This year’s Challenge Ciclista Mallorca, in the past known as Challenge Vuelta a Mallorca, is the first professional cycling competition of the year, and it happens right here on the island between January 29th (yesterday) and February 1st (Sunday). The event is an annual, early season preparatory event used by many of the international top teams to get ready for the bigger races later in the season. The four races are ranked 1.1 on the UCI Europe Tour. Teams are on the island from Spain, the UK, Belgium, Germany, Poland, USA, Switzerland, Holland, France, Russia and South Africa. I hope I have not forgotten anyone.
The race started yesterday in Santanyí and went through Ses Salines to Campos over a distance of 175.5 km. The race was won by Pelucchi Matteo from Team IAM Cycling from Switzerland, followed by Elia Viviani riding for the British Team Sky.
Today, the riders set off from Andratx for a 149 km race through the highs and lows of the Serra de Tramuntana to the Mirador es Colomer between Pollença and Formentor.
Saturday will see the challenge continue between Valldemossa and Deià, by way of Banyalbufar, Andratx, Esporles and Orient, covering 165.7 km, whilst Sunday will see the race being staged in the centre of the island, starting from Palma to continue through Llucmajor, Algaida, Sineu, Santa Margalida, Binissalem and back to Palma, over a course of 168.2 km.
Let’s see who wins the overall trophy and let’s see if we can spot one of the stars, such as Bradley Wiggins, Andre Greipel or Alejandro Valverde.
There will also be a junior event along Palma’s Avenidas on Sunday, February 1st, as well as an indoor track series event at the ill-fated Palma Arena on Sunday, March 1st.
Good luck to all the competitors.