Lotto Belisol can add a new victory to its list in this season 2013 which is still very young. In the Trofeo Palma, the first stage of the four days of the Challenge Mallorca, Kenny Dehaes was the fastest man of the bunch. He could beat Farrar, Swift, Petacchi and Ventoso.
Traditionally the first stage in Mallorca is one for the sprinters, with ten local laps of 11.6 kilometers in Palma. There was a breakaway of three, but the peloton kept control. The last four laps the tempo rose. Lotto Belisol was good in front. Kenny Dehaes stayed calm and sprinted to his first UCI victory since 2008.
Stage winner Kenny Dehaes: “We knew this stage usually ends with a bunch sprint, so before the race we agreed that we would give me a chance, which turned out perfectly. After a turn of 180 degrees we had a headwind for the last two kilometers, so we had to wait pretty long. Dennis Vanendert got us perfectly to that turn, but then I lost Vicente Reynes. At 800 meters before the finish I was rather far, but Gaëtan Bille did a brilliant effort to bring me back in front, where I could place myself in the wheel of Farrar. I felt someone was coming from the left, so I decided to start sprinting, because In the past I sometimes let others close me in. And luckily I could hold on; the puzzle pieces fell perfectly into place.”
“It has been a while since I could win a UCI race. In 2008 I won a stage in the Four Days of Dunkerque and in the Tour of Belgium. It pleases me a lot to win today. In the first stage of the Tour de San Luis I finished ninth, but I had the feeling it could have been more. Of course it has to do a lot with confidence and once you get a first win, you can easier win a second. I keep on working hard and I hope to repeat a season like 2008, I would sign immediately for it.”