Vuelta a Mallorca, Cat 2.4

Spain, February 9-13, 1997

1996 Results

Preview - Stage 1 - Stage 2 - Stage 3 - Stage 4 - Stage 5 and Final GC


Stage 1: Sunday     9,  Palma - Palma (80.5km)
Stage 2: Monday    10,  Soller - Port de Soler (151 km)
Stage 3: Tuesday   11,  Manacor - Manacor (160.5 km)
Stage 4: Wednesday 12,  Cala Milor - Cala Rajada (152 km)
Stage 5, Thursday  13,  Magaluf-Magaluf (147 km)

Main Teams and Riders:

ONCE: Jalabert (Fra), Zuelle (Sui), Cuesta
BANESTO: Olano, De las Cuevas (Fra), Jimenez
KELME: Cabello, Gonzalez (Col), Buenahora (Col)
DEPORTPUBLIC (ESP): D. Calvero, Anguita
EUSKADI: D. Garcia, Flores
FESTINA (FRA) : Lebreton, Wuest (Ger), Jeker (Sui), Tebaldi (Ita)
COFIDIS (FRA): Rominger (Swi), Andreu (USA), N. Jalabert, Desbiens, F. Moreau,
MAPEI-GB (ITA) : Steels, Peeters, Bomans (all Bel), Fois
RABOBANK (NED) : Soerensen (Den), Koerts, D. Nelissen, Dekker
ASICS (ITA) : Zaina, Colonna, Noe, Chiappucci, Schiavina
TELEKOM (GER) : Ullrich, Zabel, Lombardi (Ita)
TVM (NED) : Blijlevens, Skibby (Den), Van Petegem (Bel)
FORELDORADO (NED) : Bouwmans, Cornelise, De Leeuw
NUERNBERGER (GER) : Audehm, Rein

The riders do not have to race in all stages. They can make their choice.
For those who participate at all 5 stages, a final overall will be

Stage 1, Palma-Palma, 80.5 km:

 1. Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom              1.47.28 (46,061 km/h)
 2. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Once
 3. Michael van der Wolf (Ned) Foreldorado
 4. Jan Hordijk (Ned) Foreldorado
 5. Josi Luis Rubiera (Spa) Kelme
 6. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Rabobank
 7. David Etxeberria (Spa) Once
 8. Henrick van Dyck (Bel) TVM
 9. Jeremy Hunt (Gbr) Banesto
10. Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Cofidis        
11. Aart Vierhouten (Neth, Rabobank)
12. Eleuterio Anguita (Spa, Deportpublic)
13. Martin (Spa, Kelme-Costa Blanca-Eurosport)
14. Nico Mattan (Bel, Mapei-GB)
15. Weissman (Ger, Team Nurnberger)
16. Jan Koerts (Neth, Rabobank)
17. Zemke (Ger, Team Nurnberger)
18. Herminio Diaz Zabala (Spa, ONCE)
19. Jose Luis Santamaria (Spa, Deportpublic)
20. Erik Dekker (Neth, Rabobank)   		all s.t.

Report Stage 1

Erik Zabel, capably led out by new Telekom signing Giovanni Lombardi at the 1km banner, took off for the line at 300m by which point Laurent Jalabert was three lengths behind. Jalabert expressed himself pleased with his performance. "I'm surprised to be going so well," he said. "I was apprehensive about taking part in this first sprint. There was a whole crowd there and I was trying not to get too much into the wind. But Zabel is truly a pure sprinter. When he took off he had a lot of power. For my part, I feel reassured. On an urban circuit where the heart rate is constantly being pushed up -- accelerations, then breaks in the rhythm and re-acceleration -- I believe I'm not going badly."

In the course of the race there were three crashes, bringing down, without serious consequences, successively, Francis Moreau, Jeroen Blijlevens and Tom Steels.

Stage 2, Soller-Port de Soler, 152 kms:

 1. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Once                3.59.22 (38,1 km/h)
 2. Francisco Benitez (Spa) Kelme          	  s.t.
 3. Alex Zulle (Sch) Once                	+ 0.05
 4. Francisco Cabello (Spa) Kelme        	+ 0.18
 5. Roberto Heras (Spa) Kelme              	  s.t.
 6. Unai Osa (Spa) Banesto                 	  s.t.
 7. Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom             	+ 0.59
 8. Carlo Bomans (Bel) Mapei
 9. Andrea Noe (Ita)
10. David Etxebarria (Spa) Once
11. Claus Michael Muller (Den).
12. Wim van den Meulenhof (Ned) Foreldorado
13. Igor Gonzalez (Spa) Euskadi
14. Neil Stephens (Aus) Festina
15. Mikel Zarrabeitia (Spa) Once        	all s.t.
16. Santiago Blanco (Spa, Banesto) 		+1.04
17. Jan Ullrich (Ger, Telekom) 		 	 s.t.
18. Juan Carlos Dominguez (Spa, Kelme)		+1.06
19. Alberto (or Oscar?) Lopez (Spa, Euskadi) 	+3.45
20. Aart Vierhouten (Neth, Rabobank) 		 s.t.


 1. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Once          5.46.50
 2. Francisco Benetez (Spa) Kelme           s.t.
 3. Alex Zulle (Sch) Once                 + 0.05
 4. Francisco Cabello (Spa) Kelme         + 0.18
 5. Unai Osa (Esp) Banesto                  s.t.
 6. Roberto Heras (Spa) Kelme               s.t.
 7. Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom              + 0.59
 8. David Etxeberria (Spa) Once             s.t.
 9. Claus Michael Moller (Den) Toscaf       s.t.
10. Carlo Bomans (Bel) Mapei                s.t.

Stage 2 Report

Dutch rider Aart Vierhouten attacked almost from the start, building a lead of 11 minutes by km100. ONCE directeur sportif Manolo Saiz decided he wanted something done about the Rabobank walk-over and ordered his troops to attack at km110, just before the penultimate small climb of the day, the Sa Batalla. Active at the front of the chase were six riders: ONCE's Laurent Jalabert and Alex Zulle, Kelme's Francisco Cabello, Roberto Heras and Francisco Benito (all three seasoned veterans of the 11 stages of the Ruta Azteca in Mexico) and new Banesto signing Unai Osa. The six's rhythm soon stretched out the peloton, with stars like Johan Museeuw, Rolf Sorensen, Abraham Olano and Tony Rominger struggling. Vierhouten held out to the last climb of the day at 132km, the col de Puig where Zulle and Jalabert attacked with the objective of shaking off the Kelme riders. Almost successfully: despite missing a bend on the descent, only Benitez was able to stay with them. Benitez had nothing to offer in the sprint, which Jalabert led out.

ONCE has notched up its first victory of the season -- only 49 more are needed to match 1996's list.

Stage 3, GP Manacor, 161,2 km:

 1. Peter Van Petegem (Bel) TVM           3.54.51 (40,866 km/h)
 2. Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom
 3. Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank
 4. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Rabobank
 5. Michael Van Der Wolf (Ned) Foreldorado
 6. Tom Steels (Bel) Mapei
 7. Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Cofidis
 8. Andreas Klier (Ger) N=FCrnberger
 9. Jeremy Hunt (Gbr) Banesto
10. Jan Hordijk (Ned) Foreldorado.
11. Godert de Leeuw (Ned) Foreldorado
12. Arvis Piziks (Let) Rabobank
13. Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Rabobank
14. Serguei Smetanine (Rus) Toscaf
15. Angel Edo (Spa) Kelme                  all s.t.

GC after Stage 3

 1. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Once            9.41.41
 2. Francisco Ben=EDtez (Spa) Kelme             s.t.
 3. Alex Zulle (Sch) Once                   + 0.05
 4. Unai Osa (Spa) Banesto                  + 0.18
 5. Francisco Cabello (Spa) Kelme             s.t.
 6. Roberto Heras (Spa) Kelme                 s.t.
 7. Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom                + 0.59
 8. David Etxebarria (Spa) Once               s.t.
 9. Claus Michael Moller (Den) Toscaf         s.t.
10. Wim van de Meulenhof (Ned) Foreldorado    s.t

OVERALL TEAM: Kelme Costa Blanca (ESP)
OVERALL SPRINT: Aart Vierhouten (HOL-Rabobank)
OVERALL MOUNTAIN: Francisco Cabello (ESP-Kelme)

Reports from Stage 3

Belgian Peter Van Petegem from Dutch team TVM was the winner of the sprint at the Premio de Manacor, third stage of the trofeo Mallorca, contested today over 161.2 kilometers and which didn't have Abraham Olano and Fernando Escartin's participation. Van Petegem in this way has earned the first Belgian win of the season, doing it in 3:54:51, which translates into and average speed of 40.866 km-hour. German, Erik Zabel, who was the winner of the first stage, came in second ahead of Dutch Erik Dekker. Frenchman Laurent Jalabert (ONCE), second at the premio de Palma and winner in Soller, continues to lead the "unofficial" overall classification, since the rules of the International Cycling Union (UCI) don't allow the existence of an official general classification. The Gran Premio de Manacor, contrary two the previous two was quite peaceful, due to the control imposed by the teams interested in the overall, which will win the most regular in the five races composed by the Trofeo Mallorca.

So the riders from ONCE and Kelme, blocked the stage and knocked out any escape attempts that were registered. That's why the finish was a sprint, since the circuit was flat and it looked like the 14 teams would be happy with a mass finish. The sprint was a bit atypical, since a fall by Italian Federico Colonna, who last year had his first victory at the fourth stage, interrupted the good job that the teams had done for their sprinters. The great beneficiary was Belgian Van Petegem, usual launcher of his teammater Jeroen Blijlevens, when he was left in a priviledged position in the final meters. Both Erik Zabel and Frenchman Laurent Jalabert were completely disconnected and although they tried to get back, they couldn't prevent Van Petegem's win, which in the past has had three wins, amongst them the Trofeo Luis Puig.

In the somewhat boring stage, there were 163 riders, amongst them Swiss Toni Rominger and Italian Claudio Chiappucci, who rode the race, without been seeing in the front positions, while Abraham Olano and Fernando Escartin, preferred to rest and covered a similar distance but through other roads. The fourth stage will be duisputed tomorrow between Cala Millor and Cala Rajada, for 152.5 kilometers including Sa Espinagar and Son Tovell, both category four climbs.

Stage 4, GP Cala Millor-Cala Rajada, 152,5 km:

 1. Hendrick van Dyck (Bel) TVM            3.45.18 (41,971 km/h)
 2. Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom
 3. Tom Steels (Bel) Mapei
 4. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Rabobank
 5. Peter van Petegem (Bel) TVM 
 6. Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Cofidis
 7. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Once
 8. Mike Weissmann (Ger) N|rnberger
 9. Miguel Angel Martin (Spa) Kelme 
10. Marcel W|st (Ger) Festina
11. Federico Colonna (Ita)  Asics
12. Michael van der Wolf (Ned) Foreldorado
13. Unai Etxebarria (Spa) Euskadi
14. Unai Osa (Spa) Banesto
15. Godert de Leeuw (Ned) Foreldorado       all s.t.


 1. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Once             13.26.59
 2. Francisco Benitez (Spa) Kelme               s.t.
 3. Unai Osa (Spa) Banesto                    + 0.18
 4. Francisco Cabello (Spa) Kelme               s.t.
 5. Roberto Heras (Spa) Kelme                   s.t.
 6. Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom                  + 0.59
 7. David Etxebarria (Spa) Once                 s.t.
 8. Claus Michael Mvller (Den) Toscaf           s.t.
 9. Wim van de Meulenhof (Ned) Foreldorado      s.t.
10. Carlo Bomans (Bel) Mapei                    s.t.

Stage 4 Report

Belgian cyclist Hendrick van Dyck achieved his first professional victory and his TVM team's second, when he won in the sprint on the fourth stage of the Trofeo Mallorca disputed between Cala Millor and Cala Rajada, for 152.5 kilometers. Van Dyck beat in the final meters, the great favorite, German Erik Zabel, winner of the first stage and second in yesterday's, which he also lost in the final meters to Belgian Peter van Petegem, also from TVM. Frenchman Laurent Jalabert (ONCE) came in a little later and continues to lead in the overall of the Trofeo.

As in previous days the race was resolved in a mass finish, because the profile was perfect for the sprinters and that's why the teams with sprinters marked the rhythm of the stage. Today's turn was for Mapei and their Belgian sprinter Tom Steels, together with Kelme with Edo and ONCE with the leader Jalabert, these teams are having a duel, not only for the overall, but for stage wins. They didn't have too much work, because there were not much in terms of escape attempts and the most important one was done by Dutch Lucien de Louw who took off at kilometer 72 and pedaled alone until kilometer 125, getting up to a 5 minute advantage.

The breakaway was perfectly controlled and once they caught him at about 25 kilometers to the finish, a different race began, specially between Zabel and Jalabert. On this occasion one of the missing of the most illustrious riders riding at Mallorca was Swiss Alex Zuelle who trained on his own, more than anything to save some strength for tomorrow's tough stage with start and finish at Magaluf where ONCE will have to work hard to maintain Jalabert's first place in the overall, who's been closely followed by the Kelme riders, Francisco Benitez, Francisco Cabello, Roberto Heras and neo-pro Unai Osa (Banesto) the race's revelation.

Things got a bit rough and ready in the last 10 km when the peloton accelerated on a narrow double bend on a bumpy potholed finishing circuit ill-suited to an international race. Telekom toughs and Rabobank roughs were shouldering each other at the front of the 60kph bunch but Cyril Saugrain (Cofidis) was hanging in there, having promised Nicolas Jalabert he'd lead him out in the sprint. When the brakes suddenly went on, Saugrain touched the wheel in front and came down striking a low wall, sustaining road burns down all one side, a swollen elbow and an injured shoulder. Jalabert junior somehow avoided going down with his team-mate but lost touch with the likes of Zabel, Blijlevens and Steels. It wasn't their day either -- 800m from the line on a right-angle bend TVM's Van Dyck took off and his team-mate Van Petegem, behind him, turned off the gas, creating a decisive gap between Van Dyck and the other sprinters.

Stage 5, GP Calvia-Magaluf, 147 km:

 1. Tom Steels (Bel) Mapei)                3.31.04
 2. Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom 
 3. Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank
 4. Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Cofidis
 5. Peter van Petegem (Bel) TVM
 6. Rolf Aldag (Ger) Telekom    
 7. Bo Hamburger (Den) TVM
 8. Vmctor Moratilla (Spa) Toscaf
 9. Maurizio Molinari (Ita) Asics
10. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Rabobank
11. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Once
12. Mario Chiesa (Ita) Asics
13. Andrei Zintchenko (Rus) Toscaf
14. Andrea Noi (Ita) Asics
15. Alvaro Gonzalez (Spa) Euskadi         all s.t.

Final overall (unofficial):

 1. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Once          16.58.03
 2. Francisco Benitez (Spa) Kelme            s.t.
 3. Unai Osa (Spa) Banesto                 + 0.18
 4. Francisco Cabello (Spa) Kelme            s.t.
 5. Roberto Heras (Spa) Kelme                s.t.
 6. Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom) n            + 0.59
 7. David Etxebarria (Spa) ONCE              s.t.
 8. Claus Michael Mvller (Den) Toscaf        s.t.
 9. Wim van de Meulenhof (Ned) Foreldorado   s.t.
10. Jan Ullrich (Ger) Telekom              + 1.04
11. Alberto Lspez (Spa) Euskadi            + 3.45
12. Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Cofidis         + 4.45
13. Josi Ramsn Uriarte (Spa) Banesto         s.t.
14. Jaime Hernandez (Spa) Festina            s.t.
15. Josi Luis Santamaria (Spa) Toscaf        s.t.

Teams: Kelme Costa Blanca (Spa)
Best climber: Francisco Cabello (Spa) Kelme)
Metas volantes: Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Rabobank)
Special sprints: Maurizio Molinari (Ita) Asics)
Best neo pro: Unai Osa (Spa) Banesto)

Final Day Report

French cyclist, Laurent Jalabert, from Spanish Team ONCE, made good forecasts about the VI edition of the Trofeo Mallorca and achieved the overall victory after the Gran Premio Calvia-Magaluf which was won by Belgian Tom Steels. In the last stage of the Trofeo, with start and finish at Magaluf for 147 kilometers, Belgian Steels, who spent 3 hours, 31 minutes and four seconds, beat German Erik Zabel, winner of the first stage and second three times in the rest of the stages. Laurent Jalabert, wins the "Challenge" for the second time, which he first won in 1993.

The last stage, as it has been in the past, was the most exciting, because it was contested over a short route, with a mountainous profile and the closeness of the riders aspiring for the overall. The terrain was ideal for an ambush, due to the four climbs, which forced the teams debating for the overall -ONCE, Kelme and Banesto- to play a strategic game. At the start, Kelme was playing with Benitez, Cabello and Heras and didn't hesitate to make things tough and try to surprise Jalabert.

Also watching was young Unai Osa (Banesto), the race revelation, but he remained in the background waiting for Kelme and ONCE to wear each other out, although in the first climbs Santi Blanco tried to get things started. Joining the battle of the three teams, also the small Team Toscaf Deportpublic, which at the half way point launched Cerezo, their rider, who achieved a lone breakaway for 20 kilometers, until the climb of Galilea at kilometer 78, when Zarrabeitia (ONCE) and Heras (Kelme) caught him. After catching Cerezo, Banesto took command, again with Santiago Blanco (Banesto).

Behind Kelme and ONCE followed him and didn't allow him to get too far, catching him a few kilometers from the finish. In the last kilometers the race changed completely, because Jalabert's overall win had been secured and Kelme had thrown the towel, so the sprinters that were able to keep up, came to the front.

The most astute in the end was Belgian Tom Steels, winner last year, among other races, of two stages at la Vuelta a Espana. In this way Steels closed the great performance of the Belgian sprinters at the trofeo by achieving their third victory, achieved before him by Peter van Petegem and Hendrick Van Dyck, both from Team TVM. It has been an exciting race, although without Spanish wins and even though the overall classification was not official, due to the way it is disputed, where the riders can ride any of the five 'premios' or skip any of them.