February 5, 2012 (VN) — Rookie Andrew Fenn (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) kicked to a surprise victory ahead of more experienced rivals to open the four-day Mallorca Challenge in Spain on Sunday.
Several big names made their respective season debuts, with 2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans (BMC) lining up alongside Giro d’Italia champion Alberto Contador (SaxoBank) and Juanjo Cobo (Movistar). The Schleck brothers also raced for the first this year as well as the likes of Joaquim Rodriguez and Denis Menchov (Katusha) and Andreas Kloden (RadioShack-Nissan-Trek).
Overnight snows in Palma de Mallorca melted in time to hold the 10-lap, 116km circuit race along the city’s sprawling waterfront. The 21-year-old Fenn, who raced last year with Sean Kelly’s An Post-Sean Kelly team, notched his first professional win to open his rookie elite pro season in fine fashion. He won two races last year in the espoirs circuit and was third in the U23 world championships last year in Copenhagen.
Crossing the line second was Andre Schulze (NetApp), with Alexander Porsev (Katusha) coming through third. Pre-race favorite Daniele Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan-Trek) was fifth.
The Mallorca Challenge continues Monday with the 171.7km Trop Migiorn that should be another day for the sprinters.