Cancellara is back: Swiss star wins in Mallorca

Former world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara won his first race of 2016 at the Mallorca Challenge.

Fabian Cancellara is well on his way to putting last season, which was disrupted by two different crashes that both resulted in broken vertebrae, behind him. He won day three of the Mallorca Challenge on Friday in classic “Spartacus” fashion — with an aggressive solo attack.

“I had no expectation to be in the breakaway,” said the Trek-Segafredo rider, who was part of the day’s decisive 23-man move. “It was unclear if the break would make it. At the end, I was just trying to save as much energy as I could and followed the attacks from the group. In the last climb somehow I managed to survive, and then I felt some good feelings return.

“Alain [Gallopin, team director] told me to go full gas in the downhill, to just try, and by the bottom, I had 45 seconds. Then I was just fighting and fighting to the end.”

Former world champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) was second, and Lotto-Soudal’s Tiesj Benoot rounded out the podium in third at the end of the 149.9km Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana.