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Mallorca Challenge draws top stars to open Spanish calendar

With racing underway in Australia and South America, it’s only a matter of days before the 2010 calendar clicks into gear in Europe. The first official races on the European continent will be the Giro di Regio Calabria in Italy on Jan. 30 and the GP de Ouverture La Marsellaise on Jan. 31 in France.

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With racing underway in Australia and South America, it’s only a matter of days before the 2010 calendar clicks into gear in Europe.

The first official races on the European continent will be the Giro di Regio Calabria in Italy on Jan. 30 and the GP de Ouverture La Marsellaise on Jan. 31 in France.

Spain’s 2010 racing calendar begins with the traditional five-day kickoff at the Mallorca Challenge, Feb. 7-11.

Some big stars are lining up for the event, including the Schleck brothers (Saxo Bank), Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne), Óscar Freire (Rabobank), Robbie McEwen (Katusha), Andre Greipel (HTC-Columbia) and Slyvain Chavanel (Quick Step).

The race is a favorite among the top pros because of the mild weather and excellent training roads on Spain’s Mallorca island.

The races are a series of individual, one-day events, so riders can start as many as they want during the week. There’s also an unofficial classification for riders who partake in all five stages.

Stages for 19th Mallorca Challenge, Feb. 7-11

Sunday, Feb. 7: Palma-Palma, 116km

Monday, Feb. 8: Cala Millor, 173.5km

Tuesday, Feb. 9: Inca Trophy, 157.2km

Wednesday, Feb. 10: Deià Trophy, 143km

Thursday, Feb. 11: Magaluf to Palmanova, 158.5km

Teams

Caisse d’Epargne

Eusaktel-Euskadi

Saxo Bank

Rabobank

Quick Step

Milram

Columbia-HTC

Footon-Servetto

Omega Pharma-Lotto

Cofidis

Katusha

Andalucia-CajaSur

Xacobeo-Galicia

Skil-Shimano

PSK Whirlpool-Author

Team Net App

Burgos Monumental

Orbea

Van Vliet-EBH Elshof

Spanish national track team