Having not even come close to a result in the first three days of racing on Mallorca, Euskaltel tried from afar on the fourth and penultimate leg on Wednesday. Mikel Astarloza's breakaway attempt was of no use, though, leaving the team empty-handed at the Challenge Mallorca.
The 33-year-old veteran was one of 13 riders to make it into the defining break of the day in the Trofeo Alcúdia, but the break was always unlikely to stick with several sprinters in attendance and the not too taxing parcours.
Leigh Howard was the one able to raise his hands in the air, having out-sprinted Blanco's Maarten Wynants and Davide Cimolai of Lampre at the end of the 169,8 kilometres. A small group came in three seconds down on the Orica-GreenEdge pocket rocket, among them Miguel Minguez (17th) and Gorka Verdugo (21st).
Equipo Euskadi DS Aritz Arberas, who beforehand had praised his riders' performances on the opening days, didn't see too much of his young charges today, Igor Merino being the team's top man in 77th, a full 8:25 in arrears.
Juan José Oroz, who crashed yesterday, took the start, but failed to complete the race due to pain in his hip and back. Igor Antón was today's Euskaltel rider to hit the deck, but he came away unscathed.
Results (full results here):
- (1, Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEdge), 4:15:29)
- 17, Miguel Minguez (Euskaltel Euskadi), 0:03
- 21, Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel Euskadi), s.t.
- 46, Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel Euskadi), 3:49
- 48, Mikel Landa (Euskaltel Euskadi), s.t.
- 52, Igor Antón (Euskaltel Euskadi), 5:19
- 77, Igor Merino (Equipo Euskadi), 8:25
- 78, Aritz Bagües (Equipo Euskadi), s.t.
- 80, Mikel Bizkarra (Equipo Euskadi), s.t.
- 99, Carlos Barbero (Equipo Euskadi), 12:39
- 111, Illart Zuazubiskar (Equipo Euskadi), 24:43
- 114, Jon Larrinaga (Equipo Euskadi), s.t.
- 120, Haritz Orbe (Equipo Euskadi), s.t.
- 121, Jon Aberasturi (Euskaltel Euskadi), s.t.
- 138, Mikel Aristi (Equipo Euskadi), 25:00
- 139, Mikel Iturria (Equipo Euskadi), s.t.