For the second consecutive day, Tyler Farrar kicked to victory at the Mallorca Challenge in Spain on Monday.
Farrar held off two HTC-HighRoad riders to claim his second win on the 2011 season, but this one will officially stand in the books. Unlike Sunday, when riders refused to race without their race radios in a standoff with the UCI and the race’s official standings were neutralized, Monday’s win will count for UCI points.
Farrar out-kicked John Degenkolb, a young German on HTC-Highroad, with HTC’s Leigh Howard crossing the line third.
“It’s good for the morale of everyone for Tyler to win now that we’re here in Europe,” Garmin-Cervélo sport director Bingen Fernández told VeloNews after Sunday’s win. “Tyler is better than he was in Tour Down Under. It’s always good to win, especially here in the first races in Europe.”
Monday’s second day of the five-stage series on Spain’s dazzling Mallorca island started without any of the rancor of Sunday’s event, when teams and riders protested the UCI’s decision to ban the use of two-way radios in all races except World Tour events this year.
Opinions were still strong on the ongoing debate about the use of earpieces, with Olympic champion Samuel Sánchez chiming in.
“The use of the earpiece is not some sort of bad but contributes to the safety of the riders,” Sánchez was quoted by the Spanish wire service EFE. “Radio helps the riders, especially when there is some sort of danger, like oil on the road or other relevant incidents.”
Monday’s run of the 172.4km Trofeo Cala Millor started without all the riders using their earpieces as required by UCI rules. Sunny skies and mild springlike temperatures welcomed the pack for the relatively easy day in the saddle that included four minor climbs.
Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto), one of the major stars who says he backs the idea of racing without earpieces, tore off in an early breakaway. Giving chase was Steven Cozza (NetApp), who later earned the day’s combined jersey for his efforts.
Eventually, Cozza was joined by Luis Pasamontes (Movistar) and Saéz de Arregi (Orbea) to form the day’s main break. Despite building up a gap of nearly 10 minutes, the trio was reeled in to set up the mass gallop, just as would be expected — earpieces or not.
Garmin got some help from HTC, RadioShack, Movistar and Rabobank to set up the mass sprint. The race continues Tuesday with the 166.6km Inca Trofeo.