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Road Racing

Mallorca Challenge: Ethan Vernon beats Biniam Girmay at Trofeo Palma

Soudal Quick-Step sprinter strikes in the final day of racing to earn the team's second victory of 2023.

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Ethan Vernon (Soudal Quick-Step) won the final race of the Mallorca Challenge on Sunday.

The young Brit won the big bunch sprint at the Trofeo Playa de Palma-Palma, topping Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) and Jarne van de Paar (Lotto-Dstny) on the podium.

Sunday’s race looked a dead-cert for a bunch kick with its 30km pan-flat finale, and things played per the script.

The early break was all caught in the final 15km before a handful of solo moves dashed off the front in the final approach into Palma. However, the sprinter teams kept control and the race was all together as the action hit the final circuit.

Soudal Quick-Step took control through the final and never looked in trouble, delivering Vernon for his fourth pro win.

Sprint contender Nacer Bouhanni (Arkéa-Samsic) was taken down by a crash just outside the final 3km.

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Kobe Goossens does it again with Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana triumph

Goossens went two-in-two in Saturday’s race.

Kobe Goossens won for a second time in two days in Saturday’s Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana.

Goossens attacked out of a lead group of 10 in the final 3km of a wet and wild day in Mallorca to score Intermarché’s third win of the five-day series.

Just 24 hours earlier, the 26-year-old Belgian secured his first pro victory at the Trofeo Andratx with a sensational 70km solo.

There was drama before the race even started Saturday when organizers were forced to shorten the course due to mountaintop snowstorms. The centerpiece Puig Major climb was re-routed in favor of lower-lying ascents after snow blew in hard through the morning.

The Mallorca Challenge wraps up Sunday with the sprinter-friendly Trofeo Palma.

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Kobe Goossens scores a big solo at Trofeo Andratx

Goossens scored his first pro victory in Andratx.

Kobe Goossens dashed to victory Friday at the Trofeo Andratx in the latest leg of the Mallorca Challenge.

The Intermarché-Circus-Wanty rider won the round after the bunch split up on the climb-heavy profile.

Goossens kicked to his first pro victory some 39 seconds ahead of a pack of chasing riders.

That was good for the second win this week for Intermarché-Circus-Wanty in the series of one-day races on Spain’s Mallorca to open the 2023 European road calendar.

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Marijn van den Berg wins first pro race at Trofeo Port d’Alcudia

Marijn van den Berg celebrates his first pro win
Marijn van den Berg celebrates his first pro win (Photo: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)

Marijn van den Berg (EF Education-EasyPost) bested some top sprinters to claim his first pro victory at the Trofeo Port d’Alcudia.

Ethan Vernon (Soudal Quick-Step) and Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), who complained about the plentiful corners in the finale afterward, could do nothing but watch and the pair battled it out for the other podium spots.

Van den Berg surfed other teams’ sprint trains in the final meters of the race and put himself in prime position going around the last corner. With slippery conditions, the Dutchman made sure to put himself at the front of the peloton on the final bend, which came just meters before the finish, allowing him to carry plenty of speed into the drive for the line.

Bora-Hansgrohe’s Nils Politt tried to upset the sprinters with a solo attack inside the final 20km, but there was too much firepower behind, and he was reeled back in with seven kilometers to go.

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Rui Costa wins Trofeo Calvia

Rui Costa wins Trofeo Calvia
Rui Costa wins Trofeo Calvia

Rui Costa scored his first victory for his new team, Intermarché-Circus-Wanty, in the Trofeo Calvia.

The Portuguese rider sprinted to the win in the opening race of the Mallorca Challenge, holding off Soudal-Quick Step’s Louis Vervaeke with Ben Healy (EF Education-EasyPost) taking third.

The three riders had been part of an early breakaway of 10 that began to split up with about 55km to go. Vervaeke went solo with 16km to go from a group of four riders, only to be later caught by Healy and Costa.

A stern chase from Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal Quick-Step) almost saw the trio up front be reeled in but they held on by mere meters with Costa taking the victory.

After winning the race with a big solo effort last year, Brandon McNulty didn’t make it to the finish after crashing out on slick roads. The team confirmed afterward that he had avoided serious injury and he will race again later this week.

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An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.