Robbie McEwen was back in the winner’s circle Sunday to open the Mallorca Challenge while Tour de France runner-up Andy Schleck returned home with a knee problem. The younger of the Schleck brothers was on the start list for the race but has returned to Luxembourg to rest.
Schleck, 24, confirmed on his Twitter page that he will undergo ultrasound and rest in Luxembourg. He will be participating in the Ruta del Sol beginning February 21.
In racing action in Sunday’s 114km Trofeo Palma, McEwen (Katusha) was back in the winner’s circle for the first time since crashing last year and injuring his knee. The veteran Aussie out-kicked Koldo Fernández (Euskaltel-Euskadi), with Oscar Freire (Rabobank) coming across third.
“I am very happy with this victory. It’s just my second race since my injury that I had last season that kept me from racing the past seven months,” McEwen said. “So this victory is very important for me.”
The race also marked the first this season for Tejay Van Garderen with HTC-Columbia. He finished safely in the middle of the pack.
The five-day Mallorca Challenge continues Monday.