Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux launched the racing season on Wednesday with the Trofeo Calvia (1.1, 26/01), the first of five one day races of the Mallorca Challenge. Belgian climber Kobe Goossens instantly displayed his combativity and made his new colors shine under the Mallorcan sun, thanks to a seventh place at the finish and winning the intermediate sprint classification.
Rising among the strongest riders after a first half of the race marred with climbs, Goossens was part of a chasing group behind sole leader McNulty (UAE). In a second chasing group, Laurens Huys also made a strong impression in his first appearance for the Belgian team.
Eventually, Goossens sprinted for second place in Palmanova and reached the finish line in seventh position, 1 minute 17 behind the winner, with Huys finishing in 16th place. The attractive race style of the riders directed by Aike Visbeek and Pieter Vanspeybrouck was rewarded with the prize of the Meta Volante, as Kobe Goossens was the best in the intermediate sprint classification.
Tomorrow, Biniam Girmay, Laurens Huys and Loïc Vliegen will also participate to the Trofeo Alcudia, the second race of the Mallorca Challenge. They will be joined by Alexander Kristoff, Barnabás Peák, Adrien Petit and Andrea Pasqualon for 173 kilometer through the northwest of the island.