Degenkolb takes first day of Challenge Mallorca
John Degenkolb started his season on a high note, sprinting to victory in the Trofeo Campos, the first day of the Challenge Mallorca. Sondre Holst Enger (Isreal Cycling Academy) took second, and Jasper De Buyst (Lotto-Soudal) was third.
Degenkolb’s teammates supported him through the 178-kilometer race and gave him an opening to sprint to the finish for his first win since the Dubai Tour about year ago.
Degenkolb and team Trek-Segafredo have been in Mallorca over the past week training for the season. For Degenkolb, the win is meaningful since Mallorca was where he started his professional career.
“I felt really good; the team did a perfect job to make a good sprint for me. I have good memories of this race because for me this was my first professional race in 2011. Today was a great revival,” said Degenkolb.
The win marks the second this season for Trek-Segafredo. Ryan Mullen won the third stage of the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina just two days prior, lending confidence to the team.
Degenkolb hit a few rough patches over the past two years. In 2016, a British woman drove a car into a group of Giant-Alpecin riders, sending Degenkolb and others to the hospital. In 2017, Degenkolb was forced out of the Vuelta a España and Tour of Denmark and back into the hospital. He remains hopeful about this season, though.
“Everyone knows we have done our homework, what’s needed to win races, and I think we can be very optimistic for the next races. For me, it’s just very amazing to feel that, and to also to feel the whole support from the riders: The whole team for the whole winter was behind me and pushed me to come to this level again,” said Degenkolb.
The Challenge Mallorca runs from Thursday to Sunday as a series of one-day races.
Trek-Segafredo will start Bauke Mollema, Gianluca Brambilla, Tsgabu Grmay, Toms Skujins, Julien Bernard, Michael Gogl and Nicola Conci for Friday’s Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana and Saturday’s Trofeo Lloseta – Andratx.