2023 Trofeo Palma Preview

Palma > Palma 141.7km

The Mallorca Challenge ends with the usual sprint finish in Palma, but will we get a sprint?


Cloudy sun, with temperatures around 5 degrees. The issue will be the wind, it’s going to be around 25-30km/h all day long.


Once the riders start heading back to Palma, they are faced with a 50km stretch of road with a lovely cross/tailwind. Some of this road is protected by trees, but there’s still plenty of exposed sections and if teams want to split the race, they can.


Who wants to split the race in the wind? QuickStep are the natural first thought, they always like to spice things up. They have a team full of strong riders who’ll love the thought of 50km of racing with a cross/tailwind, but who’ll be able to go with them? Normally, a team like Lotto would also cope well in these conditions. 

The racing this week has been very unpredictable, mainly due to the weather conditions. It wouldn’t surprise me to see another day of spills, thrills (and bellyaches), but the sprinters will be hoping that the wind doesn’t blow, and they can have one chance to test their legs.


The race ends with a hotdog circuit near the beach, the bunch complete four full laps of the circuit. The last corner comes with around 500m to go, so positioning for this U-turn is incredibly important.


Ethan Vernon – forget about the best sprint train in this race, QuickStep are here with the best sprint train you’re likely to see in the whole of 2023. They’ve got Declercq to control the break and then it’s Asgreen, Van Lerberghe, Sénéchal, Ballerini and Pedersen, it’s like we’ve got back in time to the old HTC days. The actual positions of these riders are still unknown, but where ever they fit in, QuickStep are likely to dominate this race. Ethan Vernon is a lucky boy!

Biniam Girmay – no Petit, which will be a big miss for the sprint train. All the pressure will now have to be on the shoulders of Vliegen and Teunissen. This isn’t a position Vliegen is used to, but in Mike Teunissen they have one of the best lead out men in the world, I still can’t believe Jumbo-Visma allowed him to leave. Girmay and Teunissen are going to form a brilliant partnership, all Bini has to do is trust him. I’m not sure how Girmay gets on in the wind, I’m looking forward to seeing that.

Nacer Bouhanni – I’m hoping we get to see him sprint for the first time in ages. With Dekker and McLay to help, he should be in an excellent position for the final kilometre, then we’ll see if his legs are a little on the rusty side. Bouhanni has enjoyed an excellent career, but I can’t help think what would have been if he’d joined one of the big sprint teams. Like a few of the sprinters, this is contract year for him, he’ll want to start it with a win.

Juan Molano – UAE came here with a lot of big hitters, but the only thing that’s been hit is the ground and their pride! It’s been one of those weeks for the team, nothing has gone according to plan, but today was a step in the right direction. This is one last chance to get a win, but looking at some of the other sprint trains, Molano is going to find it hard in terms of positioning. The Colombian can pull a result out of the bag, but he’s certainly not the favourite to take the win.

Matt Walls – had a long time out after a horror crash on the track, thankfully, all is well now. Walls has what it takes to be a very successful sprinter, but his road career hasn’t really got going yet. This is a big year for him, its contract year, and he could do with some results.

Milan Menten – he’s got a great looking sprint train to help guide him in the closing kilometres. Expect them to line up Schwarzmann, Selig and then Guarnieri, which will give Menten a great chance of sprinting for the podium.

Stanisław Aniołkowski – solid top 10 option, top 5 on a really good day.

Prediction Time

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Looking at the run for home, and the sprint trains, I’ll take a win for Ethan Vernon.