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Mallorca Challenge: Biniam Girmay ‘overwhelmed’ by victory at Trofeo Alcudia

Eritrean out-kicked star-studded field to win second day at Mallorca Challenge.

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Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) won the Trofeo Alcudia on Thursday on Spain’s Mallorca island.

The Eritrean out-kicked a star-studded field to win on the second day at the Mallorca Challenge. Ryan Gibbons (UAE Team Emirates) crossed the line second, with Giacomo Nizzolo (Israel-Premier Tech) third.

“I am overwhelmed by this victory and the euphoria of all members of the team,” Girmay said. “I started the year with a lot of confidence, but it’s fantastic that I was able to beat some of the world’s best sprinters here in my second day of racing.”

The 173.2km course looped in and around Port d’Alcudia, with several of the top WorldTour teams opening up their 2022 seasons this week.

Bora-Hansgrohe, Movistar Team, and UAE TeamEmirates controlled the closing 10km to set up the finale.

In what was the second of a series of five one-day races, an early breakaway pulled clear in the hilly course, but the peloton’s heavyweights collaborated to bring things together going into the final 20km.

“I had to survive the long climb in the final. I really suffered, but thanks to the help of my teammates with the positioning I was able to start the sprint with good legs,” said Girmay, who became Eritrea’s first worlds medalist in men’s road racing last fall. “I am grateful for their support throughout the race, we are a really close group. I hope to keep the momentum going in my next races of the Mallorca Challenge this Saturday and Sunday.”

The victory comes a day after Brandon McNulty won the opening leg Wednesday in a dramatic, 60km solo attack to claim his first win since joining UAE Team Emirates.

Also read: McNulty opens 2022 with a bang

The five-day Mallorca Challenge continues Friday with the 171km Trofeo Pollença, looping around the northern coast and ending at Port d’Andratx.

2022 Trofeo Alcudia results

    1. Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), 3:50:48
    2. Ryan Gibbons (UAE Team Emirates), at s.t.
    3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Israel-Premier Tech), at s.t.
    4. Ivan Garcia (Movistar Team), at s.t.
    5. Matîs Louvel (Team Arkéa-Samsic), at s.t.
    6. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange-Jayco), at s.t.
    7. Piet Allegaert (Cofidis), at s.t.
    8. Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates), at s.t.
    9. Jesus Ezquerra (Burgos-BH), at s.t.
    10. Lawrence Naesen (AG2R-Citroën Team), at s.t.
ALCUDIA, SPAIN - JANUARY 27: A general view of the Peloton passing through a forest during the 31st Challenge Ciclista Mallorca 2022 - Trofeo Alcudia - Port D' Alcudia a 173,2km race from Port D' Alcudia to Port D' Alcudia / #ChallengeMallorca / on January 27, 2022 in Alcudia, Spain. (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
The peloton passes through a forest during the 31st Challenge Ciclista Mallorca on Thursday. (Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

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