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Trofeo Calvia

Biniam Girmay starts on familiar territory

Intermarché-Circus-Wanty starts its European calendar on the isle Majorca this week after a decent begin in the Tour Down Under. Young riders Julius Johansen and Hugo Page both obtained their first World Tour podium and Sven Erik Bystrøm concluded the race in seventh place in the general classification. 

From Wednesday to Sunday, twelve riders of the Walloon team will pin their first numbers on the occasion of the Mallorca Challenge (1.1, 25-29/01), an event composed of five one day races on the Balearic Island.

Lilian Calmejane, Rui Costa, Rune Herregodts, Arne Marit and Mike Teunissen will make their debut in their new colors, alongside Biniam Girmay, Kobe Goossens, Laurens Huys, Louis Meintjes, Adrien Petit, Baptiste Planckaert and Loïc Vliegen. Each day, a selection of seven riders will race under the direction of Aike Visbeek and new sports director Dimitri Claeys.

In the Trofeo Calvia (Wednesday), the Trofeo Andratx – Mirador D’es Colomer (Friday) and the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana (Saturday), more than 2500 climbing meters have to be covered in less than 160 kilometer, over the well known climbs such as the Coll de Sóller or de Puig Major.

The final of the Trofeo Alcudia (Thursday) is identical to the one of the previous edition, in which Biniam Girmay conquered the first victory of the team in 2022, with the top of the Coll de Sa Batalla situated 34 kilometer before the finish. The Challenge is concluded with a traditional opportunity for pure sprinters in the Trofeo Palma (Sunday).

« After an excellent team training camp in Alicante we travelled to Majorca, where I will pin my first number. I will then continue my season start in Spain with the Tour of Valencia. Just like last year, we thoroughly worked on my year plan with the team. We again divided the season in different intense race blocks in Europe, interspersed with training periods on altitude at home, in Asmara. » « My program for 2023 focuses on three Monuments and the Tour de France. After my debut in Milano-Sanremo and the Giro last year, I'm very much looking forward to discover the roads of the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and the Tour de France. These are popular races in Eritrea, watched by everyone on tv. As a child I dreamed of participating. It would also be a dream for Eritrea and for Africa if I manage to repeat last year's performances in these mythical races. »

« It is my ambition to do better each year, without putting pressure on myself. We have a long term vision with the team. My revelation last season gave me a lot of confidence in my abilities, in the teammates surrounding me and in the staff guiding me. It pleases me to see how they work together to enable me to make progression, I'm thinking of my trainer Ioannis Tamouridis and our sports dietitian Jana Camphens for example. » « This season I'll again be surrounded by an experimented team in the classics. The course recons and planned training sessions in the Flemish Ardennes will enable me to make a new step in the next months. Our team bursts with talent and you can feel the motivation and fighting spirit of each rider. Our family team is built on solidarity and team spirit. I wish my teammates a good health and luck, so we can pursue the progression of Intermarché-Circus-Wanty together! »

Mallorca Challenge :
Stage 1
(25/01): Palmanova – Palmanova (150.1km)
Stage 2 (26/01): Ses Salines – Alcudia (156.8km)
Stage 3 (27/01): Andratx – Mirador d’Es Colomer (Pollença) (160.9km)
Stage 4 (28/01): Lloseta – Lloseta (155.5km)
Stage 5 (29/01): Palma – Palma (141.6km)

Selected riders:
Calmejane Lilian
Costa Rui
Girmay Biniam
Goossens Kobe
Herregodts Rune
Huys Laurens
Marit Arne
Meintjes Louis
Petit Adrien
Planckaert Baptiste
Teunissen Mike
Vliegen Loïc

Sports Directors:
Aike Visbeek
Dimitri Claeys

RESULTS

General Classification

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