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Tim Wellens Wins!

Stage 2 Trofeo Palma de Mallorca

Tim Wellens Wins!

For the second day in a row Lotto Soudal claimed the victory at the Challenge Mallorca. The first race was a sprint stage, this time it was up to the climbers in the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana. Half-way the race Lotto Soudal took control. The peloton reeled in the early escapees and thanks to the teamwork Louis Vervaeke and Tim Wellens got in a front group. Tim Wellens set up a solo and won the race, thanks to the support of Vervaeke in the background. Vervaeke got second at 24 seconds.

Tim Wellens: “For us, the race really began in Orient, at the Coll d’Honor, the climb at eighty kilometres from the finish. Jürgen Roelandts, Tomasz Marczynski and Bart De Clercq rode full gas towards the top. The peloton was completely strung out. Also in the descent we set a high pace, which caused the bunch to fall apart. We were riding in front with a group of about twenty riders, six of them were Lotto Soudal riders. The teammates kept riding hard until the bottom of the Coll de sa Batalla, with fifty kilometres to go. After a series of attacks Louis Vervaeke and I got in front with five others. I attacked with 35 kilometres to go. Louis Vervaeke did an excellent job protecting me, so I got a comfortable lead. When I jumped away Amador was on my wheel. I feared it would be tough to get rid of him, but it turned out he couldn’t follow me. That gave me a boost of confidence.”

“I didn’t expect to win, but I had expected that I would do well here at the Challenge Mallorca. My tests were better than last year. After the first hour of racing I suggested a strategy to sports director Bart Leysen. Without the efforts of the teammates I probably wouldn’t have won.”

“Today I expect Movistar to take control. The decision will be made on the final hill. Maybe I can now help Louis after all his support. We already rode up the hill many times on training. The hill is not very steep and it has the same gradient almost the entire way. It’s a large road and you can always see what’s ahead of you. A third consecutive victory for Lotto Soudal would be unique.”

Three out of three for Lotto Soudal at Challenge Mallorca! Tim Wellens won for the second day in a row, after André Greipel had won the first of four races on Thursday.

A breakaway of eleven riders was formed early on the stage to the Mirador d’es Colomer. They got an advantage of just over four minutes, but that dropped quickly. Before the top of the Puig Major they were all caught. From then on 55 kilometres were left. There were a few attacks, but eventually all would be decided on the three-kilometre long climb at the end. Tim Wellens accelerated at the bottom and he could stay ahead until the finish. Alejandro Valverde was second. Tiesj Benoot finished third and Louis Vervaeke fourth, also nice results for the two Lotto Soudal riders.

Tim Wellens: “I really hadn’t expected this. It was the plan that I would attack at the bottom of the climb and would go over my limit, so the others would need to do that too. Afterwards Tiesj Benoot and Louis Vervaeke had to attack. Just like yesterday our team took control of the race. After the Puig Major Bart De Clercq and Tomasz Marczynski attacked. We wanted to isolate Alejandro Valverde and that was a success. Frederik Frison brought us in the perfect position to the bottom of the climb and then I attacked. This was once again a team performance. Everyone contributed to this victory.”

“It’s wonderful to beat Valverde on such a finish. In the sprint he would have been faster. I find this second win even more beautiful than the one of yesterday because there was more tension. I won’t race tomorrow, but I might go and cheer for the boys to conquer that fourth victory!”



The venue for the third round of the Enduro World Series couldn’t be more different to the opening rounds in Patagonia. A far cry from the Pacific shores and the breathtaking Andes, we headed to the familiar hills of Ireland for one of the riders’ favourite races of the season. Carrick Mountain was the stage for the biggest crowd ever seen at an enduro race last year, and this year things only got bigger. While the hill itself may only rise 350m above sea level, the seven laps the riders faced on race day and the technical nature of the tracks made this as big a challenge as any alpine destination.

We have a little style competition going in the team. Robin boosting the man-made jump on stage six…

And Gary Forrest styling a natural roller by the bluebells:

As this race is closer to home for most of the team, we skipped the sightseeing and flew in a couple of days before the race to get straight down to business. With practice starting on Friday, there was time earlier in the week to get a couple of days hiking the trails, to check all the lines out on foot, ready for those first practice runs. Come first day of practice the riders tackled stages one through to four, then five through to seven on the second day. With a hill this size it is easy to get carried away and burn yourself out running laps, but you always had to remember that come race day there was a full 50km and 1,700m of climbing to face – you needed to find the fine balance between getting your lines dialed and keeping your legs fresh.

Pedro ‘wheeleeing’ through practice.

Coming back closer to home did mean that our European mechanic, Jake, could rejoin the team for the first time this season. It makes such a huge difference have someone there who you know has your back and will get your bike dialled in perfectly for race day. His hard work and long hours make such a difference to the team come race day – cheers Jake!

We would not be much without our mechanics, they are the unsung heroes come race day.

Our Swiss Twin Towers showed their pace this weekend – locking out fourth and fifth in the women’s race. Not only did Anita score her best ever result and Caro equalled her best, but it’s also the best-combined result for the two of them ever. They are running closer than ever on track and it’s going to be a great season as the two of them set their sights on the podium and the equally important goal of top sister. After all, the biggest rivalries are always with those closest to you and the sisters are inseparable!

Gary Forrest’s comeback from his season-ending injury is 2015 is going well. He finished this weekend in 41st, moving up ten spots compared to the first two rounds – so the strength is starting to come back and with two more months until our next outing in La Thuile he is hoping to be one step closer to where he wants to be.After the elation of his first top ten in Argentina, Robin Wallner’s luck swung to the other end of the scale this weekend. After a handy 22nd on stage one, a mechanical problem on stage two spelled the end of his weekend. Not one to let such a setback get him down, he headed straight up to the hill to cheer his teammates on.

A team is greater than the sum of its parts though, and despite our mixed bag of results, we moved forwards in the team ranking. A fifth place this weekend was good enough to move the team into third in the team standings – a huge result for a small team taking on the bigger factory teams.

The twins were over the moon after getting their best results at the EWS this weekend.

Danny MacAskill and Co.

Drop and Roll TV

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Danny MacAskill and Co.
"It was unreal! All the fans cheering and roaring on the side of track. It gave me a little boost that's for sure!" - @damienoton.
.📸: @svenmartinphoto
"It was unreal! All the fans cheering and roaring on the side of track. It gave me a little boost that's for sure!" - @damienoton. .📸: @svenmartinphoto

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