Minerva Cycling Team is off to a flying start. Thanks to its participation in the five-day Challenge Mallorca, the new team of manager Gilbert Orbie is one of the chosen continental teams to start the cycling season. "The races on the sunny Spanish island were an ideal opportunity to get used to racing," says team manager Preben Van Hecke. "Nothing was compulsory, everything was allowed and the riders gratefully took advantage of that," he added. Day one was a study round but on day two Yentl Vandevelde was already in the early breakaway where he rode with three other riders for 130km in the attack and immediately created some great TV publicity for Eurosport. Against ten World Tour teams and nine Pro teams and with a hilly course the Minerva boys were unable to reach the final in the first group. Except for the last racing day with start and finish in the capital Palma where Thimo Willems, Gilles Borra and Thomas Joseph were involved in the debates and battled for prizes but where an unfortunate crash of five other riders disrupted their sprint.
Conclusion: a very successful mission with three Minerva riders in the top eight of the youth classification on day three and a 15th place in the general team ranking on day five. The latter on a total of 25 teams whereby the Minerva's could even leave behind some Worldtour teams. As a final preparation for the Belgian opening weekend, there will be a second training camp in the south of France after Mallorca.