André Greipel rode his first race of the new cycling season and he immediately took his first win! Together with seven teammates he participated in the first race of the Challenge Mallorca. It was a ride without obstacles on a flat course with finish at Campos after 162 kilometres. With less than twenty kilometres to go, the last of four escapees was caught and so the peloton was heading for a sprint, as expected. German champion André Greipel beat Jonas Van Genechten and Dan McLay. First victory in the pocket for the Gorilla and for Lotto Soudal!
André Greipel: “It was our goal to get a sprint and we succeeded in it. Rémy Mertz did an amazing job in his first pro race. He was riding at the head of the bunch for more than one hundred kilometres, controlling the gap on his own. Really impressive. In the last fifteen kilometres Bart De Clercq, Tomasz Marczynski and Frederik Frison came to the front. When entering the last three kilometres, I still had Tim Wellens, Moreno Hofland and Jürgen Roelandts in support. Moreno Hofland took Jürgen and me into the last kilometre. We needed to get first to the passage with traffic islands and so we did. We got through it without any problems. I started sprinting with 250 metres to go.”
“We dictated the whole stage with the team, so it’s nice to finish it off after all the work of the teammates. This is a perfect start of the season. Tomorrow and the day after it’s up to Tiesj Benoot, Louis Vervaeke and Tim Wellens. I have another chance on Sunday.”
André’s best friend Marcel Sieberg didn’t take part in the race today. He has been ill, just like Nikolas Maes. Both riders will possibly race on Sunday.