This will be a regular feature on Iban Mayo Blog: ahead of every race Iban takes part in, I`ll write down my expectations for Iban`s performances and post them on the blog. This feature starts now with the Vuelta a Mallorca starting on Sunday.
As the Vuelta a Mallorca will be Iban`s first showing this season, I`m not expecting a whole lot from him. Iban has said that he`ll use these early-season races to fine-tune his form for later objectives. Though, with a rider like Iban, you never know what you`re going to get. I don`t know if Iban will ride all five races, but I presume he will. Stages 1 and 2: The first two days are both flat. Thus, I`m not ecpecting Iban to record any results, but I do think, and sincerely hope, he`ll come in with the peloton. Stage 3: The third day, the Trofeo Pollença, looks better. With three categorised climbs, two of the second category and one of the first, Iban should, when in form, be among the front-runners. But, as usual with Iban in early February, I don`t think he will. If he really goes for it, Iban may well win this stage. But I think Iban will take it easy, adjusting to the tempo of the peloton, and arrive mid-pack. Let`s say I think Iban will come in around number 40 or so. Stage 4: The fourth day, the Trofeo Sóller, indeed looks suited to Iban`s capabilities. But, as with stage number three, I don`t expect him to fight it out for the win. Remember, Iban isn`t here to win, he`s here to get racing kilometres into his legs. But, I have to admit I have a hope of Iban pulling of a win on either of the two stages. Stage 5: The fifth stage is per definition hilly, and Iban may well get in the mix, though he may not at all as well. Mid-pack finish from Iban on this stage.
Overall: Iban will finish in around 50th on the overall, presuming he completes every stage.