Wanty-Gobert Cycling Team started on Thursday in the Trofeo Ses Salines, Campos, Porreres, Felanitx (1.1, 31/01) their first road race of the 2019 season. Guillaume Martin was already feeling well on training camp and immediately turned that work into an excellent result on Mallorca. The finish of the first race of the Challenge Mallorca was tough with a 5 kilometer climb.
A finish that our Guillaume Martin loves. Guillaume attacked already at the foot of the climb with the Portuguese rider Gonçalves. He dropped Gonçalves and only Jésus Herrada was able to pass our 25-year-old Frenchman in the final kilometer. In the battle for 2nd place Martin was able to hold off the likes of Mollema, Valverde and Wellens 11 seconds behind Herrada. Fabien Doubey also showed himself with a solid 11th place. An excellent start to our road campaign 2019.
"It is good for the team to enter 2019 with this result. It shows that we have worked well on team training over the past weeks. The team gave me good support today, the wind made it a nervous day. Thus we stayed with our seven riders grouped in the peloton. I would like to give a shout-out to Boris Vallée who protected me during the day, and also Backy (Frederik Backaert, ed.) piloted me very well in the final. Unfortunately the other teammates were held up by a crash."
"On the final climb I chose to attack at the foot. With riders as world champion Valverde present I did not want to wait for the final kilometer. I already accelerated with 4 kilometers to go. Herrada joined me under la flamme rouge and was therefore more fresh in the steep final kilometer. But I do not regret my early attack."
"Also last year we started the season with a 2nd place for Odd Eiking in Grand Prix La Marseillaise. But the week is not over yet! This performance gives hope and maybe we can still score a victory in the upcoming days. With this achievement we anyhow show that Wanty-Gobert can compete with the strongest teams."
Steven De Neef (sports director):
"Guillaume confirms that his condition is solid from the beginning of the season. It is great that he immediately converts the training work into a result. There was a tight wind today, so the race remained closed for a long time. I am satisfied with the team work. Guys like Boris Vallée have been able to do their positioning job well during the stage."
"Unfortunately, Meurisse, Eiking and Van Melsen were involved in a major crash at less than 20 kilometers from the finish. They could end the stage without too much damage, but they were eliminated for today's victory. That's why we changed the plan and launched Guillaume. We know he can handle a climb like this. There was little to do about Herrada, but Guillaume was able to hold off some big names."
Results Trofeo Ses Salines
1. Jésus Herrada
2. Guillaume Martin + 00:11
3. Bauke Mollema
4. Alejandro Valverde
5. Tim Wellens + 00:13
11. Fabien Doubey