Wesley Sulzberger Wins KOM Jersey at Trofeo DeiÃWed 6 Feb 2013
Before the pure climbers came to fore on the third day of racing in Majorca, Wesley Sulzberger animated the early action. Part of a breakaway that formed from kilometre zero, Sulzberger took points on four of the five rated climbs to earn the king of the mountain jersey at the Trofeo Deià. As Sulzberger churned away up the road, Pieter Weening and Sebastian Langeveld maintained their positions back in the bunch to propel Weening to a top ten finish in Majorca.
“Wes was really keen to get himself out today,” said Sport Director Neil Stephens. “We asked Pieter and Christian [Meier] to put themselves in the red today to see what they could do.”
“Tomas [Vaitkus] is still coming back from his knee injury,” continued Stephens. “We’re returning him to racing slowly. We raced him on Sunday, sat him out yesterday and raced him again today. Part of our plan was to get Tomas back in the action and see how his knee handled the work. The rest of the guys were simply asked to have a hard race.”
The race was testing from the start with undulating terrain making the third day the most difficult yet in Majorca.
“Wes rode as hard as he could, and I think he was really pleased with what he accomplished,” said Stephens. “He took points on several of the ranked climbs, and he earned the KOM jersey. It’s a good prize for his efforts.”
As the race came back together on the final marked climb, Weening and Sebastian Langeveld were well-poised for a strong showing in the finale.
“The field was reduced to 20 riders at one stage, and we had Pieter and Sebastian in a good position,” noted Stephens. “Unfortunately, Pieter had a mechanical. Shimano neutral service gave him a front wheel, and Sebastian brought him back up to the front group.”
Despite his mechanical trouble, Weening managed ninth, 51 seconds down on Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
“We’re happy with top ten on the hardest day of the race,” said Stephens. “We’ll give it another go tomorrow and see how we fare."