Superb second for Henao
Valverde takes first win of season
Last Updated: 07/02/13 1:34pm
Henao got his hands on some silverware
Sergio Henao raced to an impressive second place at the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana in Mallorca.
The Colombian demonstrated his strong early-season form as he made up part of an elite four-man breakaway which powered clear in the closing stages.
Ben Swift produced a good kick as he led the bunch home to take fifth as the peloton arrived 51 seconds behind the leaders.
Team Sky helped lay the foundations for the attack after keeping the race in check before Henao jumped out of the pack to bridge to his rivals up ahead.
At the finish it was Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) who sprinted to his first victory of the season, narrowly edging out Henao on the uphill drag to the line.
The Mallorcan climbs proved to be selective on the third day of action as Valverde and Henao fired clear ahead of the famous Puig Major ascent alongside Rui Costa (Movistar) and Robert Gesink (Blanco) - the quartet building up an unassailable lead of 45 seconds on the downhill run for home.
The climbers came to the fore on an undulating parcours with plenty of attacks to liven up the racing as the Coll de Soller also made an appearance.
On the descent the peloton split and Bradley Wiggins found himself to the fore as he pushed on to open out a gap of roughly one minute up front.
With the Tour de France winner about to be overhauled Henao launched his attack, bridging across to the winning move in a great show of strength.
Heading out of Deia ahead of 153km it was a 10-man group which went away early, building up a healthy advantage but always kept at arm’s length by among others Team Sky.
Sports Director Dan Hunt was really pleased with what he saw out on the road, telling us after the stage: “Sergio has done really well to get second from a group with two Movistar riders in it. Valverde only just came around him at the end in the sprint. It was a really good ride from him.
“The break went early with a group of 10. We controlled the race from pretty early on. Bradley rode on the front and got a lot of good work done alongside Danny Pate and Ian Boswell. We controlled the race all the way up the Coll de Soller and riders were getting dropped up there with the pace we were setting.
“It is quite a technical descent off there so the peloton snapped at that point. Brad then went away in a group containing Valverde which gained about one minute. A third of the way up Puig Major as Brad came back to the main pack Sergio launched an attacked and bridged across to the Valverde group.
“That stayed away and whittled down to four guys. Swifty went over the top behind to put himself in the second group of the road and he won the sprint from a small group of three. It was a really good showing from the guys.”