Santanyí, Mallorca — Team Novo Nordisk’s Andrea Peron finished just outside the top 10 on Monday’s Iberostar Challenge Ciclista Mallorca.
In the second race of the Challenge Mallorca and for the 183-kilometer Trofeo Ses Salines, Team Novo Nordisk selected a roster that included Ruud Cremers, Kevin De Mesmaeker, Joonas Henttala, Nicolas Lefrançois, Andrea Peron, Charles Planet, Thomas Raeymaekers, Martijn Verschoor and Chris Williams. The world’s first all-diabetes profession cycling team’s aim was to build on Peron’s successful eighth place finish at Sunday’s Trofeo Palma race.
For Finnish rider Joonas Henttala, who is in his second season racing for the team, the Trofeo Ses Salines was his first race of the 2014 season. The 22-year-old said he felt confident of his off-season training and was eager to get racing.
“My training has gone well in the last month, and I’ve gained momentum,” Henttala said. “I’m feeling confident going into these first races.”
In Monday’s race, a two-man breakaway escaped early and were met with several counterattacks. The escapees merged to form a seven-man group and built a gap of nearly 10 minutes. With the peloton bearing down, breakaway rider Björn Thurau (Europcar) launched a solo attack but was caught inside the final 10 km.
Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida), winner of Sunday’s Trofeo Palma, won the slightly uphill sprint finish. Team Novo Nordisk’s Andrea Peron finished in the front sprint group, finishing in 11th with the same time as Modolo.
“Today’s race packed a punch,” Henttala exclaimed. “It wasn’t easy with the rolling circuits coupled with plenty of side winds and rain. Andrea was just outside the top 10, so not too bad! Tomorrow we’ll have a tough race with the mountains; we’ll see how it goes.”
Team Novo Nordisk continues racing at the four-day Iberostar Challenge Ciclista Mallorca on Tuesday with the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana. This 152.9-km race is one for the climbers with five categorized climbs.