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Trofeo Calvia

Visbeek: “We’re ready for this first test”

From Wednesday to Sunday, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will start its second year in the World Tour on Spanish island Mallorca. In total, eleven riders from the Belgian team will pin their first number of the 2022 in one of the five one day races from the Mallorca Challenge: Trofeo Calvia (1.1, 26/01), Trofeo Port d’Alcudia (1.1, 27/01), Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana (1.1, 28/01), Trofeo Pollença – Port d’Andratx (1.1, 29/01) and Trofeo Playa de Palma (1.1, 30/01).

These five classics will be held in the north of the island. The shortest one is 153 kilometer, the longest one 174 kilometer. The races on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday offer a hilly parcours with around 3000 meters of climbing through the Serra de Tramuntana mountains. In contrary, the Trofeo Port d’Alcudia and the Trofeo Playa de Palma are more suitable for sprinters, even though a noteworthy obstacle animates the finals of these races, respectively the Col de sa Batalla (7.8 km at 5.2 %) and the Col de sa Creu (6.2 km at 3.8 %).

The eleven riders will be divided in five selections of seven riders and will each participate to three or four races, under the direction of Aike Visbeek and Pieter Vanspeybrouck, who will make his debut as a sports director. Belgian climber Laurens Huys and Frenchman Adrien Petit will not only make their first appearance with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, but also make their for steps as members of a World Team Kobe Goossens from Belgium, Alexander Kristoff from Norway and Barnabás Peák from Hungarian will also compete for the first time with the Belgian team. Last year, Kristoff finished second in the Trofeo Port d’Alcudia and fifth in the difficult Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana, when the races were exceptionally held in May. The line ups are completed with Belgian riders Jan BakelantsKévin Van Melsen and Loïc Vliegen, Italian sprinter Andrea Pasqualon, Biniam Girmay from Eritrea and Louis Meintjes from South-Africa. Two years ago, Pasqualon offered the team the first podium of the season in the Trofeo Playa de Palma, with Vliegen also finishing twice in the top 10 of the hilly races of the Challenge.

"We managed to prepare the season as planned this winter and I again noticed that both riders and staff are making steps forward. We're ready for this first test on Mallorca. It looks like the race profiles are harder than before and the start list is particularly strong this year, but we expect from several riders in our line ups to be in the mix for the victories. Alexander Kristoff and Loïc Vliegen, for example, have performed well here in the past. I'm looking forward to the competition start of Kobe Goossens and Laurens Huys in our colors, as the young climbing duo made a good impression during our training camp. In addition, I also expect Biniam Girmay to deliver good performances from the season start."

"I feel ready to win races with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux this season. I'm very satisfied about how we prepared the season. There is a clear strategy and all riders know what is expected from them and which roles they have to accomplish. For example, I know that I can very often rely on Barnabás Peák as lead out. I'm convinced that the support of a lead out rider like Barnabás can make the difference between a top 10 and a podium. We are already quite close, and actually I have good contact with all team members. It was good to meet all riders and staff out of a competition context this winter. There's nothing better than having a coffee together after training to unite a group. The more time I spend with the team, the more I feel like home. This is a very important factor for me, as I spend a lot of time far away from my family."

Mallorca Challenge:
Trofeo Calvia
 (26/01): Peguera – Palmanova (154.7 km)
Trofeo Port D’Alcudia (27/01): Port d’Alcudia – Port d’Alcudia (173.2 km) 
Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana (28/01): Lloseta – Lloseta (158.9 km)
Trofeo Pollença – Port d’Andratx (29/01): Pollença–Port d’Andratx(168.9 km) 
Trofeo Playa de Palma (30/01): Playa de Palma – Palma (169.1km)

Line ups:
Trofeo Calvia : Bakelants, Girmay, Goossens, Huys, Meintjes, Peák, Vliegen
Trofeo Port D’Alcudia : Girmay, Huys, Kristoff, Pasqualon, Peák, Petit, Vliegen
Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana : Bakelants, Goossens, Huys, Kristoff, Meintjes, Pasqualon, Van Melsen
Trofeo Pollença – Port d’Andratx : Bakelants, Girmay, Goossens, Meintjes, Peák, Van Melsen, Vliegen
Trofeo Playa de Palma : Girmay, Goossens, Kristoff, Pasqualon, Peák, Petit, Van Melsen

Sports Direction:
Aike Visbeek
Pieter Vanspeybrouk


General Classification


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