to come to the front, and I only had to do the last 200 meters! So that was for me super nice and I am so happy. This victory is definitely a team victory – for all of us. We took the responsibility and we got the reward for it.”